Santa Fe Baldy-Pecos Wilderness

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87592

Santa Fe Baldy-Pecos Wilderness

Santa Fe Baldy-Pecos Wilderness Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"A long day hike or moderate overnight hike to a high summit in the Pecos Wilderness. Santa Fe Baldy is one of a line of high peaks along the divide between the Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages. At 12,622 feet the peak rises well above timberline. Its rounded, “bald” appearance probably led to its name.

The prominent summit gives one of the best views possible of the 223,000-acre Pecos Wilderness. The wilderness and the surrounding Santa Fe National Forest, divided between the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains, have about 1,000 miles of mapped trails. The Winsor Trail (254) is well marked at the parking area just below Ski Santa Fe. The wide, popular trail climbs steeply for the first half mile or so to the Pecos Wilderness Boundary."

Santa Fe Baldy-Pecos Wilderness Trip Reports

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This trail has quite a few rocks to step over most of the way up and down. There are beautiful flowers of all colors all around. A movie was being filmed which blocked much of the parking lot, but it was still easy to get onto Trail 254. One of the forks in the trail was not well marked, but enough people are around who seem to know which way to go for wherever you are headed and are happy to help out. The peak is a great place to sit. Don't forget to look directly down the mountain at Lake Katherine a few steps past the mound of rocks at the summit. Be sure you have a coat and adequate clothing, water, and rain protection. Quite a few marmots should pop their heads up near the peak, probably wanting handouts. Don't feed them; they need to take care of themselves. There was copious lightning, thunder, sleet, and rain on the way down.
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Tough, but great fun. Bring your own water even with the recent rains and pack enough food to keep well fueled. Hiking poles (preferably a pair) made this a much more enjoyable experience as I worked my way up the usually rocky trails encountered from mile 2 until the summit. The cool breezes as I climbed to the top were very welcome and the burning in my legs was just a reminder to take a break for a gaze around at the gorgeous scenery. But just a quick break as anything longer than a couple of minutes allowed the black flies to find me. I only saw 7 other people on the trail and no one else on the summit but I had plenty of company from the marmots scurrying over the boulders near the peak. A great experience!
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The forest is dry. Several normally full drainages are dry. We 3 50 year olds required 6.5 hours for the round trip including rest stops and I don't think we could have gone much faster and enjoyed the hike. Best part is the final ascent from the saddle with a view of the Pecos drainage at about 11000 feet up to the summit where there is almost no snow: conditions much more like August than May. Surprisingly uncrowded for a Memorial Day when other national forests were closed for fire danger: saw half a dozen others at the summit area also having a late lunch. I would have rated this hike higher had we gone more slowly to enjoy the trip.

Santa Fe Baldy-Pecos Wilderness Photos

Trail Information

Santa Fe
Nearby City
2,322 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
7-8 hours
June through October
10,300 feet
Trailhead Elevation
12,622 feet
Top Elevation
Additional Use
Santa Fe National Forest, PO Box 3307, Española, NM 87532; (505) 753-7331;
Local Contacts
Pecos Wilderness; Santa Fe National Forest; Aspen Basin and Cowles 7.5-minute USGS quads
Local Maps

Trail Log