EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – After two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mt. Cristo Rey Good Friday hike returns to the Borderland.

Ruben Escandon Jr., the spokesperson for the Mt. Cristo Rey Restoration Committee, said it’s great to have people back for the religious tradition in the Borderland, but there will be a few changes.

The Catholic Diocese of El Paso will not lead the procession on Good Friday and the committee will not be selling any merchandise this time. Escandon said people need to pack their own water and snacks for the hike.

Gates open at 6 a.m. Friday, April 15, through 3 p.m, the trail is open to all ages. Officials remind hikers that no pets are allowed.

Escandon said the two-and-a-half-mile hike up, five miles total, is not ADA accessible and discourages those who may have ailments since it is a steep hike.

He added that the committee has been preparing the trail for the last several months, clearing out any dips or rocks in the trails due to rain and flooding.

Escandon said he expects a large crowd of people since the last two years were canceled.

There will be security along the trail and Escandon said if any medical response is needed, they are prepared to call in resources from local law enforcement or fire departments.

People can expect to see Border Patrol agents as well. Escandon said every year there are typically some people that try to enter the U.S. illegally after the hike since the area is along the southern border.

The Good Friday pilgrimage is the second-largest event the Mt. Cristo Rey holds, the first is the Annual Pilgrimage on the last Sunday of October.

Escandon said the committee is in need of volunteers, more information can be found on their website.

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