This hike is walking AROUND Bishop's Cap, instead of climbing to the top of it. Bishop's cap is called Bishop's Cap because, well, it looks like Bishop's Cap, and it's south of Las Cruces, north of El Paso, to the east of Interstate 10's Mesquite exit.
Obviously, walking around Bishop's Cap is way easier than ciimbing to the top of it. The experience could be totally different also.
From the parking lot, we will head south, take the established Sierra Vista trail, then turn east, loop around to the east side of Bishop's Cap along the base, merge into a Jeep trail to approach the mine on the east side. Up to this point, the terrain is pretty much level, a relative easy somewhere about 3 or 4 miles of walk in the lower desert.
The ubiquitous ocotillo is blooming like crazy, quite a pleasure to the eye.
We will take a break at the mine, to snack, hydrate ourselves, smell the delicious ocotillo, and also, give us ample time to explore the mine.
The rest of the hike is climb up a slow hill to the crest (about 400' elevation gain?), and climb down on the other side and get back to the car.
With the total distance of somewhere between 5 to 6 miles, the hike should really be classified as easy. Only trying to be more cautious, in case some hikers are going to complain the "easy" classification is misleading, we will call it an easy-to-moderate hike.
Factor in the break(s) we are going to take, it will take about 5 hours to do the hike.
• Las Cruces: 8:00 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: 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: 7:45 am, I-10 and Redd Road Kohl's, in the south end of the parking lot near Starbucks. GPS: Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=31.865651,-106.576615&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=31.865651&mlon=-106.576615&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=31.865651,-106.576615&marker0=31.865651,-106.576615&z=18)).
• Trailhead: 8:30 am at the Mossman Arroyo trail head of the Sierra Vista Trail. See map (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.21012&mlon=-106.614636&zoom=18&layers=M). Note: the dirt road to the trailhead is rough, though any car can drive in there, if you've a high suspension vehicle, please bring it.
Please specify where you'll be meeting us as a comment to your RSVP.