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New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness in late March?
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Conrad Stoll
(cnstoll) - F
New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness in late March? on 02/07/2010 21:10:37 MST Print View


I'm working on putting together a spring break trip and I am considering the Pecos. Last spring break I went to the Gila, also in New Mexico, and had a great time. I have hiked pretty extensively in New Mexico, but I haven't visited the Pecos before.

What worries me is if it may still be too cold and/or have the possibility for nasty weather. Even in the Gila my friend and I got a small taste of what spring in the mountains can be like, when we got snowed on during the last day of our trip.

Does anyone have any opinions on how cooperative the weather might be, and how feasible this is for a trip idea?


Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
Pecos will be snowy on 02/07/2010 21:34:56 MST Print View

I would recommend against northern NM, especially the Pecos, in March. The elevations are high, so that means snow and lots of it. the weather could be good in March, but unless you are planning a snowshoe/ski winter camping trip I would go back to the southern ranges. The Gila is huge, so I'm sure you can find something different than last year. Depending on how many days and how far you want to go, I would suggest starting up Turkey Creek and hitting the hotsprings there and then exploring the SW corner of the Gila wilderness. Not too crowded and beautiful loops can be done.

Also, this year's El Nino is hitting New Mexico pretty hard, which is great for skiers, but poor for shoulder season backpacking.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness in late March? on 02/07/2010 23:08:51 MST Print View

I agree with Travis. We couldn't get to Wheeler Peak last year on Memorial Day due to the snow, and it looks like more this year. Go south young man! How about the Guadelupes?

Conrad Stoll
(cnstoll) - F
Looking for new stuff on 02/07/2010 23:30:11 MST Print View

Yeah, ya'll are probably right on that. I was kinda hopeful that Pecos would be have a shot and being doable. I knew anything near Taos was out, since yeah, I've seen Wheeler as still a long shot in June.

I've done Guadalupe before, but obviously not all of it. That's definitely something I'll consider. I'm not opposed to going to the Gila again either, actually it was a lot of fun last time.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
"New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness in late March on 02/07/2010 23:32:54 MST Print View

Rancherias Loop at Big Bend Ranch State Park?

Conrad Stoll
(cnstoll) - F
Rancherias on 02/07/2010 23:35:42 MST Print View

I've heard of that but don't know much about it. Is there a link to that somewhere?

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Rancherias on 02/08/2010 05:23:06 MST Print View

Go to and you will find and get all kinds of great information about the State Park and the National Park and the whole trans-Pecos area.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness in late March? on 02/08/2010 05:54:53 MST Print View

Justin McMinn
(akajut) - F

Locale: Central Oklahoma
Re: New Mexico's Pecos Wilderness in late March? on 02/08/2010 08:14:24 MST Print View

Bandelier would probably be a better choice than the Pecos

March Weather in BNM -

I did a shortened version of the outer mountain loop last month in Big Bend.

Just north of Guadaluape is Carlsbad NP and Lincoln NF.

Crest Trail
Last Chance Canyon -

Lucas Boyer
(jhawkwx) - MLife

Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
re: NM in march on 02/08/2010 09:33:42 MST Print View

NM in March is a tricky endeavor. I have hit Gila/Aldo Leopold the last 3 yrs. in a row for Spring trips. The first 2 yrs. in March and last yr. in April/May. Gila is great, but the river crossings can torment you in spring. Melt-off will likely prove to be a problem for hiking either the Middle Fork or West Fork canyons, which are spectacular and can make a nice multiday loop from the Gila Nat. Monument. Aldo Leopold is nice too, but postholing in the Blacks discourages me from trying to do that in March again. You might try Apache Kid, but you will have to haul water. Big Bend is a nice alternative if you have the time to make the drive/fly, etc. You could do a split between Gila and Aldo Leopold and the CDT. Probably have to backtrack some too. I prefer big loops if I can do it. Good luck.

Travis Naibert
(outwest) - F
New Mexico on 02/10/2010 14:00:26 MST Print View

I just moved to Los Alamos from Albuquerque. It is pretty snowy here now, so if you are planning a Bandelier trip (which is awesome) post again here as your trip gets closer and I can tell you about snow conditions.

I hiked in the Apache Kid wilderness last march, beautiful area, real poorly maintained trails, nobody there, there is some snow up high during the spring that can be melted for water and the canyon bottoms should have plenty of puddle water that time of year.

I second the vote for the Black Range (Aldo Leopold) in later spring/summer, march will be postholing probably.

Eric Hartley
(steakknife) - F

Locale: Clintonville
NM in March on 02/20/2010 11:30:41 MST Print View

2 things:
Why not hike the Grand Canyon, March is wonderful, trails nearly empty, and permits are so easy to obtain.

This question is for me: would Pecos be good in mid-may?

Clayton Peirce
(cpeirce) - F
Pecos in mid May? on 05/06/2010 14:05:29 MDT Print View

I'm with Eric: How feasible is the Pecos around May 12th this year? How about with snowshoes? Specifically, I'm interested in getting to the Truchas peaks.
Thank you for your help. -Clayton

James Castleberry
Re: Pecos in Mid May on 05/06/2010 15:05:53 MDT Print View

I'm sure the Pecos will be kick-a**, especially if you have snowshoes.
Jacks Creek Trail #257 from the Jack's Creek campground is one of my favorite trails in the world. Probably still snow only at higher elevations but it's pretty gentle slopes most of the way up. You can connect the #257 to the #251 ridge trail to Truchas Peaks area. Two or three or four days of heaven all for the cost of $2 parking per day.

Mark Olah

Locale: New Mexico
Re: Pecos in Mid May on 05/06/2010 16:39:14 MDT Print View

Snow is probably melted out below 8,000' right now. If you expect to go up anywhere higher than 10,000' then bring your snowshoes. The higher peaks are still good ski conditions with deep snowpacks (which means avy danger is still in play especially wet slides in the afternoon).

Your best bet for a snow-free Pecos trip is late June.