Monte Cristo Rey has it's first open house of the year, which happens to be Good Friday.
It's a strenuous 5 mi roundtrip, though along an extremely well-maintained path (thank you Archdiocese of El Paso). Along the route are well-decorated shrines/motifs to each of Jesus' 14 stations of the cross. Religions overtones aside, it's one of the better religious-cultural highlights of the area. Bring your camera. Please bring at least $5 for a donation; the volunteers who maintain the path do a fantastic job.
Why 5:15 am? So we can get there slightly after 6, and hopefully beat as much of the crowd and heat as possible (last year their Good Friday turnout was over 10,000 people).
Getting to the trail head, via Executive Center Boulevard:
- Take I-10's Executive Center Boulevard exit (16)
- Turn south (left from El Paso; right from Las Cruces), go down past the quarry to Paisano Drive
- Right on Paisano Drive, heading north/northwest.
- Take the McNutt Road/Sunland Park/NM Rt. 273 exit. Please don't miss it, you cannot turn around and return here easily. If you miss it, take the Sunland Park directions below.
- Once on McNutt Road, watch out for the signs directing you to Sierra del Cristo Rey. Left onto Cristo Rey Boulevard, a gravel/dirt road taking you up into a quarry.
- Stay to the right. You should pass over two railroad level crossings. At the end of this road is the parking lot, where you should see a gate, trailer, and probably a lot of people.
Or via Sunland Park (thanks Michelle):
- Take I-10's Sunland Park exit (13)
- Turn south (left if coming from El Paso; right from Las Cruces).
- Turn left onto Doniphan
- Turn right onto Racetrack
- Turn left onto McNutt
- On the right hand side of the road, you'll start seeing dirt parking lots. Turn right onto Cristo Rey Boulevard.
We may get breakfast/early lunch afterwards in El Paso.
More information: Mt. Cristo Rey's website; my (unfinished) map of Mt. Cristo Rey.