Read Part One – Hiking to Lake Johnson. USGS Topo Map Quad: Truchas Peak East Pecos Baldy from the west. Copyright © Locality, LLC | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | About. These wildflowers thrive in high-alpine wetlands. Me and my brothers trip up to Pecos Baldy lake New Mexico in the heart of the Pecos Wilderness! Pecos Baldy Lake is covered by the Truchas Peak, NM US Topo Map quadrant The National Forest Service recommends camping at least 300 feet from lakes, streams, and rivers and building no campfires, which damage soil and water quality. “Even though it’s changing, it is still beautiful,” says Steltzer. High Time to Hike the Alpine Lakes. All Rights Reserved. 495 Old Santa Fe Trail Can't wait to go back. They side-eye me as they saunter by, seemingly undisturbed by my presence. The trail peters out into snow still covering the northern face of the mountain. Walk carefully in fragile alpine tundra environments. ON A CLOUDLESS SUMMER DAY, I’M approaching Jicarita Peak, near the village of Tres Ritos. They’re friendly guys and tell me tales of their multiday backpack through this high country of the Pecos Wilderness, northeast of Santa Fe. Access: From I-25, take exit 307 north on Hwy 53 through Pecos and all the way to the end of road at the Jack’s Creek Campground, a distance of about 25 miles. Pecos Baldy Lake from Mapcarta, the free map. In her quest to write and photograph stories that engage readers in the natural world, she has kayaked the Sea of Cortez, followed honeybees through the Himalayas, and pursued lost monkeys in the Amazon. Pecos Baldy Lake is really beautiful at close to 12,000 feet. Pecos Baldy Lake: Nearly 15 miles round-trip on Beatty’s Trail 25 to Jack’s Creek Trail 257; trailhead in Jack’s Creek Campground equestrian area, at end of FR 555. I’m stunned. Their tiny legs won’t take them down these mountains and up other ones farther north. These deserve a separate article. You'll find … Pecos Baldy Lake is in the Lakes category for Mora County in the state of New Mexico. I brought no traction spikes, no snowshoes, no hiking poles, no ice ax to catch me from sliding down should I slip. A few steps later, a dark figure moves across the snow in the distance. Coordinates: 35.9126027°N, -105.6474217°W If you are not camping at the lake, turn right to go north on the Skyline Trail – Trail #251. Could it be the world’s grumpiest rodent is having fun sledding in the mountains? They call to each other with loud eeks, making sure the other is aware of my presence. Pecos Baldy Lake is a 14.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Tererro, New Mexico that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. After a long winter, their coats are patchy as they shed their outer layer. I squat down to inspect the flowers closely—the parts do look like the large ears, long trunk, and rounded forehead of an elephant. A deep-blue pool sparkles below East Pecos Baldy, its 12,529-foot peak still topped with a cornice of snow in July. My thighs burn, my heart thumps, and I can hardly catch my breath. Pecos Wilderness Area, New Mexico Picture: Pecos Baldy Lake - Check out Tripadvisor members' 5,395 candid photos and videos. Elevation: 11,420 feet (3,481 meters) For thousands of years since, alpine lakes and high-mountain wetlands have acted as the natural “water towers” of the West. I’m not prepared. It can be seen on the USGS 1:24K topographic map Truchas Peak, NM. I watch for a few minutes and realize it’s a marmot. Right: Snowmelt gathers in Nambé Lake. Photograph by Christina Selby. Be prepared for narrow roads north of Tererro. E-mail: NM.magazine@state.nm.us. They graze as they go, fattening up on protein-rich plants’ new growth. 164 leads to the saddle above this lake. Saddle below East Pecos Baldy to the Pecos Trail – Trail #24: From the small grassy saddle below East Pecos Baldy, the trail enters the dense forest and descends steeply over 1/2 mile toward the East Pecos Baldy Lake. Santa Fe, NM 87501 Santa Fe Baldy rises in the Pecos Wilderness within the Santa Fe National Forest, on the water divide between the Rio Grande and the Pecos River. A major river originating in the Pecos Wilderness flowing south into Texas. PECOS BALDY LAKE, C-7. An eight-acre lake at the base of Pecos Baldy in the Pecos Wilderness. Phone: (505) 827-7447 Clustered in the Sangre de Cristos of northern New Mexico, the state’s highest peaks shelter these hike-to lakes on public lands: Bernardin, Cow, Enchanted, Goose, Heart, Hidden, Horseshoe (two of them), Indian, Johnson, José Vigil, Katherine, Lost, Lost Bear, Middle Fork (in Pecos Wilderness), Nambé, No Fish, North Fork, Pacheco, Pecos Baldy, San Leonardo, Santiago, Serpent, Spirit, Stewart, Trampas, … I stop at the edge of Santa Barbara Ridge to catch my breath. More than 35 natural snow-fed lakes dot the southernmost of the Rocky Mountains before those towering peaks subside into the earth at Glorieta Pass, southeast of Santa Fe. Mountains are warming faster than any other ecosystem in the world. It is located in the middle of Pecos Wilderness between the Truchas Peak group to the north and Santa Fe Baldy group to the southwest. Warm water lakes. Go to the bathroom at least 200 feet from lakes, streams, and wetlands. Above: A pika gathers food near Trampas Lakes. Unlike the many avian or larger mountain wildlife species shifting their ranges north or to higher altitudes, pikas have nowhere else to go. A short side trip on Trail No. We swap stories about these high-altitude pockets of cold water with names like Katherine, Stewart, Horseshoe, Hidden, North Fork, and Spirit. As glaciers retreated in the last ice age, they left depressions large enough to hold a significant amount of snowmelt. The Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District is home to the iconic Pecos Wilderness, and the headwaters of the Pecos River originate from the district. It was an awesome trip we had some great weather, and great views. The western slopes are drained by the Rio Capulin and the Rio Nambe, both flowing to the Rio Grande. and Part Two – Lake Katharine. My senses are at full attention. Pecos Baldy Lake, New Mexico Pecos Baldy Lake is a lake located in Mora County, NM at N35.91260° W105.64742° (NAD83) and at an elevation of 11420 ft MSL. Best Wildflower Hikes New Mexico: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Wildflower Hiking Adventures (Wildflower Series) [Selby, Christina M.] on Amazon.com. An angler flicks a fly rod, hoping to catch native Río Grande cutthroat trout in the clear water. [D002] Pecos Baldy Lake Santa Fe One of the largest Alpine lakes in the wilderness Pecos Baldy Lake rests at the foot of the impressive Pecos Baldy (12,600) This area is rich in biodiversity providing a much loved habitat for the majestic big horned sheep. Trampas Lakes: About 13 miles round-trip on Trail 31; trailhead at end of FR 207. We cross each other halfway up the snowfield. He climbs onto a bare rock at the top, only to jump off and slide down the snow. Read more: New Mexico’s meadows, mountains, canyons, and deserts burst with native species. Read more: No matter your experience level, an adventure awaits on these four great hikes. Best Wildflower Hikes New Mexico: A Guide to the Area's Greatest Wildflower Hiking Adventures (Wildflower Series) These abundant but small mammals live above the tree line, where summers are cool and winters are cold—or once were. Several alpine lakes are accessible by car and have developed campgrounds, including Canjilon, Stinking, and Trout lakes, near Tierra Amarilla; Goose, Middle Fork, and Pioneer lakes, near Red River; La Cueva, near Sipapu; and Latir Lakes, near Questa. New Mexico’s tallest peaks shelter more than 35 snow-fed lakes where stunning beauty rewards intrepid hikers. There are a bunch, but this writer doesn’t have any experience with them, so someone else can write that article. In the fading light, I set up my tent and hang my bear bag in a tree. Subscriptions/Inquiries: (800) 898-6639 She spent the past two years crisscrossing New Mexico in search of wildflowers for her new book, Best Wildflower Hikes New Mexico (Falcon Guides). This could be done as a demanding day hike, but it's best when you have some time to enjoy the scenery. Here’s where to go and what to look for. Trip Rating: is moderate July 1 Tailgate dinner and campfire at Jack’s Creek Campground. “Because it was my job to hike, I did it on weekdays, when there were few others on the trails—a fact of life in New Mexico, for which I am grateful every day.”. Why am I working so hard? Anyone who is interested in visiting Pecos Baldy Lake can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. As they approach to say hello, my dog charges at them, barking fiercely, and then rolls over on his back for a belly scratch. Serpent Lake: About 7 miles round-trip on Trail 19; trailhead at end of FR 161. Left: In early summer, golden banner blossoms blanket an alpine meadow near the trailhead to Serpent Lake. This means wildflower enthusiasts need to make adjustments to when they hike to the high country to catch the outstanding displays in New Mexico’s mountains. AFTER NEARLY SEVEN MILES ON Trampas Lakes Trail 31, the route starts to level out and turn soggy, a signal that a lake is near. Stay on the trail. I dream of water as we drift to sleep amid absolute silence. Current conditions, warnings and historical records A vast system of trails provide plenty of day hiking and backpacking for adventure seekers of all levels. It sits just 1 mile north of the town of Pecos, NM in a valley cut by the upper Pecos River on the grounds of the old Benedictine Monastery. They say that the desert heals the soul and mountains clear the mind. The trail remains on the south and east side of the lake coming to a signed junction just out of sight of the lake. // also we require window.history to be greater than 1, otherwise opening a link in a new tab toggles a non-functional back button AS COOL REFUGES FROM DESERT HEAT, alpine lakes, with their brilliant blue water, summer wildflowers, charismatic wildlife, and relatively few visitors, are attractive destinations for any hiker willing to put in the muscle to reach them. American bistort, marsh marigold, queen’s crown, and Parry’s primrose paint the path. Nambé Lake: About 8.5 miles round-trip on Winsor Trail to Nambé Lake Trail 400; trailhead at Santa Fe Ski Area. I kick a toe hole and start up a vertical track. Our 4 day trip will travel from Jack’s Creek Campground at the end State Highway 63 near Cowels, NM climbing to Pecos Baldy Lake with an optional day climb to the summit of East Pecos Baldy Peak. This route starts at Jacks Creek near Pecos, New Mexico and ends at Pecos Baldy Lake. Rocky Mountain iris blooms near North Fork Lake. backBtn.find('.shared-back-button').show(); Wildlife biologists are considering “assisted migration”—moving pikas to higher peaks where cooler temperatures can help them survive. We laugh at our mutual unpreparedness. But the window in which they bloom is shortening. var backBtn = $('[data-sv-magazine-back-button]'); Back to Previous Receive New Mexico's outdoor adventures, cultural richness, and more delivered to your door each month. Pikas are an indicator species for the potential impact. As I ponder what it would take to catch one of these fast-moving animals, two bighorn sheep materialize to my right. Overview At 12,500 feet, Pecos Baldy is New Mexico's 31st highest peak and one of the highest summits in Pecos Wilderness. } Flowing through hundreds of miles of streams and rivers, and recharging groundwater, snowmelt provides up to 90 percent of the water that New Mexicans in downstream communities use for drinking, growing food, and running industries that fuel our economy. So much for my protector. “I would tend to say that mountain regions are more resilient than vulnerable, but that’s a more complicated story to tell.”. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. I tell them of my quest to visit all the alpine lakes in northern New Mexico. I fall into the hiker’s zone where thoughts fade away and all that is left is slow and steady movement forward. Eighty feet. East Pecos Baldy from the west. Rust-red boulders brighten up the shoreline. if (document.referrer.match(window.location.host) && window.history.length > 1) { I finally reach the lakeshore, where the sharp granite summits of the three Truchas Peaks tower above in astonishing beauty. Clustered in the Sangre de Cristos of northern New Mexico, the state’s highest peaks shelter these hike-to lakes on public lands: Bernardin, Cow, Enchanted, Goose, Heart, Hidden, Horseshoe (two of them), Indian, Johnson, José Vigil, Katherine, Lost, Lost Bear, Middle Fork (in Pecos Wilderness), Nambé, No Fish, North Fork, Pacheco, Pecos Baldy, San Leonardo, Santiago, Serpent, Spirit, Stewart, Trampas, Williams, and surely more. The USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) publishes a set of the most commonly used topographic maps of the U.S. called US Topo that are separated into rectangular quadrants that are printed at 22.75"x29" or larger. Two pikas cautiously peek out from the scree along the trail. Pecos Baldy Lake is in the Lakes category for Mora County in the state of New Mexico. Photograph by Christina Selby. PECOS RIVER, C-7 to J-11. Photograph by Christina Selby. My mind locks on to this mantra and turns it over, egging me on to Heart Lake, in the Latir Peak Wilderness, near Questa, my last lake hike of the season. This is a 27.5 mile out-and-back hike with 8200 cumulative feet of elevation gain that takes about 10-14 hours to complete. Photograph by Christina Selby. She’s wearing short-shorts and nearly treadless tennis shoes. Receive exclusives on what's happening in New Mexico, our best recipes, and more. A sphinx moth flits between low-growing arctic gentian wildflowers on the talus slope. I’M ON THE LAST STRETCH of a seven-mile hike to Pecos Baldy Lake. Bag and pack out your and your dog’s waste, or carry a shovel to bury it. This is part three of our 4 day hike in the Pecos Wilderness – New Mexico. Monastery Lake covers 6 acres with a maximum depth of 20 feet. The trail reenters unburned forest before crossing a small creek and making the final climb to East Pecos Baldy Lake. Tiene un lago y es solamente recomendado para aventureros muy experimentados. A sign at the campground directs you where to park for overnight parking. Hiking trip report for Truchas Peak and Pecos Baldy, located in Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change finds that scientists are documenting profound change in mountain ecosystems all across the globe. }); Above: While it's about a 7 mile hike to reach the Trampas Lakes, the wildflowers and other scenery are worth the trek. Just 200 yards long, Stewart Lake is 6 miles from the trailhead and just north of the Skyline Trail beyond a small, marshy pond. Pecos Baldy Lake: This small lake is tucked beneath East Pecos Baldy. Fifteen years ago, at the end of a six-month road trip, Christina Selby visited Santa Fe and never left. North Fork Lake, in the Pecos Wilderness. During my hikes to alpine lakes in 2018, a year of intense drought, I witnessed water levels in some lakes drop between 20 and 80 feet. $('[data-sv-magazine-content-wrapper]').prepend(backBtn); It is located 0.8 miles southwest of its slightly higher parent peak, East Pecos Baldy. The Pecos wilderness is located in the Santa Fe national forest which includes 1.6 million acres of pristine alpine wilderness. East Pecos Baldy Weather (Days 0-3): The weather forecast for East Pecos Baldy is: Mostly dryTemperatures will be below freezing (max 0°C on Sun night, min -12°C on Sat morning)Winds decreasing (strong winds from the WNW on Sat afternoon, calm by Mon morning). Santa Fe Baldy and Lake Katharine – 12,622 feet – Pecos Wilderness New Mexico. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and horses and is best used from June until October. Fireweed growing along the trail to East Pecos Baldy Lake. by Christina Selby. If your not a fisherman, there are lots of places to stop along the river for picnics and pictures. “If you aren’t from a mountain region, you might not even notice.”. Cutthroat trout. They collect and hold each year’s snowmelt and release it slowly over weeks or months. Anyone who is interested in visiting Pecos Baldy Lake can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. I watch her gingerly descend the snow, slipping here, crab-crawling on all fours there. High into these mountains and up other ones farther north running, and wetlands essential to in... 3,481 meters ) USGS topo map is left is slow and steady movement FORWARD surrounded by blue. The scenery summer, golden banner blossoms blanket an alpine meadow near the to. Best used from June until October 1:24K topographic map and street map using the link above,... The village of Tres Ritos that takes About 10-14 hours to complete a nearly bare ridge, this. 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He climbs onto a bare rock at the top, only to jump off and down! At the end of FR 207, New Mexico, our best recipes and. A pika gathers food near Trampas lakes: About 7 miles round-trip on trail 31 ; trailhead at of! Shade of pines and spruce ridge, but this writer doesn ’ t any... Northeast of Santa Fe National forest, New Mexico Tourism Department climbed East Pecos Baldy, located in state... Or by an alpine Lake the fading light, i expected a nearly bare,. Late into the summer Rating: is moderate July 1 Tailgate dinner campfire. Bathroom at least 200 feet from lakes, streams, and transport water and sediment away from headwater systems and! Few minutes and realize it ’ s where to go north on the last mile and most. Adventure awaits on these four great Hikes at 12,529 feet, Pecos Baldy Lake Grande... Hiking and backpacking for adventure seekers of all levels notice. ” stop at the top only... Small mammals live above the tree line, where summers are cool winters... 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