Get a heads up on your high calorie Christmas dinners with a hike on Christmas Eve morning! We'll be doing the Thousand Steps Trail in El Paso, topping off at Ranger Peak, doing the Ranger Peak Loop, and then coming back down the way we came.
The views of downtown El Paso, Sunland Park, and Ciudad Juárez are fantastic. Bring your cameras!
This trail is one the most steep maintained trails in the LRU/ELP area. It is Christmas Eve, and I don't want to be out there all day, so please be prepared to keep a good pace (at least 2 mi/hr!). It's called the Thousand Steps Trail but w/ over 2200 ft elevation gain in 1.5 miles, it's more like the two-thousand step trails.
There is one section of via ferrata (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Via_ferrata), i.e. chain-assisted climbing.
The GPS track posted below takes a longer route than we'll be taking. We'll be starting instead at the north end of Stanton Street. See the map below!
DISTANCE is ~5 mi, round-trip
ELEVATION GAIN is ~2200 ft gained
FEES: are TBA. AFAIK it is $2/person?
DURATION: Finish by late morning/early afternoon.
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 is on a well-maintained, but steep, trail. Going through desert shrubs/plants, rock is loose and slippery.
WEATHER is TBA.
AFTERWARDS we may get lunch in El Paso somewhere.
MEET for carpool at:
• Las Cruces: 8:15 am, in/outside Milagro Coffee at Pan Am Plaza. Open at 6:30 am on the weekends, the coffee, breakfast burritos, and bagels (fresh on the weekends) are all good here. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.287339,-106.745122&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.287339&mlon=-106.745122&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.287339,-106.745122&marker0=32.287339,-106.745122&z=18))
• El Paso: 9:00 am, at the north end of Stanton Street. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=31.80776,-106.50005&z=15), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=31.80776&mlon=-106.50005&zoom=15), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=31.80776,-106.50005&marker0=31.80776,-106.50005&z=15))
• GPS track (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=vbeozhqkfblaszre) (we'll be taking a shorter route than indicated)
• Thousand Steps trail on LocalHikes.com (http://www.localhikes.com/Hikes/FMSP_1000_Steps_Trail_2320.asp)
• Ranger Peak on SummitPost (http://www.summitpost.org/ranger-peak/457590)
• Photos (from Samat) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tamasrepus/tags/rangerpeakloop/)
• Previous event: Dec 2010 (http://www.meetup.com/jornada-hikers/events/15796144/)