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Sierra Vista Trail hiking marathon (27 mi)

It’s time for the annual Sierra Vista Trail hiking marathon! Crosspost w/ the El Paso Hiking Meetup event.

This 27 mi trek takes you from Anthony near the New Mexico–Texas border up to Las Cruces. You’ll walk up against two mountain ranges: first, the northern end of the Franklin Mountains, and then the southern/mid-section of the Organ Mountains.

Fortunately, you’re not doing it completely yourself—we’ll have support people along the trailheads along the route. Plan on carrying a comfortable amount of food and water, and leave the rest with a support person for you to pick up at the next trailhead (see details below so you can plan). In the past we’ve started at 6:30 am, and finished by 4.

If you do not want to do a full 27 mi, consider doing the 12 mi “half” marathon instead (please RSVP for that one and do not RSVP for this one). Coordination is important for this hike so if you think you might be going, please RSVP. If you’re not going, do NOT RSVP; if you change your mind before the event, update your RSVP.

In the past few years, we’d have problems with people getting lost (either the entire group, or individual persons). Needless to say, it is important you pay attention to signs and stay with the group and/or people who know where they are going. If you have a phone or GPS unit please get the GPS track [coming soon].

There are 4 trailheads, creating 3 sections:

▸ NM 404 (Anthony) — Starting at 6 am, the 27 mi full marathon group will start here. The trailhead (now labeled this year!) is on the north side of NM 404 at the top of the pass. If coming from Interstate 10 (exit 162), the turn-off is near where the 3-lane road ends; if coming from El Paso’s east side, it is near where the 3-lane section begins. This section the most difficult & grueling, and involves walking several miles through loose sand. Map: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)

▸ Vado — ~15 mi from the NM 404 trailhead. To get to this trailhead, take Interstate 10 exit 155 (Vado), and drive east towards the mountains. After 2 miles and after passing the power lines, you’ll see a dirt road that will take you to the trailhead. If you’re doing the ½-marathon, you’ll start here. Map: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)

▸ Mossman Arroyo (Mesquite) — ~5 mi from the Vado trailhead. To get to this trailhead, take Interstate 10 exit 151 (Mesquite), and head east for 5 miles. The road starts out paved, then turns into a graded gravel road. One mile before the trailhead after crossing the first set of power lines, the main road takes a sharp left heading north to a quarry; instead of following it, take a Jeep trail (not well-maintained! watch your vehicle!) heading due east. You’ll pass underneath another set of powerlines. There are trailheads to your left and right. Map: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)

▸ Soledad Canyon (Las Cruces) — ~7 mi from the Mossman Arroyo trailhead. To get to this trailhead, take Interstate 25 exit 1 (University Ave) and head east towards the mountains for at least 10 mi. After you pass Tortugas (aka “A” Mountain), you’ll start seeing subdivisions to your left. You want to take a right, heading south, onto Soledad Canyon Road. The road before is Organ Mesa Loop, and the Soledad Canyon Road intersection has a Talavera Community Association sign. Follow Soledad Canyon Road south and then east as it makes a sharp left at the fire station, and continue going up the mountain for ~2.5 mi. Right before the road curves, you’ll see the trailhead’s parking lot to your right. Map: [masked]°N,[masked]°W (see on Google Maps, OpenStreetMap, USGS topo map)

If you’re doing the 27 mi route, we’ll meet at the Soledad Canyon trailhead at 5 am and carpool down to Anthony.

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