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Rio Quemado Trail No. 153

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

Phone:
505-753-7331
Basics
Length:
10 miles
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
8 - 9 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
9600 feet
Elevation Range:
9600 feet to 12024 feet
Elevation Change:
2424 feet
Usage:
Light
Season:
Spring to Fall

Description

The trail wraps around north of the small parcel of private land, and may be hard to follow. Just after the private land look to pick up the trail as it continues east towards the wilderness boundary. At this point the trail resembles a small road, and is easy to follow. The trail will climb along a ridge to an elevation of 10,800 feet. Just before the high point of the ridge, a post is encountered marking the intersection of Trail 151. To continue along Trail 153, the traveler must turn to the left, northwest along Trail 151 for fifty yards and look for the post and sign marking the continuation of Trail 153. At this point the trail branches off subtly to the northeast and soon drops into the canyons of the Rio Quemado.

This portion of the trail is little used and may be hard to follow. Soon the trail will meet up with a jeep road from the town of Truchas. Trail 153 continues uphill and to the east along this road for awhile before it again narrows into a trail. From here the trail is again easy to follow, and will climb steadily along the north fork of the Rio Quemado, passing several small cascades, finally leading up to the Quemado Falls, which can be a fairly spectacular waterfall if it has been a wet winter. A short detour off of the main trail is required to get a good viewing. Just upstream of this waterfall, the river begins to fork as various tributaries join from the headwaters of the Rio Quemado. There are a multitude of trails along most of these tributaries. The main trail continues to the boggy flats just west of the Truchas Peaks ridge. This high alpine cirque is locally known as the Rincon Grande. The views of the peaks are magnificent.

To find the trail to North Truchas Peak, follow the trail along the southern most tributary to its headwaters just below the ridge between North and Middle Truchas Peaks.

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:
10 miles
Difficulty:
Difficult
Time:
8 - 9 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
9600
Elevation Range:
9600 feet to 12024
Elevation Change:
2424
Usage:
Light
Season:
Spring to Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Truchas Peak, and Pecos Wilderness Map
Additional Details:

This trail offers a different approach to the Truchas Peaks area than the more frequently traveled trails of the eastern side of the Pecos Wilderness.

No water along the trail is available until the south fork of the Rio Quemado. Quemado Falls are one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Pecos Wilderness.

The final section of the trail up to the top of the Truchas Peak can be difficult to locate. As with all peaks and exposed ridges, Truchas Peak should be avoided during inclement weather or lightning storms.

There is a higher than average incidence of vandalism to vehicles in this area.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Take State Road 503 through Nambe and Cundiyo. About two miles north of Cundiyo, almost across the highway from the turnoff to Santa Cruz Lake, turn east on Forest Road 306, and follow it 9.1 miles to Forest Road 435 and the turnoff to Borrego Mesa Campground.

Continue past the campground on FR 435, and follow the road uphill to the north and east for another mile or two. The road will end at a small parcel of private land with a cabin inside a gate. Park just outside the private land where there is room for a vehicle or two just outside the gate.


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