Did You Know The Mount Cristo Rey Monument is Not a Crucifix?
Mount Cristo Rey stands high above the Sunland Park area at the point where Texas, New Mexico and the country of Mexico meet.
Work on the monument, it's not technically a crucifix, began in 1934 with a wooden cross which was soon replaced by one made of metal. Work on what we see today took over a year and was finished around 1938. It's not considered a true crucifix because the hands of Jesus Christ are facing downwards as though blessing those below and not affixed to the cross itself.
Cristo Rey stands atop the Sierra de Cristo Rey, originally known as the Cerro de los Muleros or, "Mule Drivers Mountain". The project was the idea of Father Lourdes Costa, who presided over San Jose Catholic Church located in what was then Smeltertown. (Don't look for it, it's long gone.) At the time, they weren't even sure who could claim the mountain; the United States or Mexico.
The trail leading to the top of Sierra de Cristo Rey is a little over 4 miles in length and is open to hikers and the faithful pretty much all the time. Visitors should know that, with the exception of organized special events, there is no security along the trail nor will you find any facilities or medical aid. Bandits have been know to lurk in the area so, sadly, you go there at your own risk. It is not advisable to ever go alone. With the exception of "special event" days, you should let the Sunland Park Police Department know when you are going. Be sure and let them know when you return as well.
Simply call (575) 526 - 0795, then push #6.