If you have seen the picture of the 'Arch' on the front of the Fall/Winter 2013 Las Cruces magazine, this is one of the arches we will be hiking to on this date. Not pictured in the magazine is another arch near this one, which from a distance (and close-up) looks like an elephant. This will be an exploratory hike, most of the 'trail' will be rough 4x4 roads, with some off-trail sections. There is a 'peak' near the arch which has 360 degree views of the area and on the way back to the cars there is a section of hillside which looks like large nostrils, which I would like to explore some. There is no defined trail which will take us to each location, so there might be some discussion about the best looking way to get to each place. This hike will not be high milage, but might take some time as most of 'trail' is steep with loose rocks.(Think about bringing hiking poles if you are unsteady on loose rocks when descending.) I suggest that we plan on hiking to both arches and then decide if people want to explore the area for a while longer before heading back to the cars. Please be willing to stay with the group. This area is used by off road vehicles and last time I was there, there were people shooting guns in the distance.
High clearance and/or 4X4 vehicles are suggested. The roads in the area around the Dona Ana foothills are not very well maintained. The section where we will be parking has loose sands and few parking spaces. If we do not get enough high clearance vehicles or have so many cars that we can not park in the place where I parked the last time, we might have to rethink the place to park.
TO BRING: Please bring plenty of water, food, hiking poles, hat, sunscreen, camera, and appropriate footwear.
DISTANCE is ~2-4 mi, roundtrip, dependent on group decision.
ELEVATION GAIN is ~1000 ft gained.
FEES: None, but if you carpool please compensate your driver.
DURATION: at least 3 hours. 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. (Remember that this area is used by off-road vehicles and people target shooting).
SKILL LEVEL is moderate; while the trail is not long, there are rough sections and moderate elevation gains.
TERRAIN old 4X4 road and some off trail sections.
WEATHER High of 76, with 10% chance of rain and winds up to 26 MPH. This is pretty windy, but hoping it will be ok.
AFTERWARDS Lunch? We will decide when we get back to cars.
MEET for carpool at:
• Las Cruces: 8:00 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/120102702/geo:32.35083,-106.76538) (see onGoogle 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))