Hamilton Mesa to Pecos Trail

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Pecos Wilderness

Hamilton Mesa to Pecos Trail is a 23.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tererro, New Mexico that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 23.3 miles Elevation Gain: 3,402 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers


7 months ago

This is my favorite Santa Fe area hike. The views from the Mesa are amazing. I take this trail to Pecos Falls. I use iPhone 7 and the app. On most hikes AllTrails is accurate for me but on this trail it is noticeably incorrect. Maybe it is just my phone??? The actual Hamilton Mesa Trail is up to 2000 feet to the east of where it is shown especially as you get closer to intersection with Gascon Trail. This is an easy to follow trail without GPS provided no snow is in the area. I tried to do this trail in May of this year, when there were still snow packs, and because the trail is so far off it was impossible to stay on the trail. In October, with no snow, this was no problem. Don’t trust the GPS ... trust your EYES and the SIGNS. Or follow my map to the Pecos Falls. It is worth it! We did this as a day hike but we move fast. It’s 19.8 miles from Iron Gate to Pecos Falls and back the same way. I would not try the drive to Iron Gate without a 4x4. Once you get off the main road through Pecos this is an extremely dicey road.

11 months ago

Great flowers 2 mi in! Not difficult, make it as long or as short as you want but for sure get up on the mesa for the wildflowers!

11 months ago

great time to hit this trail for lots of wildflowers...and more to bloom soon.

Wed Aug 15 2018

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.

Tue May 22 2018

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.

Mon Aug 07 2017

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.

Mon Oct 31 2016

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

Tue Nov 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.

11 months ago

11 months ago