America's great Pecos Wilderness is so wild and remote it was amongst the original areas designated as Wilderness by Congress in 1964. Encompassing over 223,000 acres of classic southern Rocky Mountain terrain in northern New Mexico, the boundaries of this expansive area include deep and narrow canyons, long and broad mesa tops, heavily forested aspen slopes, and rugged ridges with peaks above the pine timberline. Truchas Peak and Santa Fe Baldy are landmarks that top out around 13,000' while the wilderness also reaches down to the placid open meadows of the Pecos River Valley. Wildlife ranges from mule deer and elk to big horn sheep, black bear, mountain lion, turkeys and grouse, and the wilderness includes 15 lakes and eight major streams to sustain both plant and animal habitat, most notably the native Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout.
Our project is located in a beautiful, well-known, and frequently utilized area of the wilderness not far from Santa Fe, NM. Due to its proximity to this population center, major portals that lead into the Pecos Wilderness are heavily used and require special attention to address issues of overuse, user-made trails, and natural and human-generated erosion. The project includes conducting much-needed trail maintenance on the Capulin Meadows trail, including reestablishing sections by clearing downed brush and trees off the trail, lopping and sawing small overgrown branches, establishing a prominent path through the various grassy meadows where the trail passes, and clearing water bars of debris.
We'll backpack approximately 6.5 miles into the wilderness and establish a base camp in a meadow near Rio Capulin. The Santa Fe National Forest will provide pack animal support to carry tools, group kitchen gear and food. This project features a taste of New Mexico cuisine...backpacking style!