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New Meetup: Nambe Lake (Pecos Wilderness) Weekend Backpacking Trip

From: Jon
Sent on: Monday, March 1, 2010 12:05 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Nambe Lake (Pecos Wilderness) Weekend Backpacking Trip

When: Friday, May 7,[masked]:15 PM

Nambe Lake
Santa Fe National Forest, Pecos Wilderness Espanola Ranger District
Espanola, NM 87533

This trip takes us high into the Pecos Wilderness to Nambe Lake. We start out on the Winsor Trail. After you cross the small bridge over the Rio en Medio, the Winsor Trail branches left and downhill to Tesuque, or right and uphill toward the Pecos Wilderness. Take the right branch and follow the trail uphill as it begins a steady climb, switchbacking in about a half mile to the Pecos Wilderness boundary at a wooden fence with a walk-through gate. This section is rather steep, and many people get discouraged here; don't be, as the trail grade will soon level out. Follow through the gate, and continue on the well-worn trail as it winds through a mixed conifer forest of spruce, fir and aspen. Keep following the Winsor Trail, and in another mile you will meet the junction with the Nambe Lake Trail 400 to the south. This trail climbs steeply up the canyon, following a major fork of the Rio Nambe. There are numerous trails and paths in the area, and often there are parallel trails on both sides of the stream. This can make it difficult for the hiker who wonders which is the correct trail. Since the stream flows from Nambe Lake, as long as you are hiking up the river you are headed in the right direction. Continue up the steep and braided path and eventually, after a couple of boggy meadows you will reach the shallow lake sitting in a high alpine cirque below Lake Peak and Deception Peak. There is a large rock scree slope just above the lake, and if it has been a wet winter you may see the actual source of the Rio Nambe flowing out of the scree and into the lake. There is no camping or campfires allowed within 200 feet of any lake in the Pecos Wilderness. Since the lake sits in a bowl, it is difficult to find campsites more than 200 feet away, so we will plan on camping downstream from the lake amongst the large pines. After getting into camp, there are many options for day hikes including Santa Fe Baldy and Lake Katherine along with some shorter hikes.


This is the closest alpine lake to Santa Fe and, as such, receives a lot of visitors.

This trip is challenging due to some extremely steep sections of trail.

Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed 2010 Waiver and Release Form on file with us. This waiver covers all trips and activities for 2010, 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.

Please read our RSVP Policy located in our "About" section

The deadline for changing a "Yes" RSVP to a "No" RSVP is April 23

Trip Dates: May 7 (Friday evening) through May 9 (Sunday hike out)

Drive Time to Trailhead: 1 hr 30 min from ABQ

Camping Location for Friday Night: We will plan on backpacking in about 1 mile Friday evening and camping near the wooden gate on Friday night. We will all meet at the trailhead by 6:15 pm and start hiking by 6:30 pm. For those that can't arrive until Saturday morning, plan on meeting the group at the wooden gate by 10:00 am for the hike up to Nambe Lake.

Directions to Trailhead: From Santa Fe take St Francis Drive north to Paseo De Peralta and turn right (Paseo De Peralta is the next main intersection after St Francis crosses Cerrillos Rd). Continue down Paseo De Peralta and in about 1/2 mile after crossing over East Alameda St, turn right onto Washington Ave. In .10 mile turn right onto Artist Rd/SR 475. You are now heading towards the Santa Fe Ski Area. In about 14 miles you will arrive at the Ski Area. Park in the lower or western side of the parking lot. The trailhead is just north of the toilet building for the Aspen Basin Campground, at a large informational kiosk.

Trip Rating: Difficult (first 2 miles are Moderate, last mile is Difficult)

Trail Length: 3 miles one way, 6 miles round trip (plus options for day hikes)

Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft

Elevation Range: 10,500 ft to 11,800 ft

Expected Temps: Highs in upper 60's, lows in mid/low 30's

Dogs Allowed, must be on leashes

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

Contact Jon for more info or questions

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