I watch for a few minutes and realize it’s a marmot. "], function($) { The Pecos wilderness is located in the Santa Fe national forest which includes 1.6 million acres of pristine alpine wilderness. The trail remains on the south and east side of the lake coming to a signed junction just out of sight of the lake. Unlike the many avian or larger mountain wildlife species shifting their ranges north or to higher altitudes, pikas have nowhere else to go. You'll find … Trampas Lakes: About 13 miles round-trip on Trail 31; trailhead at end of FR 207. Walk carefully in fragile alpine tundra environments. They graze as they go, fattening up on protein-rich plants’ new growth. Though Pecos Baldy is soft ranked, only rising 280 feet above its highest saddle, its … I finally reach the lakeshore, where the sharp granite summits of the three Truchas Peaks tower above in astonishing beauty. The project took her from the coldest alpine lakes to the hottest deserts in the state and everywhere in between. Eighty feet. USGS Topo Map Quad: Truchas Peak We cross each other halfway up the snowfield. Lew Wallace Building The Santa Barbara Divide forms a mountainous barrier and spine of the Pecos wilderness. User-created trails can drain, incise, and transport water and sediment away from headwater systems. … I could just sit down next to this lovely mountain stream … My hiking companion, Glacier, a thigh-high white dog, steps on my heels to keep me moving. Left: In early summer, golden banner blossoms blanket an alpine meadow near the trailhead to Serpent Lake. The trail peters out into snow still covering the northern face of the mountain. Mountains are warming faster than any other ecosystem in the world. “I would tend to say that mountain regions are more resilient than vulnerable, but that’s a more complicated story to tell.”. In her quest to write and photograph stories that engage readers in the natural world, she has kayaked the Sea of Cortez, followed honeybees through the Himalayas, and pursued lost monkeys in the Amazon. Pecos Baldy Lake, New Mexico Pecos Baldy Lake is a lake located in Mora County, NM at N35.91260° W105.64742° (NAD83) and at an elevation of 11420 ft MSL. But these alpine environments, so essential to life in New Mexico, are rapidly changing. I stop at the edge of Santa Barbara Ridge to catch my breath. It sits just 1 mile north of the town of Pecos, NM in a valley cut by the upper Pecos River on the grounds of the old Benedictine Monastery. by Christina Selby. They side-eye me as they saunter by, seemingly undisturbed by my presence. Walking high into these mountains makes me feel good, even if it’s a chore to get there. So much for my protector. Pecos Baldy Lake is covered by the Truchas Peak, NM US Topo Map quadrant Monastery Lake covers 6 acres with a maximum depth of 20 feet. They call to each other with loud eeks, making sure the other is aware of my presence. During my hikes to alpine lakes in 2018, a year of intense drought, I witnessed water levels in some lakes drop between 20 and 80 feet. var backBtn = $('[data-sv-magazine-back-button]'); These deserve a separate article. But the window in which they bloom is shortening. E-mail: NM.magazine@state.nm.us. A sphinx moth flits between low-growing arctic gentian wildflowers on the talus slope. Several alpine lakes are accessible by car and have developed campgrounds, including Canjilon, Stinking, and Trout lakes, near Tierra Amarilla; Goose, Middle Fork, and Pioneer lakes, near Red River; La Cueva, near Sipapu; and Latir Lakes, near Questa. I’M ON THE LAST STRETCH of a seven-mile hike to Pecos Baldy Lake. These wildflowers thrive in high-alpine wetlands. Right: Snowmelt gathers in Nambé Lake. If you are not camping at the lake, turn right to go north on the Skyline Trail – Trail #251. Clustered in the Sangre de Cristos of northern New Mexico, the state’s highest peaks shelter these hike-to lakes on public lands: Bernardin, Cow, Enchanted, Goose, Heart, Hidden, Horseshoe (two of them), Indian, Johnson, José Vigil, Katherine, Lost, Lost Bear, Middle Fork (in Pecos Wilderness), Nambé, No Fish, North Fork, Pacheco, Pecos Baldy, San Leonardo, Santiago, Serpent, Spirit, Stewart, Trampas, Williams, and surely more. An eight-acre lake at the base of Pecos Baldy in the Pecos Wilderness. I’m stunned. If your not a fisherman, there are lots of places to stop along the river for picnics and pictures. Above: Bull and Lake Fork creeks meet near Heart Lake. East Pecos Baldy from the west. The National Forest Service recommends camping at least 300 feet from lakes, streams, and rivers and building no campfires, which damage soil and water quality. NOAA weather radar, satellite and synoptic charts. Current conditions, warnings and historical records Why am I working so hard? Our 4 day trip will travel from Jack’s Creek Campground at the end State Highway 63 near Cowels, NM climbing to Pecos Baldy Lake with an optional day climb to the summit of East Pecos Baldy Peak. Coordinates: 35.9126027°N, -105.6474217°W Pecos Baldy Lake is a water feature in New Mexico and has an elevation of 11,421 feet. In the fading light, I set up my tent and hang my bear bag in a tree. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. // also we require window.history to be greater than 1, otherwise opening a link in a new tab toggles a non-functional back button A short side trip on Trail No. They collect and hold each year’s snowmelt and release it slowly over weeks or months. My thighs burn, my heart thumps, and I can hardly catch my breath. So long as they can find the right vegetation, they will look their best again come fall, when mating season begins. We got to Pecos Baldy Lake at around 1:15 and set up camp. A sign at the campground directs you where to park for overnight parking. Flowing through hundreds of miles of streams and rivers, and recharging groundwater, snowmelt provides up to 90 percent of the water that New Mexicans in downstream communities use for drinking, growing food, and running industries that fuel our economy. “I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who made bad decisions today,” she says. I squat down to inspect the flowers closely—the parts do look like the large ears, long trunk, and rounded forehead of an elephant. An angler flicks a fly rod, hoping to catch native Río Grande cutthroat trout in the clear water. Alpine wildflowers grow close to the ground and in mats. Trip Rating: is moderate July 1 Tailgate dinner and campfire at Jack’s Creek Campground. It is located 0.8 miles southwest of its slightly higher parent peak, East Pecos Baldy. High mountain lakes such as Pecos Baldy Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Middle Fork Lake and others can be good, but access is difficult via 4wd or hiking. Fifteen years ago, at the end of a six-month road trip, Christina Selby visited Santa Fe and never left. Two other hikers laze about. I fall into the hiker’s zone where thoughts fade away and all that is left is slow and steady movement forward. Warm water lakes. Wildlife biologists are considering “assisted migration”—moving pikas to higher peaks where cooler temperatures can help them survive. Receive exclusives on what's happening in New Mexico, our best recipes, and more. if (document.referrer.match(window.location.host) && window.history.length > 1) { They say that the desert heals the soul and mountains clear the mind. I watch her gingerly descend the snow, slipping here, crab-crawling on all fours there. Pecos Wilderness Area, New Mexico Picture: Pecos Baldy Lake - Check out Tripadvisor members' 5,395 candid photos and videos. She spent the past two years crisscrossing New Mexico in search of wildflowers for her new book, Best Wildflower Hikes New Mexico (Falcon Guides). After a long winter, their coats are patchy as they shed their outer layer. Could it be the world’s grumpiest rodent is having fun sledding in the mountains? I pass through a field overflowing with colorful wildflowers and arrive at the lake. A breeze bends the trees, the grasses rustle, wildflowers paint the trail in bright colors, and the forest smells of the pine needles that crunch under my feet. Be prepared for narrow roads north of Tererro. She’s wearing short-shorts and nearly treadless tennis shoes. I tell them of my quest to visit all the alpine lakes in northern New Mexico. “If you aren’t from a mountain region, you might not even notice.”. Santa Fe, NM 87501 Clustered in the Sangre de Cristos of northern New Mexico, the state’s highest peaks shelter these hike-to lakes on public lands: Bernardin, Cow, Enchanted, Goose, Heart, Hidden, Horseshoe (two of them), Indian, Johnson, José Vigil, Katherine, Lost, Lost Bear, Middle Fork (in Pecos Wilderness), Nambé, No Fish, North Fork, Pacheco, Pecos Baldy, San Leonardo, Santiago, Serpent, Spirit, Stewart, Trampas, … District is home to the iconic Pecos Wilderness – New Mexico 's outdoor adventures, cultural,!, two bighorn sheep materialize to my right is slow and steady movement FORWARD bare! ) USGS topo map quad: Truchas Peak, at 12,529 feet, East Pecos Baldy Lake is in last!, slipping here, crab-crawling on all fours there ida y vuelta de 14.7 millas con tráfico moderado cerca. Two bighorn sheep materialize to my right are patchy as they can find the right,... T have any experience with them, so essential to life in New Mexico ’ s tallest peaks more... 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