Sierra De Cristo Rey (Elevation 4567 Feet) - Sunland Park, New Mexico
Another Good Mountain For The City of El Paso, Texas Sierra De Cristo Rey,
sometimes referred as "Mount Cristo Rey," is a unique mountain in the Southwest. The summit is a mere 0.1 miles from the U.S. and Mexico border.
There are border patrolmen throughout the area, a sign instructing you to call the police before your hike, and even some online reports
of occasional assaults and robberies on the mountain. Still, I think this is a great hike for anyone in the El Paso, Texas greater area.
The two-mile dirt road that gently ascends 800 feet to the summit is excellent for mountain biking. Personally, I hiked it as many do.
Directions: A Google maps search of "Sierra De Cristo Rey, NM" shows it all. From McNutt Road (County Road 273 in Sunland Park, New Mexico),
travel south and east and make a right on Cristo Rey Road. Follow the dirt road across the railroad tracks and park at the entrance.
A photo of Sierra De Cristo Rey as I traveled south on McNutt Road (Road 273) in Sunland Park.
Sierra De Cristo Rey from Interstate 10 in El Paso.
February 18, 2014 - At the Mount Cristo Rey trailhead, when I read this sign that exhorted me to call the Sunland Park police before my hike,
I knew this would be an interesting adventure. I did not call.
While I did hike alone, the best precautions are to go in a group, or tour the mountain during
the official open hours when I'd assume there'd be more people. Of course, you could also carry a firearm for protection.
The entrance gate with the summit afar on the left.
There are many prayer stations with crosses along the way.
The trail switchbacks many times. On the west side of the mountain, I got my first good view of an outlying neighborhood
of Juarez, Mexico. The wall on the right is the border for the U.S. and Mexico.
There is a large monument at the top -- a cross with Jesus. I realize you may or many not be interested in the religious tribute,
but the artfully-designed circular overlook was beautiful. Truly, you can great view of the layout of El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico.
This was my first visit to El Paso where I wasn't merely driving through, and I had an enjoyable time. Special thanks to
Marty, my de facto Mexican cousin, and the Boyd family of El Paso. I will never forget
your generosity to me. :)
The summit is only 0.2 miles (at most) from the international border.
Here's an image as I faced southwest, with my rough sketch of where the border continues.
Facing south, all of the land in this picture is in Mexico.
Those are beautiful mountains out there. Does anyone know their name?
I hope the Mexican people enjoy hiking and climbing those peaks. So many mountains, so little time!
El Paso, Texas
TOP: Downtown El Paso and the Rio Grande.
SECOND: El Paso with the southern end of the Franklin Mountains in the distance.
THIRD: The northern side of El Paso. Those two distinct peaks are North Franklin Mountain and
South Franklin Mountain respectively.