August 9, 2011 at 3:58 PM
"Recently, I rode with friends up to Pecos Baldy"
By Susie Morgan
Hoof Prints in Santa Fe
Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.
Recently, I rode with friends up to Pecos Baldy (commonly known as “Jacks Creek”). The lake is at about 11,800 feet elevation in the Pecos Wilderness and covers a quarter million acres of unspoiled New Mexico alpine forest located about 35 miles east of Santa Fe. The ride up from the trailhead is a steep 2,200 foot vertical rise over a six mile trail back to the lake. The terrain varies from open meadows to the steep canyons of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Wildlife ranges from deer and elk to big horn sheep, turkeys and grouse. It is not uncommon to run into cattle in the wilderness either, as some ranchers are permitted to graze their cattle up there. There are 15 lakes and eight streams including the headwaters of the Pecos River.
This is one of my favorite rides but I hadn’t made it up there for about two years.
Note from Susie Morgan: Bill Manns is a well-known adventure trail rider. This means one needs to be an experienced rider on a great mount to keep up! I would judge this trail as “intermediate to challenging;” your horse needs to be well-conditioned for this ride.
Bill has been riding 57 years and has lived and ridden all over the back country of New Mexico for 17 years. Cody is his trusty mount respected by all who know him.
Photos by Bill Manns.
The Jack’s Creek staging area has corrals for overnight stays and large trailer parking. http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/sfe/recreation/districts/pecos/camping/jacksEquestrian.html