While out of Daylight Saving Times, it's too dark to hike Tortguas Mountain, Picacho Mountain, or elsewhere during the week. But we should do something anyway!
The Las Cruces Dam, running north to south from Del Rey Boulevard to East Lohman, is frequently used as a walking path in the city that, unlike other walking paths, is sufficiently away from any motor routes.
The route is absolutely level (no elevation gain/loss), so you are encouraged to make the hike more difficult by carrying weights, a backpack, etc. The city live surrounding the dam is a good view, and usually lets you do this hike without a light. Hikers are encouraged to bring a light anyway, just in case.
DISTANCE is 5.3 mi round-trip.
ELEVATION GAIN is absolutely zero.
DURATION: about 2 hours.
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 unbelievably beginner friendly. Please find a way to make it more difficult (weights, etc).
TERRAIN sandy/rocky path.
WEATHER typically doesn't matter; we hike rain or shine. Check the weather report from the NWS for the forecast at that location. (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-106.741609&lat=32.317146)
AFTERWARDS we may go get dinner and/or drinks. The usual location is Farley's on Nacho and Foothills.
• Las Cruces: 6:00 pm, south end of Las Cruces Dam near East Lohman Ave. GPS:[masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/?q=32.317146,-106.741609&z=17), OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.317146&mlon=-106.741609&zoom=17), USGS topo map (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=32.317146,-106.741609&marker0=32.317146,-106.741609&z=17))