El Paso Faithful Can Mark Good Friday with Hike Up Mt. Cristo Rey This Year
Pilgrimages and hikes by El Paso’s faithful to the 29-foot statue of Christ on the cross that sits atop Sierra de Cristo Rey in Sunland Park, New Mexico has been a Holy Week tradition for as long as I can remember.
The pandemic, however, put a stop to that the last two years. But after being cancelled in 2020 and 2021 the long-established Good Friday hike up Mount Cristo Rey returns this year.
Good Friday Hike
Those who wish to make the roughly 5-mile round-trip trek on Friday, April 15 to give thanks, pray, or as a show of faith can start up the mountain beginning at 6 a.m.
“There is no mass on that day. People climb on their own or with their group and pray along the way,” Ruben Escandon, Jr. of the Mt. Cristo Rey Restoration Committee informed me via email. “We will have volunteers on site providing security and guidance.”
The event is free, but hikers are encouraged to make a donation. “We do ask that people help us out with donations,” said Escandon. “Since we've been shut down there hasn't been much in donations to help with maintenance and upkeep costs.”
Good Friday will be the only day security will be stationed along the trail and first aid will be available. The Restoration Committee will not be coordinating any climbs on Holy Saturday or Easter Sunday.
How to Get There
The parking lot to the trailhead is located off McNutt Road.
Take Sunland Park Drive to Doniphan, turn south then west on Racetrack Dr., continuing across the Rio Grande, then take a left on McNutt Road at the light in Sunland Park, NM. Stay on McNutt for about 1 mile and watch for a sign to Mt. Cristo Rey on the right.