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Pecos Wilderness, NM

Jun 22 - Jun 29, 2019 -- $1200 ★★★★


The Pecos Wilderness in the Santa Fe National Forest (and the Carson National Forest) is a premier backpacking destinations in the Southern Rockies of New Mexico. Located just Northeast of Santa Fe, there are over 400 miles of trails in canyons and atop ridges that touch the sky at over 10000'. The area is covered with coniferous behemoths, is dotted with Alpine lakes and is home to the 2nd highest peak in New Mexico, Truchas Peak.

We will be hiking this pristine wilderness just after Summer Solstice, when the days are long and warm giving us plenty of time to explore the area and possibly see some Bighorn Sheep that inhabit the area. It's prime time to visit, so why not join us to see this wonderful, remote destination?

Important Notes

We have not yet obtained a permit for this destination, but expect to do so soon. We'll remove this note when the permit is obtained. Rangers assure us they will "get to it soon".

Most of the Pecos Wilderness is over 10,000' above sea level. You might consider arriving a day early to acclimate to the elevation. Albuquerque sits at 5300', just over a mile high.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. June is an ideal time to hike in Pecos Wilderness. It's reliably warm but the summer storms haven't started yet. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 70s & 80s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s, though it may reach the 90s during the day and freezing at night. Here are the historical weather averages. Expect sunny, fair weather, but be prepared for frigid nights because of the arid climate and radiational cooling.

Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
2nd Guide TBD


$1200 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from Albuquerque, National Forest permits, insurance, satellite phone and awesome guides.


The trails through the Pecos Wilderness are generally well maintained but they are at elevation which increases the difficulty for those who are coming from Sea Level. There is a fair amount of climbs and descents, but not all-day ups and downs as you might expect in a destination like the grand Canyon

A reasonable comparison of the Pecos can be made to Philmont Scout Ranch near Cimmaron, NM.

Civil Rights Compliance

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

This institution is operated under special use permit with the Gila National Forest.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Fly into Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) or drive/bus into Albuquerque, NM. The best time to arrive is between Noon-3PM, but if you can save a significant amount by arriving a few hours earlier or later, then do so.

Take a free airport shuttle to our local hotel Baymont by Wyndham Albuquerque Airport, 2601 Mulberry St SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, 505-246-9600

Equipment shakedown

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

If necessary, we'll take a short trip to REI, 1550 Mercantile Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107, (505) 247-1191, for forgotten or last minute equipment

Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in package)

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.

Free breakfast at Hotel

Shuttle 2 hours to the Pecos Wilderness in the Santa Fe Natkional Forest

If you have a National Park Pass please consider bringing it to help defray our costs.

Park at Coules Ponds

Start hiking in the Santa Fe National Forest at Cowles Ponds, elevation 8250'

Hike about 2.0 miles to the Panchuela Trailhead, elevation 8400'. It may be possible to drop participants here and have a guide drop the vehicle back at Cowles Ponds

Hike 4.0 miles on Trail #288 to the Sky Line Trail, elevation 9800'

Camp near the Sky Line Trail, elevation 9800'

Miles today: 6.0. Total miles: 6.0

Bailout: Cowles Ponds

Monday, June 24, 2019

Hike 1.5 miles on Trail #251 to Horsethief Meadow, elevation 10200'

Hike 3.8 miles on Trail #251 to Rito Perro Trail, elevation 10700'

Hike 1.6 miles on Trail #251 to East Baldy Trail, elevation 11900'

Drop packs and day-hike 1.2 roundtrip miles on Trail #275 to the summit of East Pecos Baldy, elevation 12529'

Hike 0.6 miles on Trail #251 to Pecos Baldy Lake, elevation 11400'

Camp at Pecos Baldy Lake, elevation 11400'

Miles today: 8.7. Total miles: 14.7

Possible bailout: One day away

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hike 2.7 miles on Trail #251 to Joe Vigil Trail, elevation 10400'

Hike 1.5 miles on Trail #351 to the Vigil Lake Trail, elevation 10600'

Hike 1.7 miles on Trail #352 to Vigil Lake, elevation 11800'

Camp at Vigil Lake, elevation 11800'

Miles today: 5.9. Total miles: 20.6

Possible bailout: Rio Quemado Trailhead (over 8 miles away)

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hike 1.7 miles on Trail #352 to the Joe Vigil Trail, elevation 10600'

Hike 1.4 miles on Trail #351 to the Rio Medio Trail, elevation 9600'

Hike 1.5 miles on Trail #155 to the Capulin Trail, elevation 9200'

Hike 2.0 miles on Trail #158 to the Horsethief Trail, elevation 10150'

Camp near the Horsethief Trail, elevation 10150'

Miles today: 6.6. Total miles: 27.2

Possible bailout: Rio Medio Trailhead

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Hike 3.7 miles on Trail #253 to Panchuela West, elevation 10200'

Hike 0.4 miles on Trail #243 to Horsethief Meadow, elevation 10200'

Hike 1.5 miles on Trail #251 to the Sky Line Trail, elevation 9800'

Hike 2.9 miles on Trail #251 to Winsor Ridge, elevation 10250'

Hike 0.4 miles on Trail #271 to Stewart Lake, elevation 10232'

Camp at Stewart Lake, elevation 10232'

Miles today: 8.9. Total miles: 36.1

Possible bailout: Panchuela Trailhead

Friday, June 28, 2019

Hike 5.7 miles on Trail #271, to Cowles Ponds elevation 8250'

End of hiking

Miles today: 5.7. Total miles: 41.8

Possible bailout: Cowles Ponds

Shuttle back to Albuquerqu and check into local hotel Baymont by Wyndham Albuquerque Airport, 2601 Mulberry St SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106, 505-246-9600

"After" body composition measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Free Hotel Breakfast

Free airport shuttle

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