- Jan 27, 2018 at 7:35 pm #3514795
Trying to plan a 5 day backpacking trip in the Albuquerque, NM area late March 2018. Would really like to head up to the Trampas Lake Trail in the Pecos but not sure how the snowpack would be. Anybody have any local knowledge about that area or any suggestions on other just as fabulous areas? Newb here so 1st time posting. Thanks all!Jan 28, 2018 at 1:53 am #3514879
Terry SparksBPL Member
@firebugLocale: Santa Barbara County Coast
Keep your eyes on the “Ski Santa Fe” snow report, the ski area is just down the road from the trail head and should give you a good idea of conditions and what is hike-able for you. I haven’t been to the Pecos Wilderness since 2012 but that is a beautiful place to hike and I do love Northern New Mexico hiking. https://skisantafe.com/snow-weather/Jan 28, 2018 at 3:48 am #3514897
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
It is a low snow year (so far), but there’s a light coat of north-facing snow, even approaching 5500′ in the Sandias next to Albuquerque (as of after lunch today). March can be pretty early even for a low snow year. Going through Pecos and Cowles, there’s a FS gate they control until the summer campground hosts arrive. You can call the Santa Fe ranger station to see what the access is. Here’s a link to the current southwest snow cover map, and looks like there a bit of snowFeb 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm #3516301
Ryan “Rudy” OuryBPL Member
@ohdogg79Locale: Mountains above Santa Fe, NM
I live in Glorieta, just outside Santa Fe at ~7200’. There has been virtually zero snow so far this year, and night time temps currently are hardly below freezing. So unless we start getting whalopped, there is going to be next to no snow to speak of in late March.
I head into the Pecos Wilderness regularly for fly fishing and what little overnight backpacking I can get in. It’s a beautiful place, w/ a surprising amount of variation. Oak scrub to ponderosa pine to juniper & piñon to aspens… high mountain lakes, streams and meadows… tons of elk & deer, enough bears and mountain lions to make you pay attention :) the main campgrounds on Rt 63 can get crazy crowded, but I’ve gone entire days only 2-3 miles in seeing 1-2 people.
Feel free to PM me if you wanna chat more in depth about options.Feb 3, 2018 at 5:28 pm #3516316
Rachel PBPL Member
This is probably the year to backpack in the Pecos Wilderness in March. But definitely keep an eye on the snow depth at Santa Fe ski area as sometimes we get a big dump of snow in March. (fingers crossed! we really need the snow so the forests don’t all burn up this summer…)
Also I think Trampas Lake trail is pretty shaded if I recall but it’s been a while since I’ve hiked it. It may hold onto the snow for a while and Sipapu Ski resort got about a foot of snow a few weeks ago which is not super far from Trampas Lakes. The Jemez Mountains are even more snow free than the Sangre de Cristos this year so somewhere like Bandelier National Monument might be an option although there might not be much water flowing in the canyons.Feb 8, 2018 at 8:57 pm #3517317
Thanks everybody for your thoughts! Definitely am excited and looking forward to my first visit to New Mexico!Feb 9, 2018 at 3:08 pm #3517456
Robert RBPL Member
@rob-rLocale: North Texas
Here’s a link for a NM snow depth monitor. Maybe it can help with your trip planning: http://www.weatherstreet.com/weather-forecast/new-mexico-snow-cover.htm
Feb 9, 2018 at 3:22 pm #3517459
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Robert R.
Ben CBPL Member
I went up Trampas in October. It is very shady as Rachel mentioned. We had an inch or 2 of snow up at the lakes. Sorry to hear there’s been little additional snow.
If there is too much snow in the Pecos for your taste, I would also recommend going up to Ah-Shi-Sli-Pa and Bisti Wilderness areas and surroundings. It’s to the northwest. It’s otherworldly.
We also spent some time up north in the Rio Grande near Questa and really enjoyed it. It’s beautiful canyon walking and should be warmer.Feb 9, 2018 at 3:38 pm #3517464
Great feedback! I wonder if the Rio Santa Barbara trail to the east of Trampas Lakes would be a better alternative than Trampas Lakes Trail late March?Feb 9, 2018 at 4:49 pm #3517479
Kevin BBPL Member
@newmexikevLocale: Western New Mexico, USA
Even with the non existent snowpack in the Pecos this year, I’d watch the forecast very carefully before heading in; that area could easily get 12″+ of snow during any storm in March/April.
Beautiful area if your prepared for Rocky Mountain winter backpacking!
If the storm track returns by March (and the Pecos is beyond your comfort level), the Gila Wilderness (4-5 hour drive from ABQ) is ideal in early spring. Hot springs galore!. Here’s a link to a trip I did in the Gila last March:Feb 12, 2018 at 3:06 am #3517937
Larry HBPL Member
I live in Pagosa Springs, CO – about 4 hours north of Albuquerque and we’ve had almost zero snow. Hoping there’s some snow coming in Mar/Apr but I agree with some here that this could be the year to get out there in March! EnjoyFeb 22, 2018 at 2:27 am #3519799
We continue to watch closely the forecasts. Hoping you all get the snow you need but hoping its a great trip too! Whole group is excited!
We are examining the Rio Santa Barbara Middle Fork, East Fork, and West Fork Trail Loop as an option to Trampas Lakes Trail:Feb 22, 2018 at 2:45 pm #3519874
Kevin BBPL Member
@newmexikevLocale: Western New Mexico, USA
Watch the Snotel 1254 (Rio Santa Barbara) site for snow totals. Currently at 23″ of snow depth. Historic average peak snow depth on that site is March 15.
That drainage also holds Rio Grande Cutthroat trout if the streams aren’t covered in snow.
https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/reportGenerator/view/customSingleStationReport/daily/1254:nm:SNTL/-7,0/WTEQ::value,SNWD::value,PREC::value,TOBS::value,TMAX::value,TMIN::value,TAVG::valueMar 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm #3522044
Anybody have an idea how far the GATE exists from the Santa Barbara Campground which is the trailhead for the Rio Santa Barbara Middle Fork, East Fork, and West Fork Trail Loop? Spoke to a young lady at the Forestry service and she said the campground was closed for winter and the gate was about 2 miles away from the campground on the access road. Trying to compute how many more miles we would have to hike if indeed a gate is closed. Examined Google Maps satellite imagery but could not locate a gate on the access road.
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