Past Meetup

White Sands moonlit hike to Alkali Flat

This Meetup is past

24 people went

Location image of event venue

Details

After last night I am already excited about the next one! So here it is.

Each month during the summer, White Sands has a "full moon night" where the park is kept open an extra hour or two. Perfect for some night time, moonlit hiking. The park closes at 11 pm.

Note: this is different than the National Park Service's "Full Moon Hike", which is much shorter (1 mi), and requires a reservation in advance.

Please bring (apart from the obvious, like water):

Any necessary paperwork for immigration (there is a checkpoint!) Flashlight (for emergency purposes only, please don't use it and walk by moonlight instead) A potassium-containing snack (i.e. banana) — going up & down dunes is tiring, and we don't want to take too long. Sweater/jacket — it may be chilly on the dunes. If you have a GPS, please bring it, and load the GPS track linked below onto it.(I don't have a GPS, so please don't expect me to track the hike.)

DISTANCE is ~5 mi loop.

ELEVATION GAIN is some 200 ft elevation lost, but effectively it is much more because of the up & down of the dunes

FEES: $3/person. If you have a Federal Lands Pass, please bring them; they are accepted here. If you carpool, please remember to compensate your driver.

HIKE DURATION: From sunset (7:00 pm?) to whenever we get back (probably between 9:30-10 pm).

PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Pets must be on a leash or physically restrained at all times (park rules).

SKILL LEVEL is good for a first hike, but still somewhat challenging; the sand is loose and the hike is medium-length (5 mi).

TERRAIN is gypsum sand dunes. The recommendation is that you walk barefoot; otherwise, high-ankle boots/shoes with gaiters (to keep sand out of your shoes) also work great.

WEATHER high during the day is 93, low is 64. Can be cool on dunes, especially if they are damp.

AFTERWARDS we'll go home. (Maybe if there is time, we can do some moonlight sledding).

MEET for carpool at:

Las Cruces: 5:45 pm, 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/120102702/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: Please self-organize. White Sands visitor center: 6:45 pm, front parking lot facing US 70. If you have a federal lands pass, consider carpooling from the visitor's center into the monument so people can save on admission fees. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/120102702/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))32.77935°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/120102702/geo:32.77935,-106.17218) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.77935,-106.17218&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.77935&mlon=-106.17218&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.77935,-106.17218&marker0=32.77935,-106.17218&z=18)) White Sands Alkali Flat trailhead: 7:00 pm. Please meet at the Alkali Flat trailhead register. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (http://www.meetup.com/las-cruces-hiking/events/120102702/geo:32.820625,-106.273515) (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.820625,-106.273515&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.820625&mlon=-106.273515&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.820625,-106.273515&marker0=32.820625,-106.273515&z=18)) Please comment on where you will be meeting the group. Thanks and see you on the dunes! MORE information:

GPS track (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=stufjjeefthtmihc)