The Last Pack Trip Into The Pecos Wilderness

On Friday 7 September 2012 4 friends and I rode horses into the Pecos along with 2 pack horses and 1 one guide. We rode about 8 miles up to East Pecos Baldy. The horses were provided by Tererro General Store and Riding Stables at a cost of approximately $1250 (not including tip). The pack horses carried each of our back packs at about 30-40lbs each and 70lbs of food (with an undermined but significant amount of that weight in alcohol). Since the Pecos Wilderness is a Wilderness, no motorized vehicles are allowed.

Tererro General Store Riding Stables

Tererro General Store Riding Stables

The Tererro General Store typically takes hunting parties into the Pecos but we not interested in hunting, just a way to get into the mountain without having to carry 40lbs plus packs 8 miles in. However we were hiking out, all downhill and theoretically with less pack weight. What could go wrong?

Which brings me to the title of the article. Apparently there has been an overall reduction of horse packing business for the Tererro General store and insurance is not only becoming more expensive but harder to get as insurance companies don’t want to cover horse packing. Therefore this will be their last year of providing these trips and they plan to sell off the stables and horses. We weren’t the last trip up for the horses as they had a few more hunting parties going up but we were near to being the last trip.

Horses packed and waiting for riders

Horses packed and waiting for riders

This is the first time I have rode a horse since I went to the Philmont Scout Ranch over 20 years ago. I was a little nervous that the horse I was going to be riding would take one look at me and decide to ignore all my commands. There was nothing to be nervous about. The horses, mine was name Sampson, has been on this trip many time and knew the way better than I did and was used to newbies trying to drive. There was very little for me to do except keep him from running into the other horses when they suddenly stopped and from taking any shortcuts that we might get stuck in (they aren’t all that smart sometimes).

My horse was named Sampson

My horse was named Sampson

We start the trip about 10am New Mexico time and arrived at our destination 8 miles up the mountain about 12:30pm. The 8 mile ride took us through some forest, then to a large clearing with some grazing cattle.

The riding party

The riding party

Cattle with pointy things along the trail

Cattle with pointy things along the trail

We were back in forest when getting to our final destination.

Some fallen trees along the trail

Some fallen trees along the trail

The horses will be happy to get rid of us

The horses will be happy to get rid of us

It mostly rained the whole time so we had to come up with covered communal area where we could sit around the fire and not get soaked. There also wasn’t a lot of firewood, the area had been picked pretty clean. What little firewood we found was wet.

Campsite in the Pecos

Campsite in the Pecos

We spent time exploring the area near East Pecos Baldy. There are supposed to be big horned sheep in the area but all we came across was cattle and a few bow hunters on horseback also looking for sheep.

Pecos Baldy Lake

Pecos Baldy Lake

We were lucky to have a day of no rain where we were able to hike to the top of Ease Pecos Baldy.

Near East Pecos Baldy

Near East Pecos Baldy

The group (except the photographer) on top of Ease Pecos Baldy

The group (except the photographer) on top of Ease Pecos Baldy

People on a nearby peak

People on a nearby peak

Finally, we hiked out on 10 September 2012. While we ate and drank our way through most of our supplies we still managed to have quite a bit of weight on us on our way out. Making us wonder why we didn’t rent horse to take us out.

Hiking out

Hiking out

The enitire photoset can be viewed on the Flickr set “2012-09-07 Pecos Pack Trip“.

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2 thoughts on “The Last Pack Trip Into The Pecos Wilderness

  1. Sounds like a great trip. I’ve hiked that exact trip a few times and then on to Truchas Peaks by way of Trailriders Wall. Have you read Barker’s book called Beatty’s Cabin? It is all about horse trips into the Pecos as well as Beatty’s Cabin. Nice story!

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