If you have never climbed Mt. Cristo Rey, this is a great time of year to do it for the first time. The annual Mt. Cristo Rey Pilgrimage is a great time to walk up the mountain because it is not considered a safe climb in a small group or alone. It is also an honored tradition for Catholics in El Paso, Las Cruces, and Juarez. The annual event is held to commemorate the completion of the monument. It also celebrates the Christian feast of Christ the King, which falls on the Sunday before All Saints Day. This year's hike is Sunday, October 27th, and gates open at 6 a.m.

The 5-mile hike is easy to moderate, and is an all-ages hike. You need to meet at the large parking lot at the trailhead to Mt. Cristo Rey off McNutt Road (NM 273). Take the Racetrack exit off Paisano and cross the Rio Grande. You should be prepared for a lot of fellow climbers. In previous years, there have been as many as 40,000 people who come for the pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage begins at 9:00 a.m. with a procession led by the Bishops of the Dioceses of Las Cruces and El Paso. A mass is conducted at the top of the mountain. You definitely need to dress appropriately. Wear hiking shoes or boots, layer your clothing so you can take off layers as the morning gets warmer, and do not bring pets. If you bring a pet, you won't be allowed to make the climb.

If you need more details about the annual Mt. Cristo Rey pilgrimage, you can check out the official website by clicking here.