Explore the most popular wild flowers 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.

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...

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

hiking
1 month ago

Completely different hike for Santa Fe. Lush and green with Douglas Fir instead of Ponderosa.
A beautiful creek and impressive caves.

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
2 months ago

Easy, relaxing hike

hiking
2 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!

hiking
2 months ago

Easy out and back. The foliage is beautiful during the summer months and hiking next to the creek keeps things cool. The cave is pretty fun and not too deep for the kiddos to explore. Parking can get crazy during the weekends. Awesome!

hiking
2 months ago

An amazing, quiet, beautiful hike! Butterflies and birds everywhere. The last part of the trail is pretty rough and steep. Watch out for the caves, they'll sneak up on you. Keep an eye out for a clearing to the west after you cross the creek, the caves are right around there.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail was a very beautiful hike! Caves were cool to explore but be aware, they are very easy to miss. Hiked this trail in August '16 and wasn't very busy as the trail head is off the beaten path.

Good short trip, a bit of a drive but great for a longer trail route. Found the mini caves, on your left about 2.5 miles up. Good for trial running

trail running
7 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

7 months ago

amazing

7 months ago

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

Nice, easy hike next to a stream!

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
9 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
9 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.

hiking
9 months ago

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.

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!

hiking
10 months ago

Nice trail to hike for something different. There are not many caves in the area. There are fish in the creek. Watch out for a bit of poison ivy along the trail. Leaves of three...let it be.

hiking
10 months ago

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

hiking
10 months ago

If you live in Santa Fe, unless you enjoy driving extended distances on narrow windy mountain roads, and unless you've already finished *everything* that Hyde Park and other local spots have to offer, there's really no good reason to bother with this trail. Or possibly if you're camping nearby. The drive was simply not worth the effort otherwise.

Terrific trail! Lots of flowers and butterflies. Mostly shaded and follows the creek. The caves were small but neat. We forgot our flashlights so we didn't go far in.

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!

backpacking
11 months ago

Backpacked with two 7 year olds. They were thrilled to see the cave. It's about 50 feet deep and has a stream running nearby. We camped at one of the 4 dispersed sites near the cave. The camping was excellent as well. Trailhead is at Panchuela campground.

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