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on Pecos Baldy Lake

hiking
3 days ago

My husband and I hiked to Pecos Baldy Lake on Saturday 10/6. It was absolutely spectacular with the fall colors. The road to Jack's Creek is paved the whole way, and there was plenty of parking by the trailhead (which is at the top of the equestrian camp area). The trail is easy to follow. The trail junctions are well-signed. Our dog was able to get water from the creek in a couple places, but there wasn't much, so I wouldn't count on it this time of year. We only saw a few other groups all day, mostly hunters on horseback and a couple backpackers. I stopped at the lake while my husband continued on the peak. We clocked it at 15.0 miles roundtrip to the lake with the peak adding on almost 2.5 miles extra roundtrip. We did not see any bighorn sheep, only a few herds of cattle in the meadows on the way back. Highly recommended!

Amazing hike!

Beautiful and easy stroll on pavement among an ancient lava field. Gorgeous views and interesting desert life to be found here. A lovely little campground sits up above, and it looks to have decent facilities including showers. We spent about an hour here after a visit to nearby Carrizozo, and were very glad we took the time to visit.

An absolutely wonderful site, with so many petroglyphs that it would be impossible to see them all in a single visit. The extended trail up the mesa is definitely worth hiking, as you will still encounter a few more examples of prehistoric rock art, and it's beautiful from that vantage point. The ranger lives on site and was very helpful and enthusiastic about the place. I've visited many areas where petroglyphs were found, and this was surprisingly one of the best.

In reply to Barbara Wilkey: No, the trail is not closed except to vehicle traffic.
And to Diane Grevelle: You didn't walk up the hill to the actual pool. The big pool lower down is silted in and filled with cattails, yes. But the springs just above them are gorgeous and look just like the photo at the top.

Water is about 3 feet deep with a clean gravelly bottom. I swear I've never seen water so clear and clean! It was about body temperature--not hot but warm enough to enjoy and feel great on a chilly, 50-degree day. We were there by ourselves in late afternoon in October and enjoyed the pools immensely. I knocked off a star because the walk there is kind of boring, but the springs themselves are a wonderful little surprise.

backpacking
10 days ago

Be prepared for this trail. It is not moderate, it is hard for a 50-years old person who does not hike much but pretty fit. There are couple of suggestions: get acclimatized before you go; be prepared for long steep hike. There were hikers on Windsor trail up to Skyline trail, but we have not seen anybody from Baldy turnoff to lake Katherine and back (we used Skyline trail that goes east and meets Windsor trail to come back) the other day. So, be prepared if you get lost. We camped before we reached the lake and hike to the lake in the morning. On the way back, "east" Skyline trail from Katherine lake to Windsor Trail conjunction is not properly marked. There is a trail there, it is not far from Skyline trail and comes to that junction, so, do not worry if your GPS will show that you are off Skyline trail on your way back. Take a piece of paper and a pen to leave your names at the trail head, just in case you get lost and rangers look for you. The distance is not 13 miles, it is over 15 miles. It took us about 8 hours to get to camping before we reached the lake, we stopped three times for 30 min, and many times to catch our breath. No phone coverage.

off road driving
10 days ago

I drove in from the back side off of Road number 380 taking White Sands Missile Road also it's a County Road if you look at the pictures I took your seat number. it was a pretty Drive very enjoyable.

Great trails off the main road!

hiking
24 days ago

I've been to Pecos baldy lake once this summer (Memorial Day) and then hiked a different loop (Cave Creek/Horsethief Meadow/Dockweiler/Jacks Creek) but again camped at the junction of Dockweiler/Jack's creek in August. There actually was water both times but the creek runs dry intermittently. In May and August the creek was dry where the trail crosses the creek, but if you go upstream like 20 feet there is water flowing. Not sure how it is this fall though, if anyone knows please comment! We're planning on heading there one more time this season.

Made an overnight loop going past Lake Katherine to Spirit Lake then merged back with the main trail. Forested section to Spirit Lake was boring, but not difficult at all. Going up Santa Fe Baldy is worth it.

Beautiful Hike! Very steep. This is on the hard side of moderate, so make sure you're mentally prepared for it. Very worth the effort. Lake Katherine has amazing camp sites and a gorgeous view. We got somewhat lost towards the end, but were able to find our way eventually. Make sure to follow the piles of rocks laid out, as the trail isn't mark well beyond that. Very active trail, with tons of experienced hikers. If you get lost you'll always have someone to help!

Happy trailing!

Three Rivers Petroglyph site offers an incredible history of the people that once inhabited the area! Some of the petroglyphs are so well preserved. Had a great camping spot! Spectacular views! Stars and lightening made for a great show at night. Site hosts, Steve and Peggy, were a wealth of knowledge about the history of the area and some of the kindest people you will ever meet. This area is a must visit for history buffs out there.

Very nice lake hike trail. Worth noting that hike to lake is a steady uphill grind -- nothing difficult, but no flats to rest your legs. As of late June 2018, most steams were just a trickle, but enough for dogs to get a little drink. Well maintained trail and well worth the hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic hike along the creek up to a small meadow. Numerous shallow stream crossings and shady spots to take breaks. Wild flowers everywhere.

As of 8/12 the road leading up to the camp ground was closed, due to unfinished road repair. It is a 3 mile hike to the camp ground and then another 1/2 mile to the group site and the trail head, where the hike begins.

backpacking
2 months ago

Hiked up to Serpent Lake on July 23rd with intent of hiking over the Jicarita and dropping down into the Santa Barbara CG on a two night excursion. Got dropped off at the Serpent Lake Trail Head around 11AM on a one-way trip. Made it up to Serpent Lake around 2:30PM. Around 6PM we got hit by a lightning, thunder, rain and wind storm that lasted till about midnight. We were equipped so it all became part of the adventure. With more rain in the forecast we decided not to trek over the mountain. Fortunately if you walk NE from the lake as you can look out to the East (~1500ft) you can get cell service (Verizon). I called my wife to pick us up at the drop off point later that morning.
Didn’t get the satisfaction of climbing over the mountain, but got a renewed appreciation for lighting and thunder at these elevations. Heed weather, especially if it has potential for lighting and thunder. We will plan another trip around a better weather forecast.

Beautiful hike! Steep and a little rocky toward the top and the switchbacks going down from Baldy to Katherine are very narrow. For someone afraid of heights (me) it seems scary at first but is manageable and the views out are incredible. We backpacked out to Katerine, camped over night, and hiked out on Sunday. The lake was busy but everyone was spread out enough that you didn't notice. We did the hike in in about 4 hours and out in 3 with little or no stopping. Definitely recommend!

on Serpent Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

My husband and I hiked Serpent Lake and Jicarita Peak on Saturday 7/28 with our dog. From 518, take FR 161. There is a large parking area at the end of the road. The road is very rough in spots; I wouldn't want to drive anything without a decent amount of ground clearance on it.

The trail was very muddy when we hiked it due to monsoons. There is also a lot of horse poop. It is well traveled and easy to follow, though rocky. The turnoff to Serpent Lake is well marked. The lake was much smaller than expected.. we didn't think it was as nice as other lakes we have been to in the area.

We ended up with just over 12 miles roundtrip with Serpent Lake and Jicarita Peak. This is a nice hike to get away from crowds; we only saw a few other groups all day.

We took our dog and slept at Lake Katherine. Started out on the Windsor Trail and then took 254 past Spirit Lake and up to Lake Katherine. The trail from SL to LK was a little tricky to find (quick left after the stream and straight up). This section was much less maintained than the rest of the trail but we were still able to navigate it. LK is very pretty and the trail down (251) was an easy downhill. We recommend!

This is a wonderful hike! It’s actually 15.2 miles, not 13.1, so plan on taking the entire day.

Beautiful hike! We did it round trip in one day via the skyline route. This was a hard route, straight up w/lots of rock climbing and the trail was hard to find. But using the app helped us a lot. My Apple Watch recorded the distance at 17 round trip. The lake was so amazing and worth it!

nature trips
3 months ago

Great little loop on the lava beds. Many birds, reptiles, and insects to see. Path is paved, and you can venture off onto the beds themselves. For the experienced hiker you can consult the park staff about trekking to the vent itself.

hiking
3 months ago

I liked this hike; it's not particularly difficult, though there are a couple steep sections. The trail is easy to follow and it's peaceful. Not much in the ways of views and vistas though. The trail terminates in a little meadow with a couple of backpacking campsites. Not exactly scenic, but it's pleasant.

Be mindful of monsoon season when doing this in the summer--it's best to do the hike in the morning.

Note also that the "Holy Ghost Trailhead" is located about 3/4 mile from the actual start of the trailhead. That is, if you park at the lot just outside of the trailhead, this is closer to 8.5 miles round trip.

This trail is closed 7/4/2018

A must-see...very interesting. It’s definitely an easy trail. Try not to hit the hottest time of the day during the summer.

no water at jacks creek ovet memorial day don't bring your dog unless your carrying water

The wind calls through the Iron Gate, so I pass into the trees over the rocks upon the dirt. Who would have thought to see a wooden gate and beyond no small view. Leaving chain and latch, iris and aspen then grass. Golden keys the wind does play out unto the paramount. It upon them a sound only my eyes can hear and I am swept upon the vista. I stroll awhile...
Down I lay below the wind in the grass without my worries. I close my eyes to hear and hear a coming sleep, upon the grass I do...
I awake feeling new and back through the iron gate I go. Then home...

dogs love it

Great hike or a backpacking trip! No snow and some decent wind at the top of the Mount Baldy turn off

We had so much fun looking for the petroglyphs! You don't have to look too hard. It's a mile up a hill. The trail is rocky, but we were going slow anyway looking at them. The trailhead offers generous parking. Flush toilets. There's a $5 charge to be paid at the office. National Park passes accepted.

pretty neat, nothing strenuous just cool

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