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New Meetup: Nambe Lake Overnight Backpacking Trip

From: Jon
Sent on: Monday, October 18, 2010 12:44 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Nambe Lake (Pecos Wilderness) Weekend Backpacking Trip

When: Friday, October 29,[masked]:00 PM

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

This excursion to Nambe Lake will only be a one night trip. My intention is to get back to town early enough on Saturday that people can still go to Halloween parties that evening. The aspen may still be changing color by the time of this trip, so bring your cameras, and anyone who shows up wearing their Halloween costume will get bonus points! (Please note that bonus points have no monetary value and cannot be redeemed for anything useful. Offer not valid outside NM.)

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 very 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.

This is the closest alpine lake to Santa Fe and, as such, receives a lot of visitors. However, it is challenging due to some extremely steep sections of trail.

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

Trip Dates: October 29 (Friday evening) thru October 30 (Saturday hike out)

Drive Time to Trailhead: 1 hr 30 min from ABQ

Camping Location for Friday Night: We will plan on backpacking in about a half mile Friday evening and camping near the wooden gate on Friday night. We will all meet at the trailhead by 5:00 pm and start hiking. For those that can't arrive until Saturday morning, plan on meeting the group at the wooden gate by 10:00 am for the day hike up to Nambe Lake.

Note: there is no water at the Friday campsite, so bring enough to suffice until we get to the 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, at a large informational kiosk.

Trip Rating: Moderate

Trail Length: 3 miles one way, 6 miles round trip

Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft

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

Expected Temps: Highs in upper 30's to mid 40's, lows in mid 20's to low 30's

At this elevation and at this time of the year weather can change substantially from day to day, so be prepared for very cold conditions.

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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