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East Pecos Baldy
Pecos Wilderness, New Mexico
July, 1991
12,529 feet

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Map of East Pecos Baldy
Map of East Pecos Baldy
Rich on the summit
Rich on the summit of East Pecos Baldy
Zeth Bass and Rich Wendling
Zeth Bass and Rich Wendling on the summit of East Pecos Baldy
Pecos Baldy Lake
Pecos Baldy Lake form the summit of East Pecos Baldy
East Pecos Baldy and Truchas Peaks
East Pecos Baldy (left) and the Truchas Peaks (right)
East Pecos Baldy is located in the Pecos Wilderness of New Mexico. This was another backpacking trip with Boy Scout Troop 332. Starting at the trailhead in Cowles, we headed north along Panchuela Creek to Cave Creek, where we spent the first night exploring the caves. The next morning we headed north to Horsethief Meadow, then east to Rito Perre. Here we began the ascent of what we affectionately referred to as "the hill from Hell." The elevation rises from about 10,000 to 11860 at the pass over to Pecos Baldy Lake, and it just about killed us Texas "flatlanders." We were all carrying overweight backpacks, and were not adjusted to the altitude yet. We probably would have camped someplace along the trail on the way up, but some of the scouts had not refilled their water bottles because they didn't want to carry the extra weight, so we were low on water, and needed to get to Pecos Baldy Lake to refill. By the time we got to the lake, it was just about dark, and we were pooped. 

The next morning, we ascended East Pecos Baldy by retracing our steps up to the saddle south of the summit, and following the trail to the top. 

One of the most fascinating things we found in the area was the bighorn sheep. I had always heard that they were extremely timid, but not these. They would eat right out of your hand. One of the other leaders had a bag of sunflower seeds, and they wouldn't leave him alone. He had a herd of about 20 of them following him everywhere he went. These sheep would eat anything with salt - including sweaty socks and tent lines. You also had to be careful where you peed, because they would eat whatever you peed on. 

From Pecos Baldy Lake, we spent several days hiking east to Beatty's Cabin along the Pecos River, and then hiking back to the trailhead at Cowles.



Trailhead:  From Pecos, head north on state highway 63 to Cowles. 
Route:  From Cowles Campground,  go north through Panchuela Campground and Cave Creek on Trail 288 to Horsethief Meadow.   Follow trail 251 east, and then north over Panchuela Creek.  Continue north and up along Rito Perro to a ridge at about 11, 850 feet.  Descended northeast and camped just west of Pecos Baldy Lake.  After climbing East Pecos Baldy, we continued east on trail 251 and trail 245 to Beattys Cabin.  Hiked trail 259 past Round Mountain to Panchuella Campground and back to the trailhead at Cowles
Distance:  about 14 miles from Cowles to the summit.  Round trip on the above-mentioned route about 32 miles.
Climb:  About 4500 feet from trailhead to summit.About 1050 feet from Pecos Baldy Lake
Class:  Class 1 (trail) all the way.
Maps:  Pecos Wilderness, Santa Fe National Forest, Cowles 7.5-minute USGS.
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