Cave Creek Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"The Santa Fe National Forest, the second-oldest national forest in the United States, was created by President Harrison in 1892 as the Pecos River Forest Reserve. Part of the forest was protected as the 223,000-acre Pecos Wilderness in 1933. The wilderness contains over 150 miles of streams, many alpine lakes, and several glacier- sculpted peaks over 13,000 feet high.
Start the hike by walking from the wilderness parking area into Panchuela Campground. The trail (288) leads out of the center of the camping area by crossing Panchuela Creek to the north, or right, bank. The trail follows rushing Panchuela Creek upstream for about 1.5 miles. At times the trail lies next to the creek; at others it climbs 50 or 100 feet above. A short distance upstream from the picnic area, Trail 259 forks off to the right and climbs out of Panchuela Creek."