Recreation in the Pecos Wilderness
The Pecos Wilderness is one of New Mexico’s crown jewels when it comes to outdoor recreation. The Pecos Wilderness has access points from five counties and boasts activities ranging from fishing and hunting to backpacking, day hiking, camping wildlife watching, and solitude. From Iron Gate near Cowles you can be in the wilderness within minutes and hiking into the Hamilton Mesa area and before long make it to the Pecos Falls, an area of great beauty, with fishing opportunities that are spectacular, not to mention the beauty of eighty to one hundred foot waterfalls.
From the Las Vegas area, you can travel by car through the Gallinas Canyon and within minutes be on the trail of Hermit Peak, a prominent granite mountain jutting out of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. This east facing mountain offers some of the greatest views known to man. On a clear day you can see into three counties.
From the Mora area, west of New Mexico Highway 518, traveling up from Cleveland into the Walker Flats area, the trail into the North Fork is a back packing paradise. North Fork Lake is one of the few places on earth where one can encounter Rocky Mountain big horn sheep at very close proximity. Just a short hike south from North Fork is South Fork and Rincon Bonito where some of the best elk hunting opportunities can be found.
From Taos County through Penasco, the trail along the Santa Barbara Creek offers great fishing opportunities and as you get to higher elevations, the views from the north facing Santa Barbara Peak are spectacular in their own right. One goes from heavy forested area to timberline and the transition on the trail can make your outing very special.
Other access points from the Rio Arriba County area enter from the Truchas and Trampas areas where tributaries to the Rio Grande offer great fishing opportunities, world class hunting and amazing back packing adventures.
From Santa Fe, around the Santa Fe Ski Area, there are many access points that offer quick entry into the Pecos Wilderness like the trail from Aspen Park into the Santa Fe Baldy area where the fishing opportunities are as good or better than anywhere in the wilderness.
The variations in elevation from Pinon and Juniper to alpine and above timberline give every outdoor enthusiast something to love about the Pecos Wilderness. It’s diversity in terrain, vegetation, wildlife, and beauty is what makes the Pecos Wilderness so special.