White Sands is open again!
For this week's hike and happy hour, we'll be doing White Sands Alkali Flat Trail (in the daylight, for once!)
If you've been complaining that we get up too early for hikes, or that we drive to far, or what have you—finally, a hike for you! Because of the driving involved, we'll be meeting earlier than usual (12 pm instead of 1 pm).
Unlike the other "hike & happy hour" events, we'll actually be going to a real happy hour (5–7 pm) for dinner after the hike at High Desert Brewery. (follow link for directions). Beers are $1 off. We will be sitting outside; while they are heaters, please bring an extra layer if you think you will be cold.
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". If this bothers you, please donate to the ACLU and harass your congress critters; 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 ~5 mi loop (or out and back).
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.
DURATION: 2-3 hours. I want to be back in Las Cruces by 5 pm.
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 is good for a first hike, but still somewhat challenging; the sand is loose and the hike is medium-length (5 mi). We will take breaks and regroup as needed.
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 is TBA.
AFTERWARDS we will be going to High Desert Brewery's happy hour. See event description for more information.
MEET for carpool at:
• El Paso: 11:00 am, I-10 and Redd Road Kohl's, in the south end of the parking lot near Starbucks. GPS: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map). Note: your host is not meeting here, please self-organize! Since some people (may) be coming back to Las Cruces afterwards, we're meeting on El Paso's west side instead of the east.
• Las Cruces: 12:00 pm, K-Mart parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. GPS: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)
• White Sands Visitor Center: 1:00 pm, front parking lot facing US 70. We leave at 1:00 pm sharp! GPS: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)[masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)
• White Sands Alkali Flat trailhead: 1:20 pm. Please meet at the Alkali Flat trailhead register. GPS: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map). Please don't meet here unless you know where it is!
• GPS track