*Trail Maintenance Edition*
We'll be spending an evening over on the east side of the Organs, hiking in the shade. This may become a regular Thursday hike, however this first one we are exploring to see how the route looks and if we have enough light to complete in and afternoon. Bring pruning sheers if you have them and be prepared for a little exploration. It will get dark quickly so please bring a headlamp or flashlight as well!
Distance - 3–4 mi, loop.
Elevation Gain - 500 ft.
Fees - $5 per vehicle, paid at the trailhead. If you have a Federal Lands Pass, please bring them; they are accepted here. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
Duration - Finish by 9 pm (hopefully no later).
Pet Friendly - Yes. You must have a way to restrain your dog (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash). Ask the other hikers before unleashing your dog.
Skill Level - This is less beginner friendly than our other weekday hike, but if you're a beginner you can definitely do this and will be glad you did.
Terrain - One part well-maintained trail, and un-maintained cross over trail. Will be walking over prickly desert plants, ducking under overgrowth, etc on that portion.
Weather - Typically doesn't matter, we usually hike rain or shine, unless there is a lightning storm or a particularly bad wind storm. We won't decide to cancel until an hour before the event.
Afterwards - We may head to a restaurant for libations, but we'll discuss this towards the end of the hike if so probably at De La Vega's Pecan Brewery.
Meet - At Las Cruces: 5:45 pm, K-Mart parking lot on North Main/US 70 and Del Rey, near Shell. See map (OpenStreetMap (http://www.openstreetmap.org/?mlat=32.35083&mlon=-106.76538&zoom=17&layers=M) or Google Maps (http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=32.35083,-106.76538&aq=&sll=32.2563,-106.7&sspn=0.015497,0.018582&ie=UTF8&ll=32.351135,-106.768591&spn=0.00774,0.01502&t=h&z=17)). We plan to leave no later than 6 pm—please do not be late!
- El Paso: Please meet us in Las Cruces.
- Indian Hollow trailhead: 6:20 pm.
More information - GPS track for Pine Tree Loop (http://www.gpsies.com/map.do?fileId=zvybslbgpjxomavl) (not the exact route we'll be taking)
We will be hiking near the Aguirre Spring Campground (http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/las_cruces/aguirre_spring_campground.html) on the east side of the Organ mountains. There is a 5$ fee per car for day use so be aware.
For the first ⅓ of this hike, we'll begin at the Indian Hollow trailhead, walking counter clockwise. Indian Hollow starts in the high upper desert and takes you into the pine trees & junipers. At that point, we'll go off the maintained trail down an ancient connector trail connecting Indian Hollow to Pine Tree Loop. We will then finish by taking the Pine tree loop back down to the campground and walk back to the vehicles.
The trail is described in Greg Magee's Day Hikes & Nature Walks in the Las Cruces & El Paso Area book, but you should note that the book was published in 1999 and the trail looks as if it hadn't been used since then. We will be doing some maintenance on this trail to make it easier for future hikes.
K-Mart Parking Lot
-From I-25 take exit 6 toward Del Rey Blvd. Continue onto Bataan Memorial East and K-mart parking lot will be on your right. We will be near the Shell Station.
-From Not the Highway. Just get on Telshore and follow it until your past the Movie theatre and the UFO car wash. K-Mart will be on your left.
Aguirre Spring Campground (http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/las_cruces/aguirre_spring_campground.html)
-Take on US 70 east for about 15 minutes. Go past the organ mountains you will find the entrance on your right marked by a sign.
What You Should Bring
Clothing - Wear thick soled shoes with some tread. The terrain can be rough on the cross over, depending on the time of year sharp and thorny plants can also be a worry, consider wearing long pants. Other than that weather appropriate attire. Check the day of the event, plan accordingly. You will also be exercising and sweating so keep that in mind.
Water - Always a good idea in the desert.
Flashlight - We will be getting back in the dark. Bring some sort of light. Headlamps are the best, but any flashlight will work in a pinch.
Clippers - Garden Sheers maybe gloves if you need them. We want to make this an easier trail to find and walk for future hikes.
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 have to leave the parking lot on time! And please RSVP, it really helps if we have an accurate accountability of the number of hikers.
See you soon!