Trampas Lakes – Pecos Wilderness – Carson National Forest, NM

The Trampas Lakes are said to be two of the prettiest lakes in NM. 

The perfect place to spend a couple nights and maybe bag a Summit or two. 

Trampas Lakes
Upper Trampas Lake

After a long summer with little opportunity to hike….I was looking forward to getting out into the wilderness. So I planned a somewhat ambitious hike that would hit 4 alpine lakes and 2 summits in 3 days. I packed lighter than usual expecting some big elevation gain and headed off to the Pecos Wilderness of the Carson National Forest. What I didn’t know is this hike would be plagued with issues before it even started. 

We arrived in Santa Fe the night before my hike. I was watching the weather forecast slowly increase the chance of rain from 70% to 100% with no break throughout the day. My already short trip was getting cut even shorter. 

I was concerned about relentless rain and cold nighttime temps so I opted to push my hike back a day. We messed around in Santa Fe, I climbed at the Santa Fe Climbing Center and had a nice dinner with my wife. The next day was beautiful and sunny. We woke up early to drive an hour and a half north to the trail head. But when we made it to the forest service road and the pavement ended. I quickly realized my wife’s minivan was not going to make it. 

Muddy Forest Service Road
Forest Service road 639
Bear Tracks in the Road
I was not the only one hiking the road
Bear Track
At least it is a small bear

I had a choice. I could cancel the trip all together or double my planned miles. But I’m not one to give up on a trip so I had my wife drop me off just out side of Truchas NM and I started hiking the road to the Trailhead. 

Hiking Forest Service Road 639 Carson NF
Hiking the Road with fall colors starting to appear.

Honestly I was happy to just be in the forest even with the added miles. Fall colors started to appear around every bend in the road. I couldn’t with to get into the Pecos Wilderness and see what she had in store. 

Fall Aspen on Forest Service Road 639 Carson
Fall Aspens look like Fire in the sun

I arrived at the trailhead just before noon and still had several miles and elevation gain ahead of me. I was beginning to realize my hopes of bagging a couple of summits was not going to happen. But at least now I was off the road and on the trail. 

The trail follows the Rio de la Trampas through dense forest, craggy cliffs, colorful Aspens, and Mountain View’s. I was excited about the Aspens changing colors and didn’t know if I was going to be there at the right time. About a mile and a half I came across the first big Aspen grove. I was not disappointed. 

Rio de las Trampas
Rio de las Trampas
Fall Color Aspen Grov
First Large Grove of Aspens
Trampas Peak
Trampas Peak

As the miles grew longer I started slowing down and wondered if I had made a mistake doubling my miles at the last second. But on a trip plagued with compromise. I was determined to make it to the lakes if nothing else. I pushed on slowly… stopping often until finally Upper Trampas lake came into view. 

Trampas Lake
Trampas Lake

I opted to push on to Upper Trampas lake as it was the furthest and I hoped others would camp at Lower Trampas Lakes. Every now and then I could hear one couple across the lake, but for the most part felt alone. Just the way I like it. 

I made camp for the night not far from the Lake and sat to rest my tired feet. There is something about a alpine lake that always leaves me wanting more. The peace and quite, the serenity of it all. No matter how much time I spend in a place like this it never seems enough. 

Camping Upper Trampas Lake
My camp for the night

The last rays of the sun kissed the tops of the mountain peaks as I said goodnight and crawled into my sleeping bag. 

Alpen Glow Truchas Peak

Tomorrow, weather I liked it or not, I would hike out leaving the Wilderness behind. 

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