Hamilton Mesa to Beatty's Flat Hike
In Pecos Region
|Last Update||2019-08-15 09:56:01.0|
|Avg Grade||6 %|
|Drive Miles Round Trip||210|
|Drive Time Oneway||2:30|
|Hiking Seasons||Smmr, Fall|
|Hike Rating||(Hike not rated)|
|All On Trail||Yes|
Highlights Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains, mesa with wildflowers, hike in woods, limestone cliffs, Pecos River.
Trailhead Directions Take I-25 north past Santa Fe to the Glorieta exit and follow SR50 east to the town of Pecos. Turn right and go one quarter mile to the Ranger Station for a restroom break if necessary or turn left and follow SR63 north toward Cowles. Go 4.6 miles past the Terrero General Store and turn right on FR233. The Iron Gate campground is 4.5 miles past the turnoff on a rough dirt road. There are signs directing you to Iron Gate at the major road intersections. Take care if the road is muddy. When you reach Iron Gate, PARK (0.0 mi).
Actual Hike TR249 starts on the north side of the campground and wanders east uphill through aspen, pine and spruce forests to the ridge overlooking the Mora River Valley. Don't take any other turnoff trails as TR249 continues north past the junction with the Rociada trail (JCTROCIADA (1.0 mi)) through a few low valleys along the ridgeline with great views to the east. The trail goes by a log fence then breaks out on Hamilton MESA (2.0 mi), which is a grassy meadow. At a trail junction turn left on TRL 260 (4.2 mi) toward Beatty's Flat. The trail descends into the forest as it begins to drop to the Pecos River through steep pitches and level aspen stands. After another mile bear left at the junction with the trail to the Rio Valdez, pass through a gate and drop the final half mile to Beatty's Flat. Then cross the Pecos River on a bridge to enter the flat and explore upstream limestone cliffs at the confluence with the Rito Del Padre (5.8 mi). Lunch is best in this area. This is the turnaround point where the trail then ascends back to Hamilton Mesa and takes the same route back to Irongate Campground.
Comments The Pecos Wilderness is shaped like a U with the bottom of the U on the north end forming the Santa Barbara Divide, all of the big peaks form one leg of the U on the west and the Bordo del Medio forms the other leg of the U on the east side. Hamilton Mesa gives a great view of the entire U shape of the Pecos Wilderness. Round Mountain is in the near foreground to the west and in the distance is Santa Fe Baldy to the southwest, the Pecos Baldies to the west, the Truchas Peaks to the northwest and Chimayosos and Santa Barbara Peaks to the North. This is an excellent place to view the Pecos Wilderness in early June before the snow melts on the tall peaks and also in late September when the yellow aspens are in full color.