The Chiricahua National Monument (http://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm) is one of the most scenic places in southwestern NM/southeastern AZ. For this event, we're doing an overnight trip to the monument. If you're interested in a one-day trip (only Saturday), please look at this other event (http://www.meetup.com/jornada-hikers/events/172149312/).
My goal is to hike all of the trails in the monument (of which there are a published 17 mi, though I believe there are 25–30+ mi).
Saturday, we'll hike with the one-day group (we'll decide what trails we're doing the day of), and do more whatever trails we hadn't done after the day-trip group leaves.
Saturday evening, we'll be car camping in the monument's camp sites. Flushing toilets, potable and running water, etc are available. Site fee is $12/night/area. Please bring adequate food and a way to cook it.
Sunday, we'll continue to hike whatever we haven't done, which will include Echo Canyon and Rhyolite Canyon (7 mi one-way), which contains some of the best rock formations in the monument. The length of this route precludes most visitors to the monument from doing it, so the ability to do this hike is a relatively rare opportunity. I would like to leave the monument by 3 pm local time.
Be aware that Arizona does not follow Daylight Saving Time, so they are 1 hour behind (i.e. 3 pm here is 2 pm there) the time in New Mexico/Texas.
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" (http://www.aclu.org/national-security_technology-and-liberty/are-you-living-constitution-free-zone). If this bothers you, please donate to the ACLU (https://www.aclu.org/donate/join-renew-give) and harass your congress critters (http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml); 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 over 20 mi over all the park's trails.
ELEVATION GAIN is variable
FEES: usually $5/person for entry into the monument, but FREE for National Park Week on Apr 19–20 (http://home.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=1576). $12/night per campsite. PLEASE BRING CASH. You can also use your US Federal Lands pass for entry in the monument, but camping remains an additional fee. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: All weekend. I'd like to return to Las Cruces by 7 or 8 pm Sunday.
PET FRIENDLY? Yes, sort of. Many of the trails do not allow dogs (http://www.nps.gov/chir/planyourvisit/pets.htm). 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, but not particularly difficult otherwise. No whiners!
TERRAIN is all well-maintained national monument trails.
WEATHER is TBA.
AFTERWARDS is TBA.
MEET for carpool at:
• Las Cruces: 6:00 am, east of NMSU's Pan Am Center. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.285463,-106.740997&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.285463&mlon=-106.740997&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.285463,-106.740997&marker0=32.285463,-106.740997&z=18))
• El Paso: unless you've other plans, please meet at the Pan Am Center (it is well-watched and safe to park there) for carpool.