Set aside a long weekend to explore the pristine Pecos Wilderness high country. This route hovers near 11,000 feet, passing alpine lakes, expansive meadows, and views of the Sangre de Cristo peaks—several side trips offer more wildlife viewing opportunities.
Start at the Santa Barbara Campground and head south along the Rio Santa Barbara. After 10 miles, the route crests the Santa Barbara Divide, then travels along the foot of the Truchas Peaks—three neighboring 13,000-foot mountains. Four miles later, you’ll traverse a broad ridgetop along Trailriders Wall and drop down to Pecos Baldy Lake. From here, the trail descends to Horsethief Meadow and passes three alpine lakes near Santa Fe Baldy. Finish off with a scenic traverse across Puerto Nambe, a grassy plateau with views of Lake Peak and Santa Fe Baldy, and a steep descent past Aspen Peak into Aspen Basin.
-Mapped by Bill Velasquez