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Pecos Wilderness

nm

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 26.8 miles


This 25 mile Loop takes you to Serpent Lake, Along the Santa Barbara divide, into the East Fork Valley, through rolling hills and forest back up to Jicarita peak, and back towards Serpent lake to trail head 1.
  • Trail head
  • serpent lake
  • ridge
  • looking south
  • divide
  • east fork valley
  • looking east
  • the Truchas group
  • east fork trail
  • nice stream
  • stream
  • meadow

Our first day we Had a short 3.5 mile hike to Serpent Lake.  A beautiful place to set camp with great views of Jicarita peak.  On day 2,  We hiked up to the Santa Barbara Divide,  A very  nice hike as far as scenery goes,  but very strong winds and un-ending rock fields are waiting to cause you to roll an ankle.  There is plenty of wildlife to see, including: Big horn Sheep,  Marmots and Pika.  Roughly 8 miles of hiking along the divide,  before you can descend into the east fork valley.  You can set camp near one of the lakes in the valley,  just watch out for the herd of cows!  A fire will not scare them away!  They will stick around your camp until it goes out,  and then they'll eat the charcoal.   While we were there we were chased by bulls defending the calfs.  Not cool.  We were forced to leave our camp when they started nibbling at the tents,  and we were a little worried they might walk over us in our sleep.   The next day we headed 5 miles down the east fork trail,  which involves some hard to find cairnes scattered  about until you reach the wooded areas.   At the intersection of the Santa barbara trail,  continue straight for 7 miles to Santa Barbara camp ground.  The last 6 miles or so of the trail are thick with trees in a tight corridor,  so there isn't much to see,  but you'll lose a bit of elevation.   Cool of in the Rio Santa Barbara,  if you don't mind some pretty cold water then continue on to Set camp at the camp ground,  or continue on as we did to cut down on the next days hike.  Prepare for a pretty long day,  You'll go through fairly thick forest for 7 miles or so.  You'll also be  gaining quite a bit of elevation ( around 2500') up to Jicarita peak.  Once you reach the peak you'll have some great views of Serpent Lake and a smaller lake just to the north.   Enjoy  the view  and be glad that the climb is over.  Head back down towards serpent lake and take trail 19 back to the trail head.  

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