Pecos Wilderness, NM: Truchas Traverse Triple-Header

Hit three 13,000-foot peaks in the Pecos Wilderness, the wildest wilderness south of Glacier.
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Hit three 13,000-foot peaks in the Pecos Wilderness, the wildest wilderness south of Glacier.

The steep and craggy Sangre de Cristo Mountains—far from any major metro areas—serve up plentiful alpine surprises at the Rockies' off-the-radar southern end. Tag 13,102-foot South Truchas Peak—the highest point in the range—plus West Truchas and Middle Truchas on this 14-miler.
Start from the Quemado Creek trailhead on the western slopes (requires a high clearance vehicle and permission from the Truchas Land Grant; get trailhead directions when obtaining permission, 505-351-4250). Hike 1,900 vertical feet and five miles up the rough Quemado Creek Trail to a high-alpine basin above a small waterfall, below the west face of North Truchas Peak. Camping? Find a good spot near the basin's southern wall. Scramble routes linking the triple crown are obvious; climb 13,066-foot Middle Truchas, then South Truchas, then 13,024-foot North Truchas.
Alternative: Make it a long weekend by starting from Jack's Creek Campground, on NM 63 north of Pecos, for a 25-mile round-trip on Trails #25 and #257 (and add Pecos Baldy Lake to the itinerary). --Steve Howe, howephoto.us
PERMIT: Permission to enter and pass through the land grant should first be obtained from the land grant. Contact Land Grant President Wilford Romero at (505) 351-4250.
MORE INFO: Santa Fe National Forest, (505) 757-6121; fs.fed.us/r3/sfe

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 22.5

Waypoints

TRU001

Location: 36.000247, -105.692468

Rio Quemado Trailhead

TRU002

Location: 35.978892, -105.632408

North Truchas Peak

TRU003

Location: 35.972067, -105.650282

Middle Truchas Peak

TRU004

Location: 35.962498, -105.644982

Truchas Peak