West Fork Rio Santa Barbara/Truchas Peaks Weekend Backpacking Trip

 

This trip will take us up into the heart of the Pecos Wilderness to one of the more remote sections which leads to the Santa Barbara Divide, Truchas Lakes and Truchas Peaks. We'll start off from Santa Barbara campground at 8,800 ft along trail #24 which follows the West Fork of the Rio Santa Barbara then continue up the Rio Santa Barbara on trail #25 passing through many meadows and aspens with great views of the surrounding peaks before finding our camp for the night (6 miles in). Those with enough motivation and stamina can then do the 13 mile round trip hike up to the divide (12,000 ft) and the base of the Truchas Peaks either later in the day on Saturday or Sunday morning before we hike out. You'll have views of several peaks before reaching the divide, then once on the divide have spectacular views of the Truchas Peaks (over 13,000 ft tall), Chimayosos Peak, Barbara Peak, Jicarita Peak and so on. For those with a little less motivation you can hike up to No Fish Lake (about a mile and a half from the divide) and only have a 10 mile round trip with quite a bit less elevation gain.  And for those of us with no motivation you can just do a short hike through the meadows and enjoy the beautiful scenery around our camp! 

You will be able to RSVP for this trip starting May 1, 2014

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release form on file with us.  This waiver covers all trips and activities with our group so you only need to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form it can be downloaded from our "More/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 May 23, 2014

Trip Dates: June 6 (Friday evening) thru June 8 (Sunday hike out)

Drive Time to Campground on Friday Evening: 2.5 hours from ABQ

Campground Location: Santa Barbara Campground Note: There is a fee for this campground around $15/night which we'll split amongst us

Directions to Campground/Trailhead: Take I-25 north to Santa Fe and exit onto US 84/285 to Espanola. Once in Espanola continue "straight" thru town (US 84/285 breaks off to the left) and you will now be on SR 68. Continue on SR 68 north for 20.5 miles and turn right onto SR 75 at Dixon. Continue on SR 75 about 15 miles to Penasco. About 1 mile past the junction with SR 76 you will want to go to the right (SR 75 turns sharply left) and you will now be on SR 73. Continue down SR 73 for another 1.5 miles and turn left onto C-026/FR116.  Important!  This turn is confusing!  There's always been a sign for C-026, but sometimes not a sign for FR116.  A half mile or so after turning left (on C-026) you'll want to curve to your right and stay on FR116.  C-026 goes off to the left onto an uphill dirt road and gets very rough!  Now past the C-026 turnoff and continuing down FR116 for 6 miles you'll come to Santa Barbara Campground. Turn into the campground and go around the loop and when you're heading back towards the entrance look for our tents (and 8" x 10" Meetup sign) in one of the sites.

Trip Rating:  Moderate

Trail Length: 6 miles Saturday, 6 miles Sunday (12 miles total) *With options for various day hikes including around 13 miles (round trip) if hiking up to the divide

Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet (additional 1,000 ft gain if going up to the divide)

Elevation Range: 8,800 ft to 10,200 ft (with an additional 1,000 to 1,500 ft potential on day hike)

Expected Temps: At base camp, highs in 70's and lows in 40's 

Dogs Allowed, must be on leash in campground

Notice: Disregard the info/map directions link as it is incorrect!

Contact Bob F with any questions

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  • Bob F

    Fun group, great scenery and a good time despite some thunderstorms!

    1 · June 9

  • Jim

    Incredible weekend from start to finish! Great group of people and some exciting weather on top of it all!

    3 · June 9

  • Carol

    Also... Good to see you, Fernando and Jackson!

    June 9

  • Gina

    Great backpacking experience, great people and wonderful scenery. Thank you Bob.

    3 · June 8

  • Carol

    Thank you Bob for a really wonderful trek to this mountain meadow! Great camp location, beautiful views, creative creek crossings!... and loved having the campfires both nights (I'll bring some marshmallows next time!) Many thanks for inviting us Meetup folk along for company... and I so enjoyed the company too!

    3 · June 8

  • Frances

    This was a great trip! Well organized and lots of fun!! Thank you Bob! My first trip was amazing!!!

    3 · June 8

  • Bonita

    What a beautiful place! In spite of the rain and colder temps it was awesome! Thanks Bob for organizing this one!

    3 · June 8

  • Rick

    Thanks everybody for a great weekend!

    4 · June 8

  • Frances

    Is there any fishing??

    June 4

    • Bob F

      I don't remember ever seeing any fish in the stream, but that doesn't mean there aren't any.

      June 5

    • Frances

      Thanks :O)

      June 6

  • Len B.

    Hello everyone, I'm looking for a ride so me and my friend can join this trip. Thanks.

    June 4

    • Frances

      We are leaving at 3:00pm want to get there before dark. Westside of Albuquerque.

      June 5

    • Len B.

      Fernando says 3pm would work provided you can pick us up at Yale and Central. He can get off work early but not early enough to make it to the westside. Call me in the morning?

      June 5

  • penny

    Hi All, I was just this weekend backpacking at the junction of West and Middle Fork of Rio Santa Barbara. The log that used to be the bridge across the West Fork is down and the water is raging. We did not see any way to cross and all other hikers were turning back as well. You may want to check with the Camino Real Ranger station to see if there is a plan to restore crossing by this weekend or if there is an alternative way to cross that we did not find.
    Hope you are able to make it...It was gorgeous up there!

    June 1

    • Bob F

      Thanks Penny!

      June 5

    • penny

      Sure. Hope all crossings go well. Enjoy!

      June 5

  • John B.

    On May 23/25 we found down logs up / down river from the trail and were able to get across without too much trouble. But maybe the water is higher a week later.

    June 1

    • Bob F

      Thanks for the info John.

      June 5

  • Bob F

    Hi Everyone,

    I've gotten a number of reports about the log bridge which we need to cross in order to get to our intended camp area Saturday night. At the very least it is going to be unnerving. Some people may decide not to attempt it. If that happens, there's some campsites that we will have passed on the way to the bridge that you could camp at so the trip would still be worthwhile. The rest of us will continue to our original camp. Let me know if you have any questions.

    June 3

    • Derrick

      WHAT!?!?!? no bridge in the backcountry?!?!?!? what madness is this!

      June 4

    • Bob F

      And no cell phone towers, can you believe it?

      June 5

  • Carol

    Would taking rope be of any assistance in the crossing? (creating a guide line?... or something?)
    I haven't been there before so I don't know what the surroundings are like, or what might serve to help anchor a line.

    June 4

  • Ben E.

    Hmmm? Sounds like Luna the dog might not be able to cross the Rio ? And the waters are to high to carry her across ?

    June 5

    • Bob F

      Hey Ben! I'm not sure about a dog getting across safely or not (since I don't really know how deep the water is). I suspect we'd be able to either find a wider part of the stream to wade through or carry the dog through but I can't be certain. If I was bringing my dogs I'd chance it (if that helps any). Worst case scenario is you'd just find a camp site on that side of the stream.

      June 5

  • Bonita

    Hi all! I had to sign up last minute but looking forward to hanging out!

    June 5

  • Bob F

    I posted a pic of the crossing in the trip description.

    1 · June 4

  • Bob F

    After looking at some recent photos of the semi-downed log bridge I don't think we'll have much of a problem. I'll bring a rope and it looks like we can tie it to a couple trees on each end of the log for some stability. Another option is to bring some water shoes and hiking poles and just walk next to the log through the water. This may be impossible for a dog to cross since the water is about waste deep and moving very rapidly.

    1 · June 4

  • Gina

    I'm really about about direction… but I can follow someone leaving from Albuquerque. If someone interested please let me know. Thanks, Gina

    June 2

  • dorothy

    Hi Bob,
    I just found out that I need to work this weekend, so I won't be able to go.

    June 2

  • Bruce

    Just hiked up to Santa Barbara Falls yesterday (6/1). The log bridge is a bit broken but passable with care and good balance. We used two long poles for balance and were able to cross. By the end of the day the water had risen a little from the heat of the day and was lapping over the logs. Probably not good for less experienced backpackers with heavy packs. Good luck!

    June 2

  • John B.

    Good luck y'all. I did this hike last weekend and ran into lots of snow - above 11,000 ft. Bring your gaiters!

    1 · June 1

  • Terri

    Here's an approx. link to the weather forecast for where we'll be camped Sat night:

    http://forecast.weather.gov/Map...­

    May 31

  • Gina

    Hi there! I'm looking for a ride so if someone is interested in carpooling let me know. I would like to share gas expenses

    1 · May 17

  • Bob F

    Jennifer, I sent you an email.

    1 · May 13

  • Jennifer S.

    Hi Bob, this looks like a great trip. Unfortunately can't make it, but was thinking about exploring these trails by myself over Memorial Day weekend. As "one of the more remote sections," how busy do you think the trails here will be that weekend? Can you recommend any other trails that will be relatively un-crowded over MD weekend? Thanks!

    May 13

  • Hayley B

    Hey guys. My vehicle is on its way out sadly (poor transmission) so I can't make the drive but I would love to go if someone would be willing to let me ride with. I don't mind driving within town to meet someone and I would definitely pitch in some money for gas. Thanks in advance to the kind soul who takes pity on me. :)

    1 · May 6

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