If you're not in shape enough to do the 25-mile Nogal Peak trek (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/128497132/), consider doing this hike instead. We'll start at the same trailhead and same point as those folks, but only be going to top of the ridge, where we'll be turning around.
We'll start at Three Rivers Campground and head up Three Rivers Trail (T44) (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lincoln/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=34574&actid=51) till the junction with Dry Canyon Trail (T5574) (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lincoln/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=34342&actid=93). We'll take the junction and head up the Dry Canyon Trail till we hit the Crest Trail (T25) (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lincoln/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=34482&actid=51). We'll take the Crest Trail south, going up White Horse Hill, till the junction with the upper end of the Three Rivers Trail, which we will take down back to where we parked.
If you're part of the gossip club, this was the route I was planning to take the one time I became tragically, epically, majestically lost (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/29740701/). The lessons learned are very clear to me, the most important of which: I do not care what anyone says, especially drunk cowboys, or where the trail goes, I am following the GPS and relying on the planning, maps, & knowledge that I already have! That, and I've done all the trails involved at least three times, so if I didn't know them well then, I do now.
Afterwards, I plan to go to the potluck at White Sands (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/129703282/). We'll be meeting them at the White Sands Visitor Center. If you're bringing an item for the potluck (hopefully non-perishable), please bring it and we will leave it in the car while we hike. It is relatively cool where we park.
Please bring rain gear, adequate calories/food, and adequate water. On the way down via Three Rivers there should be plenty of water, so I plan to bring my water filter so I can reduce the amount of water I need to carry.
If you are a guest of the United States (i.e. non-citizen), there is a US Customs & Border Patrol checkpoint demarcating passage to/from what the ACLU calls a "Constitution-Free Zone" (http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you-living-constitution-free-zone). If this bothers you, donating to the ACLU (https://www.aclu.org/donate/join-renew-give) and harassing your congress critter (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml)s; otherwise please bring appropriate documentation of your entry into the US (passports, visas, etc—you know better what you need than we do). Group hikes are not the place to make a stand for your civil liberties.
DISTANCE is ~14 mi round-trip.
ELEVATION GAIN is ~2000–2500 ft gained.
FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: Finish by early afternoon, in time for the White Sands potluck/hike later that evening.
PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash), and if you'd like to unleash, ask others before you do so.
SKILL LEVEL is *NOT* beginner friendly. No whiners!
TERRAIN starts in high desert scrub land, up through alpine forest, and eventually reaching treeless mountain tundra. Staying on forest service trail the entire route.
WEATHER is likely to include thunderstorms. Please bring a pancho and rain gear.
AFTERWARDS we may get a light lunch in Tularosa or Alamogordo before going to the hike at White Sands.
MEET for carpool at:
Las Cruces: 4:00 am, K-Mart parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/geo:32.35083,-106.76538) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.35083,-106.76538&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.35083&mlon=-106.76538&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.35083,-106.76538&marker0=32.35083,-106.76538&z=18)). El Paso: 4:00 am, Walmart at Transmountain/US 54 at the west-most parking lot towards US 54. See map (Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=31.897292,+-106.439618&aq=&sll=31.897353,-106.435947&sspn=0.001806,0.001269&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=16)). Note: your organizer is not meeting here, please self-organize! Three Rivers Campground: 6:30 am. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/geo:33.40195,-105.88258) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=33.40195,-105.88258&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=33.40195&mlon=-105.88258&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=33.40195,-105.88258&marker0=33.40195,-105.88258&z=18)) MORE information: