Celebration of Our Mountains

For more than 20 years, celebrating the natural wonders of the Borderland

For more than 20 years, we’ve been hiking, biking, birding, climbing, photographing, geocaching, studying and celebrating the natural wonders of the Borderland. View our the full calendar of events for the 2013 Celebration of Our Mountains — more than 50 opportunities to experience the unique natural beauty of the Borderlands. Here’s where to find us on Facebook and Twitter, and how to contact us if you have questions.

2013 Events

Here is the full calendar of events for the 2013 Celebration of Our Mountains — more than 50 opportunities to experience the unique natural beauty of the Borderlands! For more information or to reserve your spot, contact the event leader listed. For reminders of upcoming events, like our Facebook page.  

 

SEPTEMBER 2013

Saturday, September 7, 7 p.m.
Critters of the Night Hike

Observe the nightlife of the animals that we share this desert with. Because of high daytime temperatures, most animals that live in the desert are active at night. By meeting them on their terms, we have a good chance of seeing many animals that are rarely observed during the day.

Bring good hiking shoes, a regular flashlight and, if you have one, a UV flashlight. Cameras with flash are a good idea too. Meet at the Ranger Booth at Tom Mays Unit of Franklin Mountains State Park. Map

(Event also will be held October 4)

Contact: Paul Hyder, 915-867-2407

 

Saturday, September 14, 6:30 a.m.
Sod Farms and Pancho Villa State Park Birding Adventure

Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, N.M., is an oasis for migrating birds as are the nearby sod farms. Some birds you could see include the black-throated sparrow, pyrruloxia, crissal thrasher, greater roadrunner, common nighthawks and whip-poor-will.

Meet behind the Sam’s Carwash in Sam’s Club parking lot at 7970 N. Mesa. (Map) Bring lunch, drinks, snacks and sun block. There is a nominal fee at Pancho Villa State Park. Audubon nonmembers and beginners are welcome.

Contact: Mark Perkins at 915-637-3521.

 

CANCELLED: Saturday, September 14, 6:30 a.m.
Peak Fitness Challenge: Ron Coleman Trail Hike

CANCELLED: Unfortunately, due to road closures and inclement weather, we are canceling the Ron Coleman hike for Sept. 14. Please forgive the inconvenience and we look forward to having you out on the trails soon!

Length: 4 miles / 4-5 hours

Difficulty Level: Strenuous. From the trailhead, we will venture into the canyon on a well-maintained section of trail; once we reach the incline, the trail becomes increasingly steep, with the trail becoming more rugged in sections. Your hard work pays off with spectacular views, “fun” challenges such as climbing four sections of chains to get to “The Window” and over steep 10-15 rock walls, and of course the right to say you conquered the Ron Coleman Trail!

Bring: Water, snacks, sturdy hiking shoes/boots, hiking stick, camera, binoculars and a map!

Directions to meeting spot: From the Westside: Exit #6 from I-10, travel east about 6.75 miles to destination at large gravel lot on right side (past 1st picnic sites). From the Eastside: Exit #29 (Transmountain Rd.) from Hwy. 54, travel west about 4 miles; large gravel lot on left. Plan to carpool over to McKelligon Canyon to begin hike.

(Event also will be held November 23)

Contact: Adrianna Weickhardt, Adrianna.weickhardt@tpwd.texas.gov.

 

Saturday, September 14, 7 a.m.
B-36 Crash Site Hike

More info including where to meet and contact: http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131038152/

 

Saturday, September 14, 8 a.m.
Tin Mines Hike

This 6.5-mile round trip hike takes you to the site of the only tin mine ever active in North America. The El Paso Tin Mining and Smelting Company operated in the northeast Franklins from 1909 until 1915 when it was shut down for lack of productive ore. It’s an easy hike with little elevation gain. Learn more about the geology and desert flora and fauna of the area.

Remember to bring a good flashlight. The mines are quite dark as you walk into solid rock. Meet in parking lot of Chuck Heinrich Park. Map

(Event also will be held November 10)

Contact: Eric Hagedorn, eric.hagedorn@gmail.com

 

Saturday, September 14, 9:30 a.m.
Geology of Transmountain Road

There are several roadside stops and very little hiking as you visit several famous road cuts on El Paso's own Transmountain Road. These are the oldest rocks in El Paso, and have also been found in Antarctica! Yes Antarctica used to be our neighbor! See giant crystals, ancient beaches (over a billion years old!), and also learn about how geologists determine the relative ages of rocks. We will begin at "Confusion Hill" (which Eric makes simple), and continue to the Castner Marble, and finish with the Thunderbird Rhyolite.

Meet at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, 4301 Transmountain Road, Map

Contact: Eric Kappus, 915-472-6163

 

Saturday, September 21, 9 a.m.–3 p.m.
9th Annual Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta at Tom Mays

Join the celebration of the natural wonders of our desert and Franklin Mountains State Park. Sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Franklin Mountains State Park at the Tom Mays Unit, park staff, members of the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition, and other environmental education groups will be on hand to offer free demonstrations, guided tours, guest speakers and informational booths designed to introduce the curious to the wonders of our fascinating desert.

Contact: Dr. Cesar Mendez, Cesar.Mendez@tpwd.state.tx.us

 

Saturday, September 21, 8 a.m.
Northern Pass Loop Hike

A 5-mile/4-hour hike at the north end of the Franklin Mountains off N.M. 404/Ohara Rd.; easy to moderate.

For more information, please visit http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131430372/

Contact: Carol Brown, cashbrown05@aol.com

 

Saturday, September 21, 9:30 a.m.
Kilbourne Hole

Visit the youngest volcano in the region and see gem-quality peridot and other cool rocks and minerals! Kilbourne Hole is a world-famous volcano that exploded when magma came into contact with groundwater. Visitors will be able to find all sorts of amazing rocks that were torn up from the Earth's mantle and crust. If you have a high-clearance vehicle, you will need it. This trip is always popular, especially when your guide gets stuck in the mud.

Meet at the UTEP Geological Sciences Building, Map

Contact: Eric Kappus, 915-472-6163

 

Sunday, September 22, 8 a.m.
Hitt Canyon Loop

A 6-mile/4-hour hike at the north end of the Franklin Mountains off N.M. 404/Ohara Rd.; easy to moderate.

For more information, please visit http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131431592/

Contact: Carol Brown, cashbrown05@aol.com

 

Wednesday, September 25, 7 p.m.
"Adventures in Far West Texas" Presentation

A presentation with lots of suggestions for adventures from Big Bend to the Davis Mountains to the Guadalupe Mountains, plus a question-and-answer session. Free. Presented by the Texas Mountain Trail.

With Beth Nobles, Executive Director, Texas Mountain Trail, texasmounaintrail@gmail.com

At Reliance Outdoor Supply, 1060 Doniphan Park Cir. (behind Vista Market at Sunland Park Dr. and Doniphan Dr.) Map

Contact: Beth Nobles, texasmountaintrail@gmail.com

 

Thursday, September 26, 6 p.m.
Opening of 13th Annual Artistic Celebration of Our Mountains

Work by local artists, inspired by and focusing on our region’s mountains, will be on exhibit and for sale.

At Sunset Hall at Ardovino’s Desert Crossing, Map

Contact: Ardovino's Desert Crossing, http://www.ardovinos.com/contact.html

 

Saturday, September 28, 6:30 a.m.
Cloudcroft in the High Pines Birding Trip

Take a birding trip high in the cool mountains and see mountain birds. Visit Karr Canyon, the town of Cloudcroft, the Lodge at Cloudcroft, Bluff Springs and the Rio Penasco Valley.

Bring lunch, drinks, and snacks. Audubon nonmembers and beginners are welcome.

Meet at the Lowe’s Parking Lot at 4531 Transmountain Rd., behind Taco Bell in Northeast El Paso at 6:30 a.m. (Map)

Contact: Mark Perkins, 915-637-3521

 

Saturday, September 28, 7 a.m.
Rock Hound Trip to Leprechaun Hill/Baker Ranch

At Hermanas, N.M., 21 miles west of Columbus. Collect leprechaun jasper, geodes, thunder eggs and agate.

A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Bring water, sunscreen, collecting bucket and trowel, and a mid-day lunch. This area is pet- and kid-friendly.

Meet at Rudy’s, 6401 S. Desert Blvd., (Artcraft and I-10). Map

Contact: Jim Contreras, jcontreras35@elp.rr.com

 

Saturday, September 28, 8 a.m.
Desert Plants of Peña Blanca

NEW! A "Back by Noon Outing" presented by the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces.

NMSU herbarium curator Dr. Patrick Alexander will lead us on an exploration of native New Mexican plants at Peña Blanca! Come learn about the myriad of adaptations that plants have to deal with the harsh desert climate while on one of Las Cruces’ favorite trails. RATING: Easy to moderate.

Advanced reservations are required and space is limited, so sign up early. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes, water and a hat. All trips are open to the public. Most are free for SWEC members. A $5 donation is requested of non-members.

Contact: Southwest Environmental Center, (575) 522-5552, wildmesquite.org

 

Saturday, September 28, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
Keystone Heritage Park Events

UPDATED At 4200 Doniphan Dr. in El Paso's Upper Valley, Map

  • 8 a.m.-3 p.m. - Keystone's Desert Botanical Garden Open House: Visit the Garden, spot and identify the many birds on Keystone’s Wetland from the corner viewing stand, take a tour through the garden and enjoy the beautiful fall weather.
  • 10 a.m. - Dedication of the Kevin von Finger Wetlands: Kevin Von Finger was a key figure in environmental issues and the inspiration behind the restoration of Keystone’s wetland. Help us honor Kevin by attending the renaming of the Keystone Wetland to the Kevin Von Finger Wetlands.
  • 10:15 a.m. - Wetlands Guided Walk with Mike Gaglio
  • 11:00 a.m. - Wetlands Talk with Bernie Sargent
  • 11:45 a.m. - Wetlands Guided Walk with Josh Villalobos

Contact: Joanne Burt, jburt@advertisingink.com

 

Saturday, September 28, 7 a.m.
Red Rock Canyon B-24 Crash Site Hike

More info including where to meet and contact: http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131040362/

 

OCTOBER 2013

Thursday, October 3, 4 p.m.
Free Outdoor Workshop at Fort Bliss

At the Soldier Activity Center (off Constitution Ave.) in East Fort Bliss, Map

Learn the basics of hiking safety, hiking fitness, and desert plants and animals.

With Beth Nobles, Texas Mountain Trail; Jenny Turner, Mountain Trails Lodge; and Adrianna Weickhardt, Franklin Mountains State Park

Contacts: Beth Nobles, texasmountaintrail@gmail.com; Adrianna Weickhardt, Adrianna.weickhardt@tpwd.texas.gov.

 

Thursday, October 3, 6 p.m.
“El Paso’s Hueco Tanks” Documentary and Discussion

Jackson Polk, documentary filmmaker, calls Hueco Tanks “El Paso’s oldest and largest art gallery.” From archaic times, Hueco Tanks has been an oasis in the desert. Its volcanic rock masses hold the occasional rain water that is trapped for months at a time in underground hollow, or huecos. Plants, animals, and people have been attracted there for millennia — from Native Americans who hold the place sacred to stagecoach riders to today’s rock climbers.

At El Paso Museum of History, 510 N. Santa Fe Street, Map

Contact: El Paso Museum of History, http://www.elpasotexas.gov/history/

 

Friday–Saturday, October 4–5, 9:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. each day
The 18th Biennial Jornada Mogollon Archaeology Conference

Archaeologists working in the Jornada Branch of the Mogollon Culture Area in the American Southwest present papers on their recent research during this conference. Geographically, the Jornada Mogollon extends from Carrizozo, New Mexico on the north to just south of Villa Ahumada, Chihuahua, México, in the south, and from east of Deming, N.M., in the west to the Pecos River in the east. The conference is hosted by the El Paso Museum of Archaeology.

Cost: Pre-registration (paid before September 14th) is $30. Registration at the door (one or both days) is $40. Student registration (with valid ID) is $25.

At El Paso Museum of Archaeology, 4301 Woodrow Bean/Transmountain Road, Map

Contact: Marilyn Guida, guidamr@elpasotexas.gov, 915-755-4332

 

Friday, October 4, 6:30 p.m.
Critters of the Night Hike

These night-time hikes are designed to allow people to observe the nightlife of the animals that we share this desert with. Because of high daytime temperatures, most animals that live in the desert are active at night. By meeting them on their terms, we have a good chance of seeing many animals that are rarely observed during the day.

Bring good hiking shoes, a regular flashlight and, if you have one, a UV flashlight. Cameras with flash are a good idea too.

Meet at the Ranger Booth at Tom Mays Unit of Franklin Mountains State Park. Map

(Event also will be held September 7)

Contact: Paul Hyder, 915-867-2407

 

Saturday, October 5, 8 a.m.
Mount Cristo Rey: Hike through Time

Hike and enjoy presentations on Mount Cristo Rey and local history at Mount Cristo Rey in Sunland Park, N.M. Length: 5 miles round trip (2-3 hours), easy to moderate hike. Cost: $3 ($2 for children) donation requested for the Mt. Cristo Restoration Committee. No reservation is required. Security is provided.

Meet at the large parking lot at the trailhead to Mt. Cristo Rey off McNutt Road (N.M. 273). Take the Racetrack Rd. exit off Paisano and cross the Rio Grande.

Contact for more information: Randy Limbird, 915-542-1422. No reservation is required.

 

Saturday, October 5, 8 a.m.
Alamo Mountain Petroglyph Field Trip

UPDATED: Gradual hike up Alamo Mountain to see the petroglyphs.

Meet at the Montana Ave. Walmart in parking lot behind the Taco Bell, east of Loop 375, Map

Contact: Valerie Provencio, vprovencio@epwu.org, 915-491-5765

 

Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m.
The Mines of Orogrande

Mined in the early 1900s, and at one time housing several thousand people and the railroad, Orogrande is currently being exploited again for garnets, hematite, copper minerals, gold and silver. Visit before it’s too late to get access! There are gold panners, old mines and a cactus found nowhere else in the world. Don't miss this chance to see Orogrande before it is a giant hole in the earth. Also the soil is very good for growing cacti.

Bring a bucket and a high-clearance vehicle.

Meet at UTEP Geological Sciences Building, Map

Contact: Eric Kappus, 915-472-6163

 

Saturday, October 5, 9 a.m.
Medicinal Plants of Dripping Springs

NEW! A "Back by Noon Outing" presented by the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces.

Juniper berries and Mormon tea as herbal medicine? Come find out this and more as we head up to Dripping Springs with herbalist Deborah Brandt to explore the historical uses of common Organ Mountain plants. RATING: Easy to Moderate. $5 BLM fee/vehicle.

Advanced reservations are required and space is limited, so sign up early. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes, water and a hat. All trips are open to the public. Most are free for SWEC members. A $5 donation is requested of non-members.

Contact: Southwest Environmental Center, (575) 522-5552, wildmesquite.org

 

Sunday, October 6, 8:30–10:30 a.m.
Nature Hike in Wakeem/Teschner Nature Preserve

Guided nature hike looking at the interaction of plants, animals, geology and water in this arroyo preserve.

Meet at the preserve entrance at the corner of Cadiz Street and Fiesta Drive, in west El Paso, Map

Contact: Scott Cutler, 915-490-3727

 

Monday, October 7, 11 a.m.
Tours of 'Pass of the North' and 'Southwest' Murals

NEW! A part of Tom Lea Month presented by the Tom Lea Institute.

El Paso artist Tom Lea’s 1938 Pass of the North mural has inspired generations in its depiction of the giants of El Paso history and is often recognized as “the finest mural of the period.” Tom consulted more than 30 volumes and found appropriate models to pose for him outside in authentic costumes. After Adair Margo discusses the history of the 11 x 54 foot painting, she’ll walk participants to see his 1956 Southwest mural, a beautiful representation of the area's mountain landscape, in the Main Library. With his wife, Sarah, as an apprentice, Tom painted a “luminous window” as a gift to his town.

Meet at the Historic El Paso Federal Courthouse at the corner of San Antonio and Campbell in Downtown El Paso. Map

(Event also held on October 21)

For more information, visit the event page at the Tom Lea Institute: tomlea.net/Month2013/Murals_Downtown.html

 

Thursday, October 10, 6 p.m.
“El Paso’s Mount Cristo Rey” Documentary and Discussion

Jackson Polk, documentary filmmaker, presents his documentary which explains the mountain's human and geological history, which now dates to 100 million years ago with the discovery of hundreds of dinosaur tracks at the base of Mt. Cristo Rey.

At El Paso Museum of History, 510 N. Santa Fe Street, Map

Contact: El Paso Museum of History, http://www.elpasotexas.gov/history/

 

Saturday, October 12, 7 a.m.
Comanche Peak B-24 Crash Site Hike

More info including where to meet and contact: http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131042712

 

Saturday, October 12, 7 a.m.
A Look Behind the Las Cruces Dam

NEW! A "Back by Noon Outing" presented by the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces.

Join birder and environmental historian Nancy Stotz for a combination bird walk and tour of the ongoing wetland restoration project behind the Las Cruces Dam. We should see decent numbers of fall migrants moving through, including warblers and several types of sparrows, feeding in the dense grasses and forbs that have grown up following this year’s monsoon rains, and there may be some shorebirds and waterfowl using the seasonal ponds that have formed behind the south end of the dam. RATING: Moderate--a few miles walking off trail through mud and loose sand. Be prepared for mud if it has rained recently!

Advanced reservations are required and space is limited, so sign up early. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes, water and a hat. All trips are open to the public. Most are free for SWEC members. A $5 donation is requested of non-members.

Contact: Southwest Environmental Center, (575) 522-5552, wildmesquite.org

 

Saturday, October 12, 8 a.m.
Northeast Hike

Chuck Heinrich Park to Jobe Quarry via the Tin Mines; 10 miles/5-6 hours; moderate to difficult.

Meet at Chuck Heinrich Park parking lot. Map

For more information, please visit http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131431952/

Contact: Carol Brown, cashbrown05@aol.com

 

Saturday, October 12, 8–10 a.m.
The Birds of Rio Bosque Wetlands Park

This tour will introduce participants to resident and migratory birds found in the river valley in mid-autumn. We’ll discuss the avifauna of Rio Bosque, where some 237 bird species have been recorded to date, and how restoration of native ecosystems at the park has influenced bird populations. We’ll walk approximately 2 miles over level terrain.

Contact: John Sproul, jsproul@utep.edu, 915-747-8663

 

CANCELLED: Sunday, October 13, 9 a.m.
Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

NOTE: Due to the federal government shutdown, this event has been cancelled. Check our Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates and rescheduling information.

Visit the most scientifically significant Early Permian track sites in the world located in the Robledo Mountains near Las Cruces. The trackways contain footprints of numerous amphibians, reptiles and insects (including previously unknown species), plants, and petrified wood dating back 280 million years, which collectively provide new opportunities to understand animal behaviors and environments from a time predating dinosaurs.

Directions to trailhead: Go north on Interstate 25. Take Doña Ana exit 9. Head west on N.M. 320 for 2 miles until you reach N.M. 185. Turn right on N.M. 185 and head north for ½ mile to Shalem Colony Road. Turn left onto Shalem Colony Road and head west to Rocky Acres Road. Turn right onto Rocky Acres Road. After ¼ mile, turn left onto Permian Trackways Road and continue to parking lot. Map

Contact: McKinney Briske, mbriske@blm.gov

 

Saturday, October 19, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Walk through History at Concordia Cemetery

Walk through Concordia Cemetery and learn about El Paso’s exciting history by visiting with early leading citizens, pioneers, ranchers, Buffalo Soldiers, an ex-Mexican president, priests and clergy, gunfighters, Shady Ladies, and many others. Volunteers dressed in period costume will share with you historical vignettes of Concordia Cemetery’s eternal residents.

Concordia Cemetery, 3700 E. Yandell Street (Map)

$5.00 Adults, $2.50 Seniors and Military, Students 12 and over $1.00

Contact: www.concordiacemetery.org or 915-581-7920 or 915-591-2326

 

Saturday, October 19, 7 a.m.
Percha, Caballo and Elephant Butte State Parks Birding Adventure

Percha is one of the top birding spots of New Mexico. See gulls, grebes and other water birds on the lakes north along I-25.

Bring lunch, drinks, and snacks. Audubon nonmembers and beginners are welcome.

Meet at the southwest corner of the Outlet Shoppes at El Paso (Transmountain Rd. and Talbot Ave.; Talbot Ave. entrance to the mall – Map) at 7:00 a.m.

Contact: Mark Perkins, 915-637-3521.

 

Saturday, October 19, 9:30 a.m.
Dinosaur Tracks, Nature Trails and Fossils of Mt. Cristo Rey

Did you know there are over three miles of nature trails at the dinosaur tracks site? Did you know there are dinosaur tracks all around El Paso/Juarez? Visit the dinosaur tracks that your guide discovered at Mt. Cristo Rey, and also see an entire hill of fossils! This is a moderate hike around the base of Mt. Cristo Rey. Your guide has brought over 400 groups to this site, so don't be worried for your safety. We will see hundreds of dinosaur tracks and many other fossils, and will learn about the modern environment and history of Mt. Cristo Rey! The hike is easy and fun.

Meet at Cristo Rey Rd., Sunland Park, N.M., Map

Contact: Eric Kappus, 915-472-6163

 

Saturday & Sunday, October 19–20
Hueco Tanks 19th Annual Interpretive Fair Weekend

8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, October 19; and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, October 20 at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, 6900 Hueco Tanks Rd. #1, El Paso, Texas 79938. Map

The fair is a free, family-oriented event focused on natural education and cultural understanding. Attractions during the two-day event will include local dancers; Native American dancing and drumming; pictograph, birding and nature tours; and booths.

Tours begin at 8 a.m. both days of the fair. They’ll range from mildly to moderately strenuous, and will be suitable for all age groups. There will be birding tours, rare plant tours, hiking tours, and tours to the Native American pictographs. After 10 a.m. both days, visitors can browse informational booths on the environment, local history, desert wildlife, and area parks. Performances and presentations begin after 11 a.m. both days of the fair. Families will enjoy local dancers, Native American dancing and drumming, and more. An evening program will start after 6 p.m. Saturday, October 19.

Admission to the Interpretive Fair is free.

For resource protection and safety, a short briefing will be provided for visitors without a current orientation card. Due to the sensitive nature of the site, pets are not allowed on trails; for their safety pets may not be left in vehicles unattended.

Event website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/interpretive-fair-weekend

Contacts: Jane McFarland, Jane.McFarland@tpwd.texas.gov; Wanda Olszewski, Wanda.Olszewski@tpwd.texas.gov or call 915-849-6684 for more information.

 

Sunday, October 20, 2013, 4–6 p.m.
Introduction to Rio Bosque Wetlands Park

This tour will introduce participants to historic environmental conditions in the Rio Grande valley, to the work to restore native ecosystems at Rio Bosque Wetlands Park, to the plant and animal communities of the park, and to the challenges associated with getting water to the park. We’ll walk approximately 2 miles over level terrain.

Contact: John Sproul, jsproul@utep.edu, 915-747-8663

 

Sunday, October 20, 6:30 a.m.
North Franklin Peak

Take this 8-mile/6-hour strenuous/difficult hike. Begin with a gradual incline over scree, or rubble, which can be challenging for some; then transition to a steady climb over loose rubble/rocks. Continue to meander across the ridgeline to the highest peak in the park, North Franklin Peak!

Bring your camera! The views are unbelievable, with a 360-degree perspective of our region provided with views of Mexico, the city of El Paso and into New Mexico. Be sure to bring water, snacks, sturdy hiking shoes/boots, hiking stick, camera, binoculars and a map. Dogs are welcome on leashes!

Directions to meeting spot: Our entrance sign is no longer up, so our entrance is a little more difficult to find; from the Eastside on Hwy. 54, exit Transmountain Rd, travel west 7 miles over/through the mountains, park entrance will be on the right (just past the runaway truck ramp and the orange cones). From the Westside on I-10, take exit 6 & travel east towards the mountains for 3.8 miles, the park entrance will be on the left, but you’ll actually pass it, make a U-turn, then enter on the right. Meet in the West Cottonwood Springs parking lot. Map

Contact: Adrianna Weickhardt, Adrianna.Weickhardt@tpwd.state.tx.us

 

Monday, October 21, 11 a.m.
Tours of 'Pass of the North' and 'Southwest' Murals

NEW! A part of Tom Lea Month presented by the Tom Lea Institute.

El Paso artist Tom Lea’s 1938 Pass of the North mural has inspired generations in its depiction of the giants of El Paso history and is often recognized as “the finest mural of the period.” Tom consulted more than 30 volumes and found appropriate models to pose for him outside in authentic costumes. After Adair Margo discusses the history of the 11 x 54 foot painting, she’ll walk participants to see his 1956 Southwest mural, a beautiful representation of the area's mountain landscape, in the Main Library. With his wife, Sarah, as an apprentice, Tom painted a “luminous window” as a gift to his town.

Meet at the Historic El Paso Federal Courthouse at the corner of San Antonio and Campbell in Downtown El Paso. Map

(Event also held on October 7)

For more information, visit the event page at the Tom Lea Institute: tomlea.net/Month2013/Murals_Downtown.html

 

Saturday, October 26, 8 a.m.
Northeast Hike

Jobe Quarry to N.M. 404 – 8–9 miles/5–6 hours; moderate to difficult

Meet at entrance to Jobe’s Northeast Quarry at Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Stan Roberts Sr. Ave., Map

For more information, please visit http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131432352/

Contact: Carol Brown, cashbrown05@aol.com

 

Saturday, October 26, 8 a.m.
Arthropods of the Desert Along the Sierra Vista Trail

NEW! A "Back by Noon Outing" presented by the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces.

Ever seen an Apache violin spider? How about a creosote walking stick? Join former NMSU professor David “Bugman” Richman on a foray along Sierra Vista Trail to learn about the fascinating world of scorpions, centipedes, spiders, and lesser known creepy crawlies of the Chihuahuan Desert. RATING: Easy.

Advanced reservations are required and space is limited, so sign up early. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes, water and a hat. All trips are open to the public. Most are free for SWEC members. A $5 donation is requested of non-members.

Contact: Southwest Environmental Center, (575) 522-5552, wildmesquite.org

 

Saturday, October 26, 9 a.m.
Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

RESCHEDULED: Due to the federal government shutdown, this event has been rescheduled from Oct. 12.

Visit the most scientifically significant Early Permian track sites in the world located in the Robledo Mountains near Las Cruces. The trackways contain footprints of numerous amphibians, reptiles and insects (including previously unknown species), plants, and petrified wood dating back 280 million years, which collectively provide new opportunities to understand animal behaviors and environments from a time predating dinosaurs.

Directions to trailhead: Go north on Interstate 25. Take Doña Ana exit 9. Head west on N.M. 320 for 2 miles until you reach N.M. 185. Turn right on N.M. 185 and head north for ½ mile to Shalem Colony Road. Turn left onto Shalem Colony Road and head west to Rocky Acres Road. Turn right onto Rocky Acres Road. After ¼ mile, turn left onto Permian Trackways Road and continue to parking lot. Map

Contact: McKinney Briske, mbriske@blm.gov

 

Saturday, October 26, 2 p.m.
A Luminous Window: Experiencing the Landscapes of Tom Lea

NEW! A part of Tom Lea Month presented by the Tom Lea Institute.

Renowned tracker and geologist Eric Kappus admires El Paso author and artist Tom Lea’s understanding of the forms of nature and his arrangement of them with paint on canvas to evoke a window on the southwestern landscape we know. In a leisurely walk, Eric points out trails and vistas Tom understood and loved enough to want to share them with others.

At the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, 4301 Transmountain Road

For more information, visit the Tom Lea Institute's webpage

Contact: El Paso Museum of Archaeology, (915) 755-4332, elpasotexas.gov/arch_museum

 

Sunday, October 27, 8–10 a.m.
Introduction to the Birds of Crossroads Ponds

For anyone interested in birds, especially those wanting to learn to identify them, this will be geared to beginners.

Meet at the parking area on the east side of the Crossroad Pond on Love Rd. between Lombardy Ave. & Shorty Ln. Map

Contact: Scott Cutler, 915-490-3727

 

NOVEMBER 2013

Friday, November 1, 10 a.m.
Texas’ New Arbor Day: Celebrate by Planting a Tree

Keystone Heritage Park, 4200 Doniphan Rd. in El Paso's Upper Valley, Map

  • Watch and learn while a large tree is planted, courtesy of Tree Amigos and High Desert Environmental, while Oscar Mestas of the Texas A&M Forest Service answers questions and talks about the rights and wrongs of getting a tree into the ground. Learn how to plant your Forever Tree!
  • Participate by planting a seedling tree in Keystone's restored wetland with a donation of $1. For every participant, High Desert will donate an additional seedling to Keystone. You can help develop a sustainable wildlife preserve!
  • Enjoy Keystone Heritage Park during the desert's beautiful fall weather. Visit the Botanical Garden, look for birds in the wetland, walk the newly designated trails.

Contact: Joanne Burt, jburt@advertisingink.com

 

Friday, November 1, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
"Conservation Challenges in El Paso" Presentation

How you and your family can get involved in being a part of the solution

Environmental concerns in El Paso include clean air and water, recycling, energy conservation, the protection of habitat for wildlife in the Franklin Mountains State Park and surrounding areas, and the availability of natural areas where kids growing up can readily connect with nature. Many of our environmental concerns are actively addressed by local government agencies and non-profit organizations, but not always at the level of effectiveness that many people would like to see. What can ordinary citizens do to make sure that all the community’s environmental concerns and issues are adequately addressed? During this 90-minute program, El Paso conservation educator and community organizer, Rick LoBello, will share his vision on how we can improve our community’s environmental outlook.

At the Westside Regional Command Center Community Room, 4801 Osborne Drive, Map

RSVP and Contact: Rick LoBello RickLoBello@gmail.com

 

CANCELLED: Saturday, November 2, 7:30 a.m.
Devil’s Hall

CANCELLED: Due to damage caused by the heavy rains in September, the Devil's Hall Trail is currently closed. As an alternative, we suggest the other events at Guadalupe Mountains National Park below.

See spectacular fall colors as you hike the streambed of Pine Springs Canyon. This rocky trail has very little elevation gain, and leads you through maples, ponderosa pine, and many plant varieties of the Chihuahuan desert. The 4.2-mile round trip trail is rated moderate and includes a natural staircase leading to an eerie narrow rock corridor — Devil's Hall! Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it surrounded by the magnificent scenery and brilliant fall foliage of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Learn about the El Paso Salt Wars and the flora and fauna of the area. (Note: There are no reliable services between El Paso and Guadalupe Mountains National Park, so please make sure your vehicle is in good working order.) There is a park entry fee of $5 per person.

Meet in Lowe’s parking lot near the Peter Piper Pizza, 12100 Montana Ave. east of Loop 375. Map.

Contact: Mike Lewis, ndmike@gmail.com

 

Saturday & Sunday, November 2–3
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Events

Members of three chapters of Texas Master Naturalists will lead guided hikes and provide roving interpretation during the fall colors weekends at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Thanks to the Tierra Grande Chapter, Trans Pecos Chapter and Llano Estacado Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists; the Texas Mountain Trail; and Guadalupe Mountains National Park for organizing this effort.

(Event also will be held November 9–10)

Contact: Beth Nobles, texasmountaintrail@gmail.com

 

Saturday, November 2, 4–8 p.m.
Dia De Los Muertos at Concordia Cemetery

Celebrate Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Concordia Cemetery, 3700 E. Yandell Street (Map)

$5 Adults (17+), $2 Military (including dependents), $2 Kids and Seniors (60+)

Contact: www.concordiacemetery.org or 915-581-7920 or 915-591-2326

 

Friday-Monday, November 8–11
Fort Davis Birds and Stars!

Visit the beautiful Davis Mountains State Park, Balmorhea State Park, Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute and Davis Mountain Nature Conservatory. Most of these are fee areas. See the red-naped sapsucker, Montezuma quail, rufous-crowned sparrow, lark buntings, sage sparrows and osprey. If conditions are good for night viewing, you will go to the McDonald Observatory atop Mt. Locke for a Star Party. Several large telescopes will be available for viewing, and it will be quite entertaining. Reservations for the Star Party are required, and there is a fee of $10 for seniors and $12 for non-seniors. Space is limited, so make your reservation by October 20 with Mark Perkins.

For caravan, carpool and more information, contact: Mark Perkins, 915-637-3521.

 

Friday, November 8, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
"The Howl of the Mexican Wolf" Presentation

Bringing back nature's grand opera back to Texas - the howl of the Mexican wolf: An impossible dream?

During the early 1990s, there was a movement in Texas led by the Mexican Wolf Coalition of Texas to bring back the Mexican wolf to portions of its former range in the Southwest and Mexico, including the Big Bend National Park area of Texas. What happened to the movement? Critically endangered Mexican wolves are on a slow road to recovery in Arizona and New Mexico. Will they ever return to Texas? Could wolves survive in the Franklin and Organ Mountains of El Paso and Las Cruces? During this 90-minute program, Rick LoBello, El Paso conservation educator and community organizer, will review the history of the Mexican wolf in Texas, what the Mexican Wolf Coalition of Texas accomplished during the 1990s and how a new grassroots effort to return the wolf to the wilds of Texas could return to the public’s radar screen in Texas.

At the Westside Regional Command Center Community Room, 4801 Osborne Drive, Map

RSVP and Contact: Rick LoBello, RickLoBello@gmail.com

 

Saturday, November 9, 7:45 a.m.
Radium Springs Slot Canyon Adventure

NEW! A "Back by Noon Outing" presented by the Southwest Environmental Center in Las Cruces.

Not for the claustrophobic! Conservation advocate David Soules will lead us in exploring a seldom-visited slot canyon north of Radium Springs. We’ll park near the highway, hike a circular route, entering the slot canyon from the top, and emerging from the deepest part of the slot back near the highway. RATING: Moderate – approximately 1.5 miles (round trip) of desert walking off-trail.

Advanced reservations are required and space is limited, so sign up early. Be sure to bring sturdy shoes, water and a hat. All trips are open to the public. Most are free for SWEC members. A $5 donation is requested of non-members.

Contact: Southwest Environmental Center, (575) 522-5552, wildmesquite.org

 

Saturday, November 9, 8 a.m.
Mars and Achenbach Canyons in the Organ Mountains

6 miles/5–6 hours; moderate to difficult.

For more information, please visit http://www.meetup.com/El-Paso-Hiking/events/131432802/

Contact: Carol Brown, cashbrown05@aol.com

 

Saturday & Sunday, November 9–10
Guadalupe Mountains National Park Events

Members of three chapters of Texas Master Naturalists will lead guided hikes and provide roving interpretation during the fall colors weekends at Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Thanks to the Tierra Grande Chapter, Trans Pecos Chapter and Llano Estacado Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists; the Texas Mountain Trail; and Guadalupe Mountains National Park for organizing this effort.

(Event also will be held November 2–3)

Contact: Beth Nobles, texasmountaintrail@gmail.com

 

Sunday, November 10, 8 a.m.
Tin Mines Hike

This 6.5-mile round trip hike takes you to the site of the only tin mine ever active in North America. The El Paso Tin Mining and Smelting Company operated in the northeast Franklins from 1909 until 1915, when it was shut down for lack of productive ore. It’s an easy hike with little elevation gain. Learn more about the geology and desert flora and fauna of the area.

Remember to bring a good flashlight. The mines are quite dark as you walk into solid rock.

Meet in parking lot of Chuck Heinrich Park. Map

(Event also will be held September 14)

Contact: Eric Hagedorn, eric.hagedorn@gmail.com

 

Friday, November 15, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
"Big Bend-Rio Bravo International Park" Presentation

Join others in the United States and Mexico in helping to create one of the largest and most significant protected wilderness areas in North America — the long proposed Big Bend-Rio Bravo International Park. Rick LoBello will review the history of the international park and suggest many different ways people can get involved in a new grass roots effort to establish the park in the Big Bend region of Texas and northern Mexico.

At the Westside Regional Command Center Community Room, 4801 Osborne Drive, Map

RSVP and Contact: Rick LoBello RickLoBello@gmail.com

 

Saturday, November 16, 7 a.m.
Rock Hound Trip to Hatch, N.M.

Collect rhyolite, agate, jasper, psilomelene, petrified wood and barite.

A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. Bring water, sunscreen, collecting bucket and trowel. We will go into Hatch for lunch at Sparkey's for their delicious green chile cheeseburgers. This area is kid- and pet-friendly.

Meet at Rudy’s, 6401 S. Desert Blvd., (Artcraft and I-10). Map

Contact: Jim Contreras, jcontreras35@elp.rr.com

 

Saturday, November 16, 2013, 7 a.m.–3 p.m.
Tonuco Mountain with CARTA

Visit petroglyphs site at the mountain's base and learn about their age and meaning from rock art authority Margaret Berrier of the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro Trail Association (CARTA). Then hike to the plateau of Tonuco Mountain.

Pack sufficient drinking water and snack food, wear a wide-brim hat and sturdy hiking boots, and pack a light jacket and wear breathable clothing. Photography is certainly welcome, so bring along your camera. Pack a light lunch if you're so inclined. In order to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all attendees, the hike will be limited to 20 participants. Margaret Berrier, Ben Brown, and Troy Ainsworth will lead the hike.

Meet at Milagro Coffee y Espresso, 1733 E. University Ave., Las Cruces, N.M. (Map) between 7:00–7:30 a.m. We will caravan north at 7:30 to the trail head of Tonuco Mountain for the hike.

Contact: Troy Ainsworth, executivedirectorcarta@gmail.com. Check out CARTA's website (www.caminorealcarta.org) for more information about the trail association.

 

CANCELLED: Sunday, November 17, 8 a.m.
Bishop’s Cap

CANCELLED: Due to damage caused by the rains in September, the trail is impassable.

Join us on a trek to the pre-historic past. We will be traveling to a Prehistoric Rock Shelter in Bishop’s Cap, N.M., just north of El Paso off I-10. Rock shelters were natural shelters from the weather. Prehistoric humans often used them as living-places, and left behind debris, tools, and other artifacts.

We will meet at the Whataburger at the Outlet Mall on Transmountain Rd., 7057 South Desert Blvd., Map. Please bring water, hats and cameras.

Valerie Provencio, vprovencio@epwu.org, 915-491-5634

 

Saturday, November 23, 6:30 a.m.
Peak Fitness Challenge: Ron Coleman Trail Hike

Length: 4 miles/4-5 hours

Difficulty Level: Strenuous. From the trailhead, we will venture into the canyon on a well-maintained section of trail; once we reach the incline, the trail becomes increasingly steep, with trail becoming more rugged in sections. Your hard work pays off with spectacular views, “fun” challenges such as climbing four sections of chains to get to “The Window” and over steep 10-15 rock walls, and of course the right to say you conquered the Ron Coleman Trail!

Bring: Water, snacks, sturdy hiking shoes/boots, hiking stick, camera, binoculars, and a map!

Directions to meeting spot: From the Westside: Exit #6 from I-10, travel east about 6.75 miles to destination at large gravel lot on right side (past 1st picnic sites). From the Eastside: Exit #29 (Transmountain Rd.) from Hwy. 54, travel west about 4 miles; large gravel lot on left. Plan to carpool over to McKelligon Canyon to begin hike.

(Event also will be held September 14)

Contact: Adrianna Weickhardt, Adrianna.weickhardt@tpwd.texas.gov.

© 2014 Celebration of Our Mountains Organizing Committee · El Paso, Texas, USA