If you're coming on the extended week of hard stuff, you should get as much high-altitude training as you can. Here's a chance!
Starting at the Cathey Canyon Overlook trailhead, we'll hike the Rim Trail (T105) north to San Andres Canyon (T125) and take that down to the West Side Road (FR90). Once on the West Side Road, we'll walk north to Heart Attack Canyon (T235) and walk back up to the Rim Trail, which we'll follow south back to San Andres Canyon. We'll repeat this two or three times. You can sit down and take a break at your option—feel free to bring a book and chair.
You should bring:
• Sufficient water for 15 mi. Drop the water off at the top of San Andres Canyon so you're not carrying it the entire time.
• A chair and a book, if you think you want to sit one of the loops out. Please wait for the group and don't head back by yourself.
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 ~15 mi-ish.
ELEVATION GAIN is a lot.
FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: Finish by late afternoon/early evening.
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 *NOT* beginner friendly.
TERRAIN is alpine forest. Well-maintained forest trail, though it is a bit rocky.
WEATHER predicts highs in the upper 70s. Check the forecast for the area.
AFTERWARDS we'll get dinner in Cloudcroft somewhere. Front Porch or The Western (which ONLY accepts cash!).
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 (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map).
• El Paso: 7:30 am, Walmart at Transmountain/US 54 at the west-most parking lot towards US 54. See map (Google Maps). Note: your host is not meeting here, please self-organize!
• Cloudcroft: 9:30 am, Mountaintop Mercantile (or what was formerly known as Mountaintop Mercantile). GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)
• Cathey Canyon Overlook trailhead: 10:00 am. GPS: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map). Don't meet here if you don't know where it is!