Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Pecos Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The Truchas lakes are my favorite destination in the Pecos. Skyline trail is absolutely beautiful. The treck is a difficult one but it’s totally worth it.

Definitely worth the miles for some great views along the way and especially at the top. The elevation got us a little as we’re used to life at 500’. Had to stop at the Baldy Santa Fe turn off as there was still a heavy coating of snow heading to Lake Katherine.

hiking
1 month ago

Great backpacking with awesome views! The trail is pretty moderate and well marked. Once you drop into the valley there are plenty of backcountry camp sites to find. Bear hangs are tricky with so many snags, but doable. Did I mention it's beautiful?
I'd also recommend continuing up the Rio Valdez. We looped over to Pecos Falls, passed Beatty's and finished up at Jack's Creek TH. So good!

Attempted late March 2018. Snow depth was manageable until you hit about 9600ft and then without snowshoes it was too difficult. Tons of animal sign such as bear and what appeared to be mountain lion. Beautiful beautiful area and entire 5 day 4 night trip was so rewarding. Had to park about 1 mile south of campground and hike in and then hiked about 6 miles further. Pictures don’t do this place justice. So happy we had the opportunity to explore the Pecos Wilderness!

We added Trip to Truchas Lakes for total mileage of ~28 Miles. Very long day! Fantastic scenery !

trail running
6 months ago

This loop is possible. I just ran it last Friday (11/3/17). It does have a sketchy section that you have to down climb about a 6 foot, nearly straight down rock shoot. Very beautiful, but please understand what you’re getting yourself into if you choose this route.

on Santa Fe Baldy Loop

6 months ago

amazing

6 months ago

Great trail, but not well marked. Plenty of water. Beautiful.

I did South Truchas in a day and had to go off trail at the end of skyline, but all above the treeline and clearly visible. skyline is one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on!

Amazing hike to Lake Katherine camped at elv. 11,776 ft.: seven other brave enthusiast braved the heavy rain/snow and lodged in the mystic beauty on slopes of Santa Fe Baldy...

hiking
8 months ago

Incredible lake. Hiked first to Santa Fe Baldy and then on to Lake Katherine with my husband and dog yesterday. 16.6 total miles roundtrip in 8.5 hours. Lake Katherine is much larger than nearby Nambe and Spirit Lakes. The water is so clear! Only one other group there while were there. Trail is fairly easy to follow. No place to camp nearby (and don't camp within 200 feet of the lake!), but lots of nice rocks to eat lunch. Plenty of parking at the Ski Basin parking lot across the road from the trailhead. For those with dogs, there were several stream crossings that were running well for our dog to drink from. Highly recommend!

hiking
8 months ago

No. My husband and I are fairly adept hikers, and we saw absolutely no way to complete this loop as written. It works to Santa Fe Baldy, but to go from Baldy to Lake Katherine as shown, you would pretty much have to roll down the side to the lake. There is no trail. If you want Penitente and Lake Peaks, there are better ways to get them.

Beautiful high mountain lake. Tae a mask, as the National Forest signs do not identify destinations (lie Baldy or Lake Katherine. The signs only list the trail numbers. My Apple Watch showed a total distance of 15.25 miles, although I took a couple short detours. The first 0.75 miles is reasonably steep, then it levels out for about 4 miles. You hike up to the saddle below Baldy, go over the saddle and down several switchbacks to the final stretch into Lake Katherine. Watch for the rock piles, as the trail sometimes becomes indistinct. The lake is beautiful and in a gorgeous setting. I did this as a day hike in approximately eight hours.

Tough, but awesome trail. Can't wait to go again!

Great trail there are many turn around spots along the way which is perfect for anyone with children. One of my very favorites because of the spectacular views!

My wife and I just backpacked for a couple day at lake Katherine for the first time. We really enjoyed ourselves but this was also the hardest trail we have ever backpacked. Make sure you give yourself lots of extra time, it took us about 7-8 hours. My wife also took a small fall on the loose rocks. That being said the views were amazing and we will definitely be back!!!

Decent hike in, nothing too crazy. Went during the week and only a couple other people camping there. Heard it can get busy on the weekends! Loads of marmots though!

Started out on Robert's track but after the big fields i didn't want to go down down down then turn around, so decided to loop around the mountain to get a loop instead of out and back. it was an awesome hike! if you do the loop i did, stay on 270 when you hook around the mountain- i wanted to check something out and wound up in thick brush to get down to the river. really really enjoyed it all and you get a dynamic set of terrain with a bunch of straightaways so more about endurance then intense uphills.
for the record my loop was 249->270->224->250.
enjoy!

excellent hike, great scenery although quite strenuous...take mosquito repellent...

Gorgeous views but long hike. Not clearly marked above Pecos Baldy lake.

Went there 3/13-15 and didn't need any snow shoes or traction aides. There was only one part of the skyline trail right after the fork to go up to Baldy which required some minor route finding to navigate around the snow. Within the next week or so that section should melt out.

Tried to make it to the lake last weekend​, but was not able to due to the snow. I honestly wasn't expecting that much snow this late into the year. The hike was still awesome with lots of streams for water and there is plenty of meadows to set up camp at a lower elevation, but don't expect to make it to Lake Katherine without snow shoes this time of year.

Beautiful trail! The rivers are high & fast and they require some creative crossing skills--and will result in wet boots/pants. The West Fork trail is still icy headed up to the skyline trail, making this a difficult backpack through option right now.

backpacking
Saturday, May 13, 2017

Do not take this trail early in the year. I recently attempted the hike into the lake, and there was far too much snow. The trail seems really nice and fairly easy, but it's near impassable in the snow. I'd recommend waiting until June or later.

backpacking
Monday, April 24, 2017

Perfect for a beginner backpacking trip.

trail running
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

By far my favorite hike/trail run in the Santa Fe area!! I hiked Baldy and then trekked down to Lake Katherine. Some steep exposed areas but overall fairly moderate. Can't wait to try it in the winter.

backpacking
Thursday, October 13, 2016

This is a beautiful train with some tricky and steep parts, but overall, not that bad. The lake is incredible, surrounded by rocky peaks. We did a three day backpacking trip and stopping sometimes to do some rock climbing and rappelling.

gorgeous. no other words. absolutely beautiful!
start early :)

It was a great trail. Slightly above my skill level, but great scenery.

I feel like it was longer than 6.6 miles one way. I could be wrong but my Fitbit tracked it at over 11 miles just on the journey to the lake.

Only downside other than it being a longer trail than expected was the lack of firewood when getting to Lake Katherine. There were 4 other groups of campers at the lake when we went and everyone was having a hard time finding any wood for fires. Definitely being a burner if you intend on doing some cooking.

hiking
Monday, October 03, 2016

Beautiful hike. It was a bit challenging, but enjoyed it thoroughly.

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