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Sierra del Cristo Rey Good Friday Pilgrimage

  • Apr 22, 2011 · 5:15 AM

Monte Cristo Rey has it's first open house of the year, which happens to be Good Friday. We previously attempted this in December, but it was canceled due to weather.

It's a strenuous 5 mi roundtrip, though along an extremely well-maintained path (thank you Archdiocese of El Paso). Along the route are well-decorated shrines/motifs to each of Jesus' 14 stations of the cross. Religions overtones aside, it's one of the better religious-cultural highlights of the area. Bring your camera. Please bring at least $5 for a donation; the volunteers who maintain the path do a fantastic job.

Why 5:15 am? So we can get there slightly after 6, and hopefully beat as much of the crowd and heat as possible (not that I know what the 6 am crowd is like; from 6 am–2 pm last year their Good Friday turnout was 10,000 people).

Meet at:

Getting to the trail head, via Executive Center Boulevard:

  1. Take I-10's Executive Center Boulevard exit (16)
  2. Turn south (left from El Paso; right from Las Cruces), go down past the quarry to Paisano Drive
  3. Right on Paisano Drive, heading north/northwest.
  4. Take the McNutt Road/Sunland Park/NM Rt. 273 exit. Please don't miss it, you cannot turn around and return here easily. If you miss it, take the Sunland Park directions below.
  5. Once on McNutt Road, watch out for the signs directing you to Sierra del Cristo Rey. Left onto Cristo Rey Boulevard, a gravel/dirt road taking you up into a quarry.
  6. Stay to the right. You should pass over two railroad level crossings. At the end of this road is the parking lot, where you should see a gate, trailer, and probably a lot of people.

Or via Sunland Park (thanks Michelle):

  1. Take I-10's Sunland Park exit (13)
  2. Turn south (left if coming from El Paso; right from Las Cruces).
  3. Turn left onto Doniphan
  4. Turn right onto Racetrack
  5. Turn left onto McNutt
  6. On the right hand side of the road, you'll start seeing dirt parking lots. Turn right onto Cristo Rey Boulevard.

If there's interest, I've don't have a problem going later in the morning.

More information: Mt. Cristo Rey's website; my (unfinished) map of Mt. Cristo Rey.

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  • Trish

    Had a great time with some old and new friends! :)

    April 23, 2011

  • Samat

    Easier than I remember. Finished in a little over 2 hours. Hated getting up that early but was nice to see the sunrise out there.

    April 22, 2011

  • renee s.

    thanks again samat for organizing this event. i enjoyed the experience
    as well as meeting new people and spending time with hikers i already
    know. trish - great pics - thanks.

    April 22, 2011

  • Samat

    There will be enough traffic that El Pasoans will want to carpool; it's also a pain to get to if you're coming from El Paso). What's a good carpool meetup point? (the usual places are a bit far)

    April 20, 2011

  • Trish

    I can do either Fri or Sun...

    April 20, 2011

  • Samat

    If you can't make it, there's another open house on Easter Sunday (that weekend). Again, if there's interest, we can reschedule this to Sunday.

    April 20, 2011

  • Samat

    It's only 5 mi, and a well-maintained trail. You could do it in 2?3 hours; so back in LC by 10. Add on another hour for slower people (I'm going to take a photos and hang out at the top?it's rare to get a vantage point that high in Mexico)

    April 20, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Aw I have to work that day!

    April 20, 2011

  • Trish

    If we started at 6, what time do you think we'd be back in Cruces? (trying to figure out if I could make a 1pm appointment)

    April 20, 2011

10 went

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