Trampas Lakes Trail-Trail 31

Carson National Forest, New Mexico

Elevation Gain3,684ft
Trailhead Elevation11,419ft
Elevation Min/Max8953/11419ft
Elevation Start/End11419/11419ft

Trampas Lakes Trail-Trail 31

Trampas Lakes Trail (Trail 31) is a hiking trail in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico. It is within Carson National Forest and Pecos Wilderness Area. It is 5.7 miles long and begins at 11,419 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,684 feet. The trail ends near the Trampas Campground camp site.

Trampas Lakes Trail-Trail 31 Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Hikes in New Mexico (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Martin
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"As it climbs 5 miles up the canyon of the Rio de las Trampas, the Trampas Lake Trail 31 stays within shouting distance of the cascading stream. The well-worn trail provides a long but reasonably gentle route to the lakes, which are nestled in a rock-lined bowl between Jicarilla and the Truchas peaks. Around the lakes, the entire horseshoe ridgeline stands above 12,400 feet. As late as 12,000 years ago, the high peaks of the Pecos Wilderness supported small glaciers and the upper canyon of the Rio de las Trampas exhibits the distinctive U shape of glacial valleys. The small stream—the “River of the Traps” in Spanish—takes its name from the days of the mountain men who came from Taos to trap beaver in the canyon. It is likely that Kit Carson trapped this stream early in his Western career."
Hiking New Mexico - 4th Edition (Falcon Guides)
Laurence Parent
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"This is a long day hike or overnight trip to two beautiful alpine lakes in the Pecos Wilderness. The northern end of the Pecos Wilderness is much less heavily visited than the areas around Santa Fe and the Pecos River drainage. On summer weekends, the trail is probably moderately busy. The two natural Trampas Lakes, and a third another mile up the trail, were formed when glaciers carved out basins in the rock and deposited rock dams, or moraines at the downstream ends of the basins. The lakes are tucked into forest just below timber line. Above tower sheer canyon walls and the 13,000-foot Truchas Peaks, the second highest in New Mexico. The trailhead campground consists basically of a pit toilet and a sign but still makes a good camp before or after the hike. No water taps or tables are present. Creek water can be treated for use."

Trampas Lakes Trail-Trail 31 Trip Reports

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This was an amazing hike only enhanced by the four fresh inches of snow that had just fallen. The scenery was amazing and the snow made the setting peaceful and serene. The alpine lake to the East has cliffs falling directly into the lake and offers some amazing views of the distant mountains. The trail is mildly strenous and offers a great taste of the Pecos Wilderness. This was one of the best trails I've hiked in the Pecos, and I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting a taste of the amazing Pecos Wilderness

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Trail Information

Carson National Forest
Nearby City
Pecos Wilderness Area
Skill Level
Carson National Forest, PO Box 68, Peñasco, NM 87553; (575) 587-2255;
Local Contacts
Pecos Wilderness; Carson National Forest; Truchas Peak and El Valle 7.5-minute USGS quads
Local Maps

Trail Log