Our flagship weekday hike! Come meet us at Tortugas Mountain (aka "A Mountain", because it has a big "A" on it). It's an urban mountain with many, many hiking trails to explore. Every Tuesday evening we go out there, pick a trail, and enjoy a fun hike with fun people, not to mention beautiful views of the city and surrounding area. TEMPORARY ALERTS: There is construction at the I-25/University Ave. interchange. I've shifted the start time to 6 PM to allow an extra 15 min. to get there. Also: remember to practice social distancing. No handshakes, no sharing of water or snacks. Coronavirus is a real threat.
Distance - Variable, depends on what we decide to do. Please plan between 2 and 4 mi.
Elevation Gain - It is some 700 ft to the top of Tortugas Mountain.
Fees - None.
Duration - Variable; we finish when we finish. We aim for finishing by 8:00 pm or by sunset, whichever happens earlier. If you need to end at a specific time, let us know before we start.
Pet Friendly - Yes. You must have a way to restrain your dog.
Terrain - loose, steep mountainside. We usually stay on established trails.
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.
Afterward - We may head to a restaurant for libations, but we'll discuss this towards the end of the hike.
Meet - At Las Cruces - 6 pm at Tortugas Mountain Sunset Parking lot near the traffic-lighted intersection of Dripping Springs Road and Sonoma Ranch Boulevard. At the light, turn right (south). Be aware that there are two named parking lots. By tradition, we ALWAYS meet at the Sunset lot. (see on Google Maps http://maps.google.com/?q=32.29748,-106.70694&z=18)
Time - We will hit the trail by 6:05. If you might be late call or text, or, preferably, leave a message on the Meetup app event page.
Clothing - Weather-appropriate attire. Wear thick-soled shoes with some tread. Most wear a hat. Bring water and maybe a hat.
Kid Friendliness - You know best what your child is capable of, but if you need further details, please ask in the comments.
Medical Concerns - This is strenuous exercise. If you are unsure for any reason, please consult your physician.
Right-of Way - by tradition, folks going downhill get the right-of way, as they have more momentum. Also, if you encounter a trail cyclist, please step aside.
Snakes - there may be rattlesnakes
Late Arrival - If you are going to be late, or decide to cancel, let us know using the Meetup app. And please RSVP, it really helps if we have an accurate count of the number of hikers.
There are 8 main routes to the top, and one main loop around the base. There are several offshoots on the loop, and a few interconnections between some of the upgoing trails.
Base Loop Trail - This is a loop around the base of the mountain. It is 4 miles long, with about 400 feet of accumulated elevation gain.
The Road - this is a paved and gated (locked) road that, named Observatory Road, that intersects Geothermal Road.
"Straight Up" - This is the northernmost of the trails on the west side of the mountain facing the city.
Turtleback - This runs somewhat parallel to the "Straight up" trail and is slightly south.
The "A" Trail - This trail is on the west side and the trailhead is south of the Turtleback trail that goes by the "A" near the top.
The Rock-slide - A somewhat steep path on the South West side of the mountain. The terrain of the trail is mostly loose stones.
Boulder Pass (or The Backside) - This trail is located in the center of the mountain facing the east side.
The Steep Way - This trail is located on the north side of the mountain and is one of the steepest paths we take. You may use your hands to do some light scrambling.
Three Rocks - This is a lesser-used trail that is on the north side of the mountain. There is light scrambling on this route.