Our favorite weekday hike! With a twist! Come meet us at Tortugas Mountain (aka "A Mountain",) for a moonlight hike before the White Sands moon light hike starts up!
We are planning to have a small pot-luck at 6 and begin hiking at 715. Comment below what you plan to bring to help everyone out.
Distance - Variable, depends on what we decide to do. Please plan between 2 and 6 mi.
Elevation Gain - Variable, but it is some 800 ft to the top of Tortugas Mountain.
Fees - None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
Duration - Variable; we finish when we finish. We aim for finishing by 8 - 30 pm or by sunset, whichever happens earlier.
Pet Friendly - Yes. You must have a way to restrain your dog (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash). Ask the other hikers before unleashing your dog.
Skill Level - Variable, If you're a beginner, please come and let us know, we might pick an easier route!
Terrain - loose, steep mountainside. I personally stay on trails but we may go off-trail if people desire something more challenging.
Weather - Typically doesn't matter, we usually hike rain or shine, unless there is a lightning storm or a particularly bad wind storm. We won't decide to cancel until an hour before the event.
Afterwards - We may head to a restaurant for libations, but we'll discuss this towards the end of the hike.
Meet - At Las Cruces - 5 - 45 pm at Tortugas Mountain's Sunset Parking lot (see directions below). GPS - [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)
More information - Map of area
We will be taking The Road - We follow a trail that goes counterclockwise around the base of the mountain and it meets a gated road on the southwest side just past the rock-slide. It follows the mountain up like a corkscrew. Sometimes we take this on our moonlit hikes or after potlucks.
From Interstate 25
- Take Interstate 25, exit 1 (University Avenue)
- Go east, towards the mountains.
- You'll pass two traffic light intersections, University Ave and Las Alturas/Don Roser, and University Ave and Telshor. The road curve, turning into Drippings Sands, and then Dripping Springs Road. You'll pass the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum on your left. Keep going.
- After about 2 miles, you'll reach the traffic-lighted intersection of Dripping Springs Road and Sonama Ranch Boulevard. At the light, turn right onto the gravel path.
- Stay to the left and follow the gravel path to the Tortugas Mountain Sunset parking lot.
What You Should Bring
Clothing - Weather Appropriate attire. Check the day of the event, plan accordingly. You will also be exercising and sweating so keep that in mind. Wear thick soled shoes with some tread.
Water - Always a good idea in the desert.
Flashlight - We do plan on hiking in the dark. Though the moon will be out, bringing a light is a must. Headlamps are the best, but any flashlight will work in a pinch.
Kid Friendliness - As the parent or guardian you know best what your child is capable of. Use common sense, but if you need further details ask in the comments. In the end you and you alone are responsible for your child.
Medical Concerns - This is at times strenuous exercise, performed outdoors. If you are unsure for any reason please consult your physician before attempting any of our hikes.
Late Arrival - It is very important that if you are going to be late or decide to cancel at the last minute to let us know. We don't want to hold up the group because of stragglers. And please RSVP, it really helps if we have an accurate accountability of the number of hikers.
See you soon!