If you are used to high altitude hiking, this trail is VERY easy and relatively beginner friendly.
The group intends to get lunch in Cloudcroft. Be aware that many of the restaurants ONLY accept cash, so please bring it if you'd like to get lunch w/ the group.
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 3–5 mi round-trip.
ELEVATION GAIN is ~400 ft gained (negligible). Be aware the altitude is high, and there is significantly less oxygen
FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: Finish by early afternoon.
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 reasonably beginner friendly. Be aware of the high altitude.
TERRAIN is high-elevation alpine forest. Trail is well-maintained but very rocky.
WEATHER See the detailed forecast at the NWS. (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?zoneid=NMZ415)
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 (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.35083,-106.76538&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.35083&mlon=-106.76538&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.35083,-106.76538&marker0=32.35083,-106.76538&z=18)).
• El Paso: 7:30 am, Walmart at Transmountain/US 54 at the west-most parking lot towards US 54. See map (Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=31.897292,+-106.439618&aq=&sll=31.897353,-106.435947&sspn=0.001806,0.001269&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=16)).
• Cloudcroft: 9:30 am, park at Mountaintop Mercantile (or what was formerly known as Mountaintop Mercantile) and walk across the street to Allsup's. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.95731,-105.743871&z=18), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.95731&mlon=-105.743871&zoom=18), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.95731,-105.743871&marker0=32.95731,-105.743871&z=18))
• GPS track (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=imclobtlebdryion)