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October 20, 2019 @ 7:45 am - 6:00 pm
The Organ Needle is the highest peak in the Organs, with the elevation of 9012 feet. The round trip of the hike is about 7 miles, with an elevation gain of close to 3,700 feet. It takes about 8 hours. On this trip, we will enjoy a slightly different route on the way to Juniper Pass by heading up Fillmore Canyon and scramble over the top of Grey Prominence. On the way down, we’ll probably take the trail around the east side of Grey Prominence and walk down to the Organ Peak Trail. This will make the trip slightly longer but hopefully more enjoyable. As Marta is leading our adventure, we may have a few other alternate trails as well.
3,700′ of climbing within 3.5 miles is very steep. In fact, the first half (within Fillmore Canyon) is about 2 miles on relatively easy terrain, which means that the most elevation gain is concentrated towards the second half. 1400′ of climbing to get to Juniper Pass. From Juniper to the top is another 1400′ in about 1 mile. The toughest mile will have over 1,900 feet of climbing. In comparison, Mars Canyon has less than 1,00 feet in its toughest, South Rabbit Ears gains 1,100 feet, and Baylor Peak (above the Pass) climbs 1,250 feet. Extremely difficult, poses challenges that are physical/spiritual/mental/psychological. Some of the very steep sections of the trail are covered in loose dirt and are dangerously difficult to navigate.
Please assess your own capability of doing it.
This hike is subject to canceling if there’s inclement weather at that time. Carry more water than you think will be enough; a minimum of 5 liters. We can stash some along the trail to pick up on the way down.
We will leave Milagro Coffee at 7:45 am. Please be early if you’d like to carpool. If you wish to drive on your own, be at La Cueva picnic area parking lot of the Dripping Spring Road in the Organ Mountains and Desert Peaks National Monument at 8:00 am. We’ll be on our hike by 8:15a. Don’t forget that there’s a $5 park fee unless you have a pass.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns!