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East Fork Trail No. 16 - Camino Real

Contact Info
Penasco, NM 87553

Phone:
575-587-2255
Basics
Length:
15.6 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate,
Difficult
Time:
9 - 10 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10200 feet
Elevation Range:
10200 feet to 12040 feet
Elevation Change:
1840 feet
Usage:
Moderate
Season:
Year Round

Description

Cross-country travel into the Pecos Wilderness is becoming more popular with many taking day hikes through the Middle Fork Trail. The terrain will vary along these trails with the most gentle gradient located in the first four to five miles, becoming progressively steeper. Snow depth also increases. South slopes will sometimes have bare spots. Be prepared for adverse weather in the wilderness. Always beware of avalanche!

Tour Companies

  • Santa Fe Area
  • Snowshoeing, Hiking
  • 505-660-0394

Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing From alpine to desert, Outspire guides enrich your experience by giving context to your hike. So that your destination is not only what you see, but a sense of where the area fits in New Mexico's history, geology and natural world. Our hiking guides are experienced, enthusiastic, and motivated to share the joy of being outside! Day hikes and winter snowshoe outings are planned to suit your interests and fitness.

Details

Length:
15.6 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Difficult
Time:
9 - 10 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
10200
Elevation Range:
10200 feet to 12040
Elevation Change:
1840
Usage:
Moderate
Season:
Year Round
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Jicarita Peak, Pecos Falls

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

This is the least traveled of the three trails up to the Santa Barbara Divide and offers opportunities for a more solitary wilderness experience. The trail is well marked and is easy to follow most of the way up the canyon. The trail ends at the start of the Jicarita Peak Ridge just northeast of the Santa Barbara Divide. Bad weather, especially afternoon thunderstorms during the summer, or dense fog may make navigation difficult or impossible.

About 3 miles up the canyon you will encounter the turnoff for Trail 25. At this point, continue on Trail 24 which climbs the hillside to the east. About three miles up the canyon, you will come across the junction of Trail 24 and 26. Trail 26 remains on the east bank of the river in the lower canyon. Open meadows alternate with mixed conifer forest interspersed with stands of aspen. Higher up the canyon the trail begins to cross various tributaries of the east fork. This branching continues with water cascading down the slope from various points all along the series of marshy plateau like giant steps. Good campsites can be found in the higher forested grounds amoung these meadows.

The way is marked and can be found easily with sharp eye and clear weather. Dense fog can make travel extremely difficult and at times impossible. If this occurs it may be best to wait for a break in the weather before continuing.

The final climb to the top of the Divide(12,100) brings you to a saddle east of Barbara Peak, west of Jicarita Peak, and overlooking Rincon Bonito to the south, the trail along the top of the Divide is Trail 36. To get to the Skyline Trail 251, climb west to the tip of the ridge and then continue west down the other side or turn southwest along a ridge south of Rincon Bonito. To get to Jicarita Peak and Ripley Point traverse north along Trail 36.


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