Trampas Lakes

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Trampas Lake

This weekend I spent 3 nights in the Pecos Wilderness. The area was absolutely gorgeous.  I spent most of my time on the Trampas Lake Trail.  It followed a mountain stream and not a smooth, tame sort of stream, but the sort with rocks and logs and some steep descents making the water seem powerful and alive and also providing a great soundtrack.  The end of the trail is at  some small alpine lakes surrounded by rocky peaks.  The undergrowth of the forest was lush and green with lots of wildflowers in bloom.  Perhaps my favorite part was lots of wild strawberry plants with the smallest strawberries on them I’ve ever seen- yet still ripe and delicious.  It was high enough up to get away from the sweltering summer heat of New Mexico which was a welcome relief.  (The trail-head is at an elevation of about 9,000 feet and the lakes are at about 11,500.)

I spent one night camped not far from the trail-head and then backpacked in for two nights, camping part way up the trail.  I did a day hike up to the lakes to check them out.  There are two small lakes not far about called Trampas Lakes and a third lake a bit further on called Hidden Lake.   Trampas Lakes had what was a disappointingly large number of people- day hikers and backpackers.  There were at least half a dozen small camps setup.  One guy I encountered on the trail said that it was “hardly crowded” but to me, it was much too crowded.  Hidden Lake didn’t have any campers and I only saw one other hiker there.  It also lived up to it’s name- the only trail going to it being in a different spot than those on any maps.

waterbugHidden Lake also had these notable water-bug-creatures that looked kind of like pine cones at first glance, but were definitely crawling around.  I have no idea what they were, but was fascinated to watch them for a while.

The area was gorgeous.  The only down-side was the number of people out there.  Perhaps a different time of year or going on a weekday rather than the weekend would help.  I took the Trampas Lake Trail 31 and the trail-head had several cars parked there.  Trail 30 takes off from not far away, but the trail-head didn’t have any cars the first time I passed it and only two cars the second time.  It also leads up to a couple of little alpine lakes and if there’s a next time I’m in the area, I think I would try out Trail 30.

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