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Horsethief Meadows Trail No. 143

Contact Info
Santa Fe National Forest
1710 N. Riverside Drive
Española, NM 87532

Phone:
505-753-7331
Basics
Length:
3 miles
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
2 - 3 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
9800 feet
Elevation Range:
9800 feet to 10750 feet
Elevation Change:
950 feet
Usage:
Light
Season:
Spring to Fall

Description

Approaching from the Skyline Trail 251 at the north end of Horsethief Meadow, a sign post marks the turn of the trail to the west side of Horsethief Creek. A trail across the swampy meadow may not be obvious at this point. Upon reaching the woods at the edge of the meadow, two trails can be seen. The trail heading north alongside Horsethief Creek is Trail 253. The trail turning west is Horsethief Meadows Trail 243. These junctions may not be signed. Within a quarter mile, Trail 243 crosses a small tributary of Horsethief Creek and begins the steep ascent out of the canyon. The trail follows this stream up a drainage for half a mile before crossing it once again and ascending rapidly up the ridge. The trail swings slightly north at this point and travels to a lower saddle before turning west to follow a small drainage down the valley to the Rio Frijoles. If the visitor is coming up the trail from Panchuela West and reaches this lower saddle with a fence just the other side, he must be sure to turn southeast to continue up the trail and not try to descend at this point. Good opportunities for camping can be found along the last section of the trail to the Rio Frijoles. Cattle can normally be seen grazing in the open grassy meadows that characterize Panchuela West.

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:
3 miles
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
2 - 3 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
9800
Elevation Range:
9800 feet to 10750
Elevation Change:
950
Usage:
Light
Season:
Spring to Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Sierra Mosca, Cowles, Truchas Peak, and Pecos Wilderness Map
Additional Details:

This trail is the shortest and most direct rout between two major areas of attraction in the Pecos Wilderness.

The area experiences a lot of treefall, and since this is not one of the highly maintained trails, visitors can expect to do a lot of scrambling over deadfall.

The trail is extremely steep and can be somewhat difficult to find in sections.

Due to the steepness of the terrain, there are few areas suitable for camping until the Frijoles or Horsethief basins are reached.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

This short trail connects the Rio Capulin Trail 158 and the Skyline Trail 251, and is a historic route from the Rio Frijoles to the Pecos River drainages, and can be accessed from either side.


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