|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Though it starts on a well-trodden path, this gorgeous mountain trek around Cerrito del Padre to the base of Chimayosos Peak fades into a short route-finding challenge for adventurous backpackers.
Head northeast from the Iron Gate Trailhead and climb to Hamilton Mesa. Descend to the Pecos River, passing Beatty’s Cabin, and cross the river at mile 5.8. From here, continue north to follow the sometimes swampy trail along the Rito del Padre. On the east side of Cerrito del Padre, tackle a stiff climb out of the drainage at mile 8.3 and continue uphill through conifers on Trail 25; there’s a good campsite when the trail crosses the Rito again at mile 9.25.
The next day, continue north to the foot of Chimayosos Peak on drier trail. Take in views of the 13,000-foot Truchas Peaks as you traverse the treeline west at the base before cutting south on Trail 257 at mile 12.25. Trail 246 fades on the western flanks of Cerrito del Padre before meeting the start of the loop; don’t attempt this unless you have good route-finding skills and a sense of adventure. Camp 2 is on the far side of this stretch at mile 16.
TO TRAILHEAD: From Pecos, take NM 63 north 18 miles to FR 223. Bear right; take FR 223 4.2 miles to end of road at Iron Gate Trailhead.