Explore the most popular dog friendly 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.

first day of winter, Oct 14 big blizzard... epic hike, experienced folks only

I second Stephen's comment. The direct descent from Baldy to the lake is possible and I did it today, but it is about a 45 degree pitch for almost the entire 1000' drop with a few really tricky spots. Based on looking back up from the lake, I think a better route is to start from the middle chute and then traverse to the north about half way down but it's hard to be sure. Be prepared to bail out and climb back up regardless of which route you take. Very difficult and dangerous.

Just finished this solo. 4 day 3 night. Amazing trail. Well marked with minimal deadfall. I did counterclockwise up Beaty’s to Skyline then West to Jack’s creek South. Didn’t summit anything as the weather was schizophrenic. Rained and hailed 80% of the time, so, plenty of water. Woke to ice covered everything on day 3. Lots of thunder and lightning shows. Had a coyote play hide and seek for a couple of miles on day one.
Will return.

2 months ago

My daughter and I just backpacked out from Pecos Falls (Pecos Trail) up Gascon and down Hamilton Mesa to Iron Gate (campground and trail head). I would have to agree with Naomi Cicada that it was a terrific experience and hike. Gascon is a short but steep trail with many fallen tree obstacles, but once on Hamilton Mesa trail, the views are wonderful! Well worth the effort.

We did this trail 05/18/18 to 05/21/18 and it was amazing. It is a difficult trail and steep and narrow at some points with it widening and leveling out in spots. Not a lot of water a long the trails but when you get closer to the lakes there are small streams. Camping near Stewart lake was very easy to find. Lake Katherine not so much. There were maybe a couple spots that would have worked but we didn't try. We went back to Stewart lake to camp because it was so nice down there. There was still some snow on the trail to Lake Katherine but nothing that regular shoes couldn't handle. Beautiful views and trails. If you plan to hang a bear bag be prepared to look for quite awhile for a tree to hang it from. The pine and aspen trees do not provide a lot of branches to hang from. Also there is no free camping at the trail heads. The gps will take you to Cowles parking lot but to get to trail 254 you have to keep going to another parking lot which is like a half a mile away. Cowles will get you to 271 trailhead. A lot of downed trees right now but easy to get around most of them.

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...

This is a seriously underrated hike. The scenery was just beautiful and the trail was easy to moderate. The mileage is incorrect however. Round trip it’s just under 20 miles. The description makes it sound as if it follows the river but it doesn’t, as such the last chance to top off on water is about 3.5 miles in at a horse trough. My friend and I did this as a 3 day trip and set up our camp at mile 5.4 by Bob’s trail junction. Having seen the rest of the trail and camping not currently being allowed by Pecos Falls I think it’s the best spot to camp by far. After the trail turns off the Hamilton Mesa trail to the Falls there are a fair number of downed trees but the trail is still passable.
In the morning I saw a herd of elk and I night we heard coyotes. I saw a fair amount of mountain lion scat. All-in-all this is an A+++ hike. Just perfect.

This area is great but the recorded trail goes off any marked trail and it does not identify that in the description. I had to turn back as I could only stay on tour with my phone in my hand to check progress which is not desirable.

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.

Mostly in the woods, but went ahead and popped up to Lake Peak and Penitente Peak as well. Gave some very nice views

5 months 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!

trail running
11 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

11 months ago


11 months ago

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

Sunday, October 08, 2017

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!

on Santa Fe Baldy Loop

Sunday, September 10, 2017

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.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

I want to start out by saying that the description of the loop being 7.7 miles is false. The reason we chose to hike this trail was because we thought a nice 7.7 mile looped hike with a lake would be great for a nice day hike. As the description stated it is VERY lightly trafficked and we only saw two other back packers who showed us an actual map of the trail showing the whole loop was more like 14 miles. If not for them we would have continued on never the wiser. We only packed enough food and water for a few hours of hiking. We would have loved to make it to Stewart Lake which is about 8-9 miles in but decided to turn around about 4 miles in so we could get back to the trailhead and not run out of water. We will try this hike again but make it a two day camping trip. This is the second time I have found a trail off the All Trails app and have been mislead or misinformed with distance or trail numbers. With all this being said, the hike itself is breathtaking. Lots of greenery, shade and wildflowers. Not to mention the first 1-2 miles you're hiking along Winsor Creek surrounded by thick brush and tons of butterflies. It didn't even feel like I was in New Mexico. It felt like I was hiking in the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful hike, but if you plan to complete full loop, be prepared for a long 14 mile hike.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

This trail has great views, but it is just typical deep woods hiking. It has no special features and tends to drag on.

Not for biking. I did search for mountain bike trails and Pecos Falls came up. After driving primitive roads all the way back here we find out bikes are not allowed on the trail.

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.

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

scenic driving
Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, April 24, 2017

Perfect for a beginner backpacking trip.

an easy hike, isolated from crowds. good for dogs too.

scenic driving
Monday, August 22, 2016

Very pretty area, nice drive

scenic driving
Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Great area. very scenic and many hiking opportunities.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

great hike for the summer, the river is a cooling mechanism and very tempted to jump in. I parked just past the town of Tererro, less than a mile past the "general store". if walking a dog, be careful of the watershed prior to a campground, wildlife is more attractive to our four legged friends than a whistle to come back. Some areas are a tight fit for walking, but otherwise a relaxing beautiful hike.

scenic driving
Wednesday, August 28, 2013

This is a beautiful part of New Mexico that will surprise you. Not the barren country the state has plenty of. I have not been here in about five years but may go back late this year.

For clarification, I am rating Beatty's Trail (#25) in the Pecos Wilderness that starts out at Trailhead #15, north of Tererro, NM.
The first 3 miles are a mostly difficult climb from 9000 feet to around 11,200 feet as you climb thru a couple of switchbacks. It is generally dry and dusty and the trail is well worn with plenty of larger bolders (softball to basketball sized) on the trail. There is a separate horse trail for the first mile or so but it joins the hiking trail and from there up, we saw an equal number of hikers and horses.
The first 2 1/2 miles are all in beautiful tree covered forest and as you begin to get over 11,000 feet, you begin to see groves of Aspen. I think there were also Birch trees further down the trail, but it was difficult to tell.
Just as you get to the intersection of Trail #257 (Jack's Creek Trail?) the trees open up to provide a beautiful view of the surrounding wilderness. From here to Beatty's Flats, you will move in and out of forest and meadows. It was as beautiful as any hiking I have done.
There are some cattle before you get to Noisy Brook. When we were there, there was plenty of water.
From Noisy Brook, you start to go down in elevation to Beatty's Flats where the Pecos River is nothing short of magical. You can lay in the tall Mule Grass fields under the shade of Aspens and Ponderosa Pines.
For our trip, we took trail #259 at this point in the trip

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