Santa Fe/ABQ/Durango Area- Mid Late June

Nethos

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Feb 23, 2017
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125
Hey all,

My wife and I are visiting Santa Fe and Albuquerque mid June as we consider a potential move there. As part of that, I'm seeking recommendations for a suitable 3-5 day Backcountry trip in the area within a 4-5 hour drive of those towns. I looked at the Southern San Juans, but it seems like it would be a little early with snowmelt, and it's obviously late for a desert trip. I figured I'd check in on here and see if anyone has any ideas or suggestions, maybe someone from the area?

Thanks

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scoags

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Jan 8, 2017
Messages
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The south San Juan's are a good option if the snow is low. I'm not sure how it's been up there this year. Check out three forks or south fork conejos trailhead areas for more specific snow reports. The village of platoro might have more specific snow reports as well.

Otherwise your best option is probably a loop in the Pecos wilderness hiking out of Santa fe or the town of Pecos. Jack's creek is on the south east side of the wilderness but it is high and might be snowed in. But you can always access from the santa fe ski basin it's always plowed and people use it year round. Head over to the truchas peaks. You'll likely run into snow in yhe truchas basin but it will probably be accessible. If the snow is high stay on the lower trails and follow the Pecos to the headwaters. Taos mountains will likely be snowed in but maybe not.

Bandelier is an option but it will be likely hot. Good off trail stuff in there.

If you'd like more details feel free to ask. The Pecos is a great spot.
 

Nethos

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Joined
Feb 23, 2017
Messages
125
The south San Juan's are a good option if the snow is low. I'm not sure how it's been up there this year. Check out three forks or south fork conejos trailhead areas for more specific snow reports. The village of platoro might have more specific snow reports as well.

Otherwise your best option is probably a loop in the Pecos wilderness hiking out of Santa fe or the town of Pecos. Jack's creek is on the south east side of the wilderness but it is high and might be snowed in. But you can always access from the santa fe ski basin it's always plowed and people use it year round. Head over to the truchas peaks. You'll likely run into snow in yhe truchas basin but it will probably be accessible. If the snow is high stay on the lower trails and follow the Pecos to the headwaters. Taos mountains will likely be snowed in but maybe not.

Bandelier is an option but it will be likely hot. Good off trail stuff in there.

If you'd like more details feel free to ask. The Pecos is a great spot.

Yes. I saw the SNOTELs in the South San Juans showing 100% SWE or similar, so figured I'd put some other options in my pocket.

Thanks. This is enough to get me started and if I have specific questions I'll definitely reach out!

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Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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Gila Wilderness
 

scoags

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Jan 8, 2017
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Hi @Nethos

I'm in Santa Fe at the moment and went up to the Pecos last weekend (Puerto Nambe and Santa Fe Baldy). There is quite a bit of snow in the places you would expect, but I would assume everything will be clear snow-wise in mid-late June. I couldn't get down to Lake Katherine due to snow, but others were attempting it, and it will be clear soon. I got a peek at Trailriders Wall and it is clear.

The fires on the other hand....wooof...
 

ImNotDedYet

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Fires may dictate a change in plans, or what your plans should be. It's starting off to be a horrible year in that area.
 

Nethos

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Feb 23, 2017
Messages
125
Fires may dictate a change in plans, or what your plans should be. It's starting off to be a horrible year in that area.
Yes. We are coming out for mostly a city trip, so if the conditions inform abandoning a backcountry plan, we will.
 

RyanP

Formerly bob32
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Mar 1, 2015
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399
Yes. I saw the SNOTELs in the South San Juans showing 100% SWE or similar, so figured I'd put some other options in my pocket.

Thanks. This is enough to get me started and if I have specific questions I'll definitely reach out!

Sent from my Pixel 4a using Tapatalk
Huh, I immediately thought of the South San Juans as well. I haven't been there myself, but I thought that area is often good to go a little earlier in the summer than many of the other mountain areas. This map says that whole region is very dry: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/data/water/wcs/gis/maps/west_swepctnormal_update.pdf
 

Absarokanaut

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South Colony [66%] aside Colorado Sangre Snotels are pretty much bottomed out. I have backpacked the Comanche-Venable Loop is early June and seen ice off at WONDERFUL Willow Lake out of Crestone Memorial Day Weekend. IMO the Sangres are the glory of all of Colorado. I would guess over Music Pass to Sand Creek Lakes will be doable. From what I can see it will be an "early" spring for higher elevation hiking this year down there.

If you wanted less driving two overnight recommendations that could be done as dayhikes are San Antonio Hot Springs in the Jemez and the Loop down into Rio Grand Wild Rivers from La Junta to Big Arsenic.

Sangres and Dunes.jpg
 

Tarp Boy

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Jan 18, 2020
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8
Looks like the Pecos is closed in the Las Vegas (NM ) Ranger district:
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1017451.pdf
That's a big bummer for our group. We were planning a trip starting at the Santa Fe Ski Basin., and all of us have already purchased the much inflated airline tickets.
Given that there are fires closet Bandelier too, that area may get closed too.
So, I'll check out the south San Juan's tonight. Other suggestions would be welcome!
 

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