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Serpent Lake Weekend Backpacking Trip

This trip will take us to lightly visited Serpent Lake in the Pecos Wilderness. This lake (and a 2nd smaller one) sits in the middle of a large, grassy meadow (11,800 ft) with several high peaks (slightly under 13,000 ft) surrounding the basin. We've seen a large herd of elk around the lakes in the past and bighorn sheep up on the ridge above the lakes.  We'll take the Alamitos Trail #19 from the parking area at the trailhead all the way to the trail spur that drops us down to the lakes. We'll have the option of a day hike up to the summits of two surrounding peaks (Jicarita at 12,835 ft and an unamed peak at 12,828). 

You will be able to RSVP for this trip starting June 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 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 July 4, 2014

Trip Dates: July 18 (Friday evening) thru July 20 (Sunday hike out)

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

Camp Area Location: 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 turn right and continue down SR 518. Continue approx 13 miles on SR 518 and look for Forest Rd 161 where you will turn right. Continue down Forest Rd 161 for 4.5 miles and you'll come to a large parking area at the end of the road. This Forest Rd is gravel so a passenger car can easily make it.  Our camp is about 100 yards from the parking area on the other side of the creek.  The trail to our camp is obvious, just follow the trail/old dirt road past the barricade.  You'll find us off to the right of the trail.

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

Trail Length: 4 miles Saturday, 4 miles Sunday (8 miles total) *With option for day hikes to peaks

Elevation Gain: 1,080 ft to lake and 2,115 ft to Jicarita Peak (day hike)

Elevation Range: 10,720 ft to 11,800 ft (to lake) and an additional 1,335 ft to Jicarita Peak summit

Expected Temps at 11,800 ft: Highs in 60's, lows around 40

Dogs Allowed

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

Contact Bob F with any questions!

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  • Chris

    Thank you Bob for organizing this wonderful trip. Also nice to see everyone and meet some new folks!

    July 25, 2014

  • Bonita

    It was an awesome weekend in spite of Bob getting us lost...on a long hike...up hill...that was supposed to be just "1/2 mile!" Just kidding!! Had a great time on my last bp trip with the group this season :'(

    3 · July 21, 2014

    • Derrick

      no no no no. there will be a trip in OCT. none of this last trip stuff.

      1 · July 22, 2014

    • Bonita

      I don't get back until the first week of November so provided there's trips and favorable weather, you may be correct ;)

      July 22, 2014

  • Kimberly

    Great group, beautiful destination, wonderful anniversary! Great meeting everyone and thanks for posting the awesome pictures!

    1 · July 22, 2014

  • Bob F

    Great way to spend our anniversary weekend! Thanks for a fun time (and the perfect weather)!

    2 · July 22, 2014

  • Paula E.

    Ditto on Ken's comments: thanks for organizing and for welcoming me as a first time meetup backpacking hiker. It was great to meet everyone.

    3 · July 21, 2014

  • Ken

    My first outing with the group and it exceeded my expectations. Big thanks to the organizers and assistant organizers, Bob, Jim and Bonita for hosting the trip. Everyone in the group added something special to my experience. It was a pleasure to meet all of you.

    3 · July 21, 2014

  • Paula E.

    Jim, thanks for the tip about continuing up Trail 19 past treeline. It was awesome, in the true sense of the word. I didn't go all the way to the top but what a beautiful view and perfect weather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Jim

    Had a great time with a really good group of people and dogs!

    2 · July 21, 2014

  • dorothy

    sorry all but I too have cancel. Had too take my son to hospital as he has tonsillitis and may require emergency on Friday.

    July 16, 2014

  • Rick M.

    Had to cancel. There is an emergency with a friend. Have a great trip everyone.

    July 16, 2014

  • Paula E.

    Hello all. If anyone is interested in driving up to the trailhead with me in my vehicle (SUV), please let me know. I plan to leave Santa Fe at about 3pm Friday. I live in the center of town. Thanks. [masked]

    July 14, 2014

  • Dave P.

    I'll be out of town this weekend, so sorry I will have to miss it :'(

    July 1, 2014

    • Chris

      Hope to catch you next time Dave!

      July 8, 2014

  • David

    This would be my very first Meetup outing. Excited to say the least!

    June 27, 2014

  • Carol

    So sorry to not be able to attend this backpacking trip... I've had to change my RSVP as my mother just had surgery scheduled for July, and I will be going to stay with her during her recovery. I hope to join you again sometime soon.
    Have a wonderful trek!

    June 12, 2014

  • Gina

    I won't be able to participate on this backpacking trip because I will be out of town.
    Have a great time!

    June 9, 2014

  • Cynthia

    Awesome. Awaiting RSVP opening! And praying for no fires.

    March 27, 2014

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