Truchas Peak, NM from the West

This turned out to be a pretty epic overnight backpacking trip.

Truchas Peak is the second tallest peak in New Mexico at 13,102′.  There is more than 4,000′ elevation gain on the trail.  I didn’t exactly follow the 19 mile hike in my “50 Hikes in Northern New Mexico” guidebook, because I couldn’t get my truck far enough up the dirt road to reach the trailhead I had aimed for.  No problem.  I parked at a previous trailhead, taking the Rio Medio trail in, thru switchbacks and TONS of water- even water crossings!

I brought my friend’s dog Lucas.  We started hiking at 2:20 PM, stopping at sunset just past this totally killer opening with 360 degree amazing views of Pecos Wilderness, Pecos Baldy, and the Truchas Peaks.  A perfect spot to knock out the summit first thing in the morning- just 1.3 more miles.




Aspen forest at lower 9-10,000′



Lusas survives water crossings!


well, at least there IS signage


Rocks! Trees! Water!  Yes- this IS New Mexico!


aah– see the above treelike peak over there?


view of Pecos Wilderness!

ImageImage view of Truchas peaks

Those are all the Truchas peaks!  Bald, above treeline, not super far apart.  Image

Oiur view of our attack of “Truchas”


We “summit”.  Lucas is NOT into rock scrambling.  Enough!Image

ImageAnd there are cow bones at over 12,000′ because…


Note: this sign is total BS.


We had to scramble up this insanely steep… well, peak to get up to this other trail that I wanted to take back.  It was rough!  Then once we get up there, there is absolutely NO trail.  None.  My GPS Topo!Maps agrees, we’re totally on the trail.  After several somewhat confused and grumpy miles, we find faint evidence of trail and then there’s ancient blazes on the trees.  Of course no water at all here, and I fear I’m dehydrating the poor dog, though I’m fine.  I felt really peppy once I knew I was on trail again though, hiking strong.  The elevation gain again on “The Dome” was a bit painful though.  It took freakin forever to get back to the truck, and a rather long road walk too.  Hot at lower elevation!


There– see the TRAIL??


high elevation cow.  It is most odd to see cows above 10,000′.  Makes for bad meat, apparently.

many blowdowns

cool old cabin I wasn’t supposed to look at, found out later at the fallen-down trailhead sign that its private property.


no wonder I couldn’t drive the truck to the destination trailhead…. even the sign is down!



About wanderingdot

Thru-hiking the PCT 2011, CT 2014, Ice Age Trail 2017 Artist/sculptor, professor, master fabricator
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