Looking for a new hiking experience? Visit Mount Cristo Rey located in Sunland Park, NM, just minutes from northwest El Paso. This roughly 5-mile hike takes hikers to the top of the mountain with breathtaking views of El Paso, New Mexico, and Mexico.
The Mount Cristo Rey monument and trail began with Father Lourdes Costa’s desire to pay tribute to the glorious mountain and honor his Lord. After countless hours of labor by the priest, members of his parish, volunteers from the community and a world-renowned sculptor, Father Costa’s dream was realized. The 4.4-mile round trip trail has been carved out to make the monument accessible to all. Once you reach the summit you will be rewarded with sights of an intricately designed 29-foot-tall limestone status of Jesus Christ.
In honor of Holy Week, Mount Cristo Rey hosts an annual hiking event daily, Thursday, March 29-Saturday March 31st. Our first year at Ft Bliss we participated in the Holy Week hike. We arrived around 9:00 am, with two teenagers, an eight-year-old and a one-month-old secured in his stroller. The beginning of the trail is quite steep, being one month postpartum and out of shape, it was difficult for me. Once I got past the initial incline the trail transforms into switchbacks which are pleasant and easily navigated.
This event is attended by 10’s of thousands of people every year, so arrive early and be prepared for a crowd. Wear appropriate footwear, pack plenty of water and a snack to enjoy once you reach the top of the mountain. Don’t forget your camera because you will want pictures of the views. The Mount Cristo Rey Restoration Committee and the Sunland Park Police Department urges visitors to hike only during events such as Holy Week or the Annual Pilgrimage in October for security and safety reasons. For directions, event hours and a complete history of the trail and monument visit http://www.mtcristorey.com/home.