Palomas Trail Hike – 09/10/2017

This is our second foray into the San Pedro Parks Wilderness.

The Drive In

‘Tis quite a drive, to Cuba, then east on NM 126 (10 mi, paved), then left onto FR 70, same as going to San Gregorio Lake.  Continue past the Vacas/San Gregorio trailhead (2.6 mi from NM 126) for another 7.23 mi to the Palomas trailhead. The road is a well maintained forest road, good gravel, probably OK with less than 4WD.

The Hike

Palomas Trail Hike.Jay.2017-09-10

The trail, like Vaca, is well used – open forest, wide, generally level with gradual slopes throughout, clear of rocks and debris.  After topping the ridge between the Rito de las Palomas into the Rio de las Vacas, we found ourselves in a large, open meadow.  It was then descending into the las Vacas, more open space, and a bit of water flowing.  ‘Tis here we found the junction with the Damian trail that would take us back to the turn-around point on our San Gregorio Hike. From here it was a steady climb in a mostly open shallow valley.  There is much more hiking in the San Pedro Parks, including what appears to be great backpacking.

Jay here: This hike starts off with continuous ascent that has the breathing coming hard and fast before it levels off and meanders through pleasant meadows. Towards the end of the hike we passed two bow hunters that were using their horses to pack in feed and supplies. Looked like they were going to be up there for a while.


Total Distance:  6.62 miles
Elevation: start 9,268 ft, maximum 10,185 ft,  minimum 9,268 ft
Gross gain: 917 ft.  Aggregate ascending 1,347 ft, descending 1,348 ft
Maximum slope: 32% ascending, 30% descending, 7% average
Duration: 4:04

GPS Track Files for Download
I urge you to explore our hiking tracks with Google Earth. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the 2-dimensional screenshot above. For assistance: Using Google Earth Track Files.


USDA/Forest Service: Palomas Trailhead
     Backpacking: San Pedro Parks Wilderness …
     Backpacking: San Pedro Parks Wilderness … San Pedro Parks Wilderness
Wilderness Connect: San Pedro Parks Wilderness
Continental Divide Trail Coalition: San Pedro Parks Wilderness …
The Outbound Collective: Backpack the Vacas Trail Loop
Meetup: San Pedro Parks – via the Palomas Trail
OuachitgaMaps,com: San Pedro Parks Wilderness, New Mexico Trail 50 Palomas Trail

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