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Weekend Backpacking Trip to Horseshoe Lake (Pecos)

  • Sep 27, 2013 · 10:00 PM














This trip is featured in the May 2012 issue of Backpacker magazine on page 13. We will follow Trail #19 to Serpent Lake, but instead of turning right (north) at the sign post to drop down into the basin for Serpent Lake, we turn left (south) to drop down into the basin for Horseshoe Lake. The lake is about 2.5 miles from the sign post. Since the trail is not maintained, we will use a GPS to aid in route finding along lost parts of the trail. You can download a pdf file of the trip description by hovering your mouse cursor over “More” on the Meetup page tool bar and selecting “Files”. A GPS file with a track and waypoints for this hike can be found in the "Files" section as well (Right click on the link and save the file to your computer). The file extension may want to save as .xml so change it to .gpx).

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities so you only need to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form it can be downloaded from our "Files" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.

If you RSVP "Yes" for this trip please plan on attending. Please read our RSVP Policy located in our "Pages" section.

The deadline for changing a "YES" RSVP to a "NO" RSVP is September 13, 2013.

Trip Dates: September 27 (Friday evening) thru September 29 (Sunday hike out)

Drive Time to Trailhead/Camp Area on Friday Night: 2.5 hours from ABQ

Camp Area Location: Near the end of Forest Road 161

Directions to Camp Area/Trailhead: Take I-25 north to Santa Fe, then US 84/285 (St Francis Exit) out of Santa Fe north into Espanola. In Espanola you will continue "straight" through town which puts you on SR 68. Continue on SR 68 approx. 22 miles and turn right onto SR 75. Go approx. 17 miles and you will come to Penasco and the junction with SR 518 where you will stay right (basically continuing straight) and continue down SR 518. Continue approx 24 miles on SR 518 and you will go through the small town of Angostura.  Approx. 2 miles after Angostura look for Forest Rd 161 where you will turn right. Continue down Forest Rd 161 for 4.5 miles and you will come to the end of the road at a large parking area.  We will camp about 40 yards beyond the gate at the trailhead.  Cross the small creek and on the right you will see places to set up our tents. This Forest Rd is gravel so a passenger car can easily make it.

Trip Rating: Moderate (day hike could be difficult with elevation gain)

Trail Length: 6 miles Saturday, 6 miles Sunday (12 miles total)

Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft Elevation: 11,750 ft (at lake)

Expected Temps: Highs 70's, lows in upper 40's to 50's

Link to Horseshoe Lake Weather Forecast

Dogs Allowed

Contact Bob F with any questions

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  • Eric K.

    I really enjoy that place! To bad about all the wind.

    October 4, 2013

  • Bob F

    Beautiful lake & scenery! Thanks for getting us there Eric!

    September 30, 2013

  • Bob F

    I've been sick for almost 2 weeks now (although I'm feeling better) so I'll be coming up Saturday morning by 9 am. Wish I could be there Friday!

    September 27, 2013

  • Bob F

    31 deg is the adjusted forecast for 12,000 ft so I suspect it's not going to get much colder than that.

    September 26, 2013

    • Derrick

      Ill take that bet!

      September 26, 2013

    • Celia

      Speaking of cold, I wish I could be there for the thermometer battle on Sunday, but I've been sick all week, and it's not getting better fast. Sorry to miss it. Have a great trip.

      September 26, 2013

  • Bob F

    That's perfect backpacking weather Terri:)

    September 25, 2013

    • Derrick

      oooo low of 31 saturday at 8300 feet. Who wants to bet me its gonna get below 20

      September 26, 2013

  • Terri

    Looks like there may be much cooler temps than originally expected. Possibly even snow. Check out the weather forecast link on this page...

    September 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone want to carpool with me? I'll drive our give someone gas $

    September 8, 2013

    • Dave P.

      just noticed that Kyle has declined so he won't be going this weekend.....

      September 24, 2013

    • Rob B.

      Yeah, I'll drive you and Debbie. I could probably leave around 4pm if that works for you both.

      September 24, 2013

  • Debbie

    Is there is still room to ride with anyone I just got off the waitlist?
    I can be ready to go as early as 3pm on Friday.

    September 23, 2013

  • Brandon

    An unplanned conflict has arisen. Hope everybody has a great time!

    September 20, 2013

  • Dean

    Ahhhh I gotta join Derrick in 'pansy ass' section. My company is sending me to a CEU class this weekend :/

    September 7, 2013

  • Keith J.

    Hey Bob, I have a hypothetical question. I notice your notes about GPS route finding and a lost trail... hypothetically, what if someone on this trip was likely to be a really, really slow hiker? What if they were were so out of shape that they could only hike at a really really slow pace? Could that work, or would it cause a problem with the route finding and such? I ask this question hypothetically, and for no particular reason at all.

    September 5, 2013

    • Bob F

      Thanks Terri! But I think Keith is looking for a little more assurance that his hypothetical "friend" is not left behind. Through years of experience we've perfected the "beer dangling from a string" method. We've found that keeping it just out of reach of any hypothetical hikers until arriving at said destination works 100% of the time. Should this happen to not work in this hypothetical situation then we can try Terri's method. Hope this helps.

      September 5, 2013

    • Keith J.

      Hush guys. Hold still. Be quiet. I think I heard the word "beer".

      September 6, 2013

  • Dean

    Derrick needs to get a box of supers and join back up on this one!!

    August 27, 2013

    • Derrick

      ill see what i can do. but for right now its a no go

      August 29, 2013

    • Dean

      You'd better figure somethin out!

      August 30, 2013

  • Keith Schuyler D.

    I've had to drop because I forgot that I'm going to be paddling the Colorado this weekend. If only there was more time! I guess Kyle can have my spot. Y'all have fun!

    August 29, 2013

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