Ascent of East Pecos Baldy on 2018-10-06

Climber: Rob Anthony

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, October 6, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:East Pecos Baldy
    Location:USA-New Mexico
    Elevation:12529 ft / 3818 m

Ascent Trip Report

We got a fairly early start out of Albuquerque, but I slowed us down stopping to get burritos at the Pantry in Santa Fe. We got to the trailhead around 9 am and were on the trail around 9:20 due to a pen fiasco to fill out the requisite parking permit at Jack's Creek.

We started of on Beatty's trail (#25) which starts near the horse corrals. The first mile of the trail gains elevation at a moderate pass as it skirts the edge of the main Jack's creek campground. After this first mile, the long switchbacks start which eventually take you to a junction at around mile 1.7. Go left and keep climbing as going straight is a horse trail to return to the corrals.

At 2.5 miles, the trail comes out the trees to a nice overlook. This is also the junction with Jack's Creek Trail (#257). The next two miles of trail was mostly through meadows with excellent views and scenery of the changing Aspens. The most scenic overlook, may be at about mile 3.0 on top of a small bench. This section also contours around Round Mountain, which is a true peak, but is fairly heavily forested.

At around mile 4.5, the trail goes back into the trees and starts following Jack's creek - here it merges with the Dockweiler Trail (#259). The creek was flowing the October, which gave Rayleigh, our dog, a chance to drink.

At a little after 5 miles, the trails split and we kept following Jack's Creek Trail. The trail goes through a heavily burned area of the Pecos forest for about a mile. The final mile to Pecos Lake is in the trees.

We reached Pecos Lake at around 12:45 and had lunch on the West Shore. Pecos Baldy rises over 1,000 ft directly in front of you above the Lake. Since we had already climbed about 3,000 ft and gone 7.5 miles, Christina was not interested in summiting the peak. I scarfed down lunch and went for a quick ascent.

I backtracked around the Lake and headed West on the Skyline Trail (#251). This trail rapidly gains 500 ft or so on good tread in about a mile. I encountered one other couple descending on the Skyline Trail back to the Lake.

At 11,900 I reached a meadow with a signed trail junction to the East Pecos Baldy Summit (#275). The trail is fairly steep and rocky, but no more technical than a difficult class 1. There is no exposure on this trail.

After another 650 ft of climbing, I reached the summit, which is marked by a large rock cairn. Stunning views are had of the Truchas Peaks to the north, the Santa Fe mountains to the east (Santa Fe Baldy, Lake Peak, etc), and Pecos Lake and the Pecos forest below you. These are some of the best views I've had from a peak in New Mexico.

I descended as quickly as I could to the meadow and jogged the Skyline Trail back to Pecos Lake. There is a shortcut from the Skyline Trail directly to Pecos Lake that I took to meet back up with Christina and Rayleigh.

We then retracted our steps exactly back to the trailhead and had a great dinner and beers at Rawleighs in Santa Fe. Great birthday hike!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4129 ft / 1257 m
    Extra Gain:200 ft / 60 m
    Round-Trip Distance:17.5 mi / 28.2 km
    Route:Jack's Creek Tr/Skyline/West Pecos Baldy
    Trailhead:Jack's Creek Campground   8800 ft / 2682 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1.5
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Beautiful Fall day - few clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:4 Hours 18 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 27 Minutes

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