Let's celebrate our love of the moon and hiking, buy having a shorter hike around part of the base of A Mountain. According to the all-knowing 'net,' moonrise will be at 5:44 (and sunset at 5:07) , so we should have lots of light (barring clouds).
At 5:30 pm we'll start a hike around the mountain, leaving from the EAST parking lot (not the normal Tues night hike place). The reason we will be starting at the east parking lot and hiking the 'backside' of the mountain is to be able to see the moon rise over the Organs. My plan is to hike along the east side of A Mountain, for approximately 30 mins and then turn around and walk back to the cars. This way we will have full view of the moon rising over the Organs. I will NOT be attempting to hike to the top of the mountain.
Tortugas Mountain (aka "A Mountain", because it has a big "A" on it as seen from NMSU/Interstate 25) is an urban mountain with many, many hiking trails to explore.
Directions to the Monte Vista Parking lot, 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. Go straight through this light.
• After passing the mountain there will be a 'road' to the right that leads to the parking area (it can be easy to miss if you are going too fast) and pavilion. (see coordinates above)
DISTANCE: ~1-3 miles.
ELEVATION GAIN:[masked] ft
BRING FOR HIKE: Flashlight (but only for emergency use, we try to hike only using the moonlight), water, etc.
FEES: None. Of course, if you carpool, please compensate your driver for gas!
DURATION: variable; we finish when we finish. I aim for getting done around 6:30 or 7:00.
PET FRIENDLY? Yes. Bring a muzzle (you shouldn't need be told to bring a proper leash), and ask others before you unleash.
SKILL LEVEL: is moderate. Hiking in the dark add a level of difficulty, and the backside of the mountain trails can be rocky.
TERRAIN: is loose, steep mountainside.
AFTERWARDS: We may head to a restaurant for libations/food, but we'll discuss this towards the end of the hike.
• Las Cruces: 5:30 pm at Monte Vista Parking lot (see directions above).
***Caution/Disclaimer: Each individual hiker is responsible for their own personal safety/health and of their guests when participating in Jornada Hiking & Outdoor Club activities. The organizers of Jornada Hiking & Outdoor Club and the Jornada Hiking & Outdoor Club are not liable for any illness, injury, accident, mechanical break-down, or unforeseen acts that may occur while you participate going to, during, or after any activity. If you have a medical condition that may be aggravated by any kind of physical activity you must make your own personal decision about attending and not hold any of the volunteer organizers liable. All organizers are volunteers and are not compensated during any activity.***