nature trips



dog friendly

wild flowers




trail running


dogs on leash


This wilderness area in the Santa Fe national forest has a great variety of high peaks and ridges, pocketed lakes, and cascading creeks. Access points on all sides provide ample recreation opportunities, while the large size of the area makes solitude possible.

We have a family house in Taos, and do hikes here every time we go. It’s great by itself, I only give it 3 stars because I know what the larger Sangre De Cristos hold just 45 minutes away. Don’t let that deter you from this hike though. Good little starter. Don’t go too late in the day during rainy season though...one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.

Trails are open again!

I got into town as the clouds were ready to burst. I waited out the storm but took off two hours before sunset. The loop took me 2:20 hours. I did it clockwise. Great vistas all around. The rock slab chairs have been restored at the peak. My dogs were able to drink water from a few shallow pools in the rocks along the way. The trailhead parking lot was still crowded when I returned to my truck.

Great trail. The biodiversity between the West fork and the East fork are completely different. I did the loop backwards starting with the West fork. When you get to the divide, hike down to Truchas lake. Bring binoculars, big horns are everywhere up thier. Only saw 4 other people the six days I took to complete. The views and vistas from the divide are excellent. Seen a lot of elk up there as well. Definitely recommend to those with cardio as you will definitely need it!

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...

Totally worth the hike. The first mile is rough but not too bad after that.

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

Nice trail. Well maintained and marked. They removed the “thrones” at the peak which was sad.

1 month ago

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

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.

Tough, but so beautiful! Nice to see so much green and so much water in this state.

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.

Perfect little workout. About three hours if you stop a little. Take water.

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

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.

2 months ago

Easy, relaxing hike

3 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!

3 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!

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!

This is one of my favorite hikes in Taos. It is a wonderful morning hike, challenging but reasonable. It offers scenic views, diverse terrain including beautiful alpine woods at higher elevations and open panoramic sagebrush and cactus in lower areas. There are gorgeous flowers and plants in abundance.

3 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.

3 months ago

Loved it! Took us about 3 hours to do the loop! We stopped to enjoy the scenery and there is a nice, relaxing surprise at the top. The trail seems frequented by mostly locals-all very friendly!

3 months ago

A wonderful taste of this area at this elevation. Beautiful trail with many overlooks.

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

trail running
5 months ago

This Trail is great for hiking, and the views are amazing. But I would not consider it a good trail for running on. There was too much large loose rock, ice, and many many switchbacks to make it comfortable for running. I was able to maintain a light jog through most of it.

5 months ago

Great hike! Beautiful views. Took us about 4 hours with random rest stops.

6 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.

6 months ago

Great trail! Really sunny day and only had snow in the shade. Dogs also love it!

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