Monday, June 02, 2014

Pecos Wilderness Offers Backcountry Adventures

Pecos Wilderness. Photo courtesy of  of
 The Pecos Wilderness offers great outdoor recreation including leisurely horseback rides, invigorating hikes, awesome fishing and secluded camping amid some of the most impressive scenery in northern New Mexico.

“A trip into the Pecos Wilderness can really take you away from it all,” says Sarah Naegele, a backcountry specialist with the Santa Fe National Forest. “We’ve got spectacular mountain lakes, awesome panoramic views and the opportunity for some real solitude.”

And there’s plenty of friendly folks willing and able to help visitors enjoy everything the Pecos Wilderness has to offer.

A good looking horse. Photo by Karl Moffatt courtesy of

Trail Rides:

A trip into the backcountry on horseback is just the ticket for those seeking an authentic western experience.

Riding high aboard a sure-footed horse is a comfortable way to enjoy the scenery while getting into the wilderness.

And Circle S Stables has been taking guests on rides into the forest and meadows of the Pecos Wilderness for over 25 years now, says Lou Storey who runs the business along with her son, Kraig.

Circle S Stables provides many services including half and full day horseback trail rides, pack-in service for campers and fully outfitted hunting, fishing and camping trips.

Anglers can enjoy good fishing in spectacular meadow settings on both the Mora or Pecos rivers and Circle S Stables can get them there with plenty of time to spend on the water, Storey says.

Hard working pack horses & mules. Photo by Mary Caperton Morton of
Storey said she’ll offer a special discounted rate this summer to readers of the Las Vegas Optic for anglers who want to fish and camp out at Mora Flats for a few days or more.

Storey said she’d be happy to take a couple of anglers and their supplies in on horseback, drop them off and then pick them up later for only $500 a head.

“That’d make for an affordable and fun vacation,” she says.

Visitors interested in horse trips and camping in other areas of the wilderness need only speak with Storey to discuss the options available.

“We’re here to make sure folks really enjoy our great outdoors and have fond, lasting memories of their visit,” Storey says.

The Pecos River. Photo courtesy of Karen Denison of
Circle S Stables is located just outside of the Pecos Wilderness boundary on Iron Gate Road north of the village of Pecos. Operations begin Memorial Day weekend and run through late October.

See Circle S Stables website at for more details or call them at (505) 757-8440.

Guided Hikes:

Some folks might just want to wander on foot through the Pecos Wilderness for the day but they need a guide to help point out the way.

That’s why the folks at Outspire are in business, to help wanderers enjoy the many wonderful hikes available in northern New Mexico, says owner Karen Denison.

Karen Denison. Photo courtesy of
The professional guides at Outspire have a special fondness for hiking into the Pecos Wilderness especially out onto Hamilton Mesa.

“Being on foot you just tend to see more,” Denison says. “Like all the wildlfowers.”

Hikers need only enthusiasm and physical ability to enjoy much what the backcountry offers including its sweeping views and refreshing environment, Denison says.

Outspire caters to its guest by providing bottled water and snacks and can make arrangement to provide box lunches too.

Outspire can provide day packs, ponchos and trekking poles too. Guides are first-aid certified also.

“All they really need is to bring a camera and let’s get out there,” she says.

Denison says all of her hikes are custom based on the customer’s desires and abilities.

Many are seeking solitude, wildlife and scenic viewing which are abundant in the Pecos Wilderness, she says.

A hiker enjoys the view found in the Pecos back country. Photo courtesy of  of
A trip out across Hamilton Mesa provides the opportunity for all and guides provide history, geology and other insights along the way.

“And it’s possible to spend a whole day on your lonesome,” she says.

A full-day outing for a couple costs a little over $300 while the pleasant memories remain free for a lifetime.

See Outspire’s website at for more information or call Denison at (505) 660-0394.

Guided Backpacking:

Sometimes a day on the trail and a night in the woods accompanied by a caring companion with an understanding ear is just what the doctor ordered, says Larry Glover of The Wild Resiliency Institute.

Larry Glover poses for a group photo from a recent wilderness retreat. Photo courtesy of  the Wild Resiliency Institute @
Glover, a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW) and Wilderness Therapist, uses overnight backpacking trips for people to reconnect, renew and rebuild themselves.

“My trips are geared around personal reflection and creating space and time for that self-renewal,” the former forest firefighter, river raft runner and outward bound instructor says.

It’s hiking and camping with a spiritual bent, a good time to question everything and hash it out with an experienced life coach.

You can’t beat the scenery either, Glover notes.

Photo by Karl Moffatt.Courtesy of
Glover utilizes poetry, ecology, mythology and positive psychology to connect with his clients and all camping gear and provisions are provided.
A two night camping excursion will cost about $500 although Glover says he is more than happy to work with people depending on their means.

Glover also offers a popular, annual, “Soul Renewal Wilderness Retreat” and more info including customer testimonials about it can be found on his website at Glover can be reached by telephone at 505-466-1813.

Some special rules and regulations regarding camping apply to those visiting the Pecos Wilderness but there is no back country permit required.

Contact the Pecos or Las Vegas Ranger Districts at 505- 757-6121 and 505 425-3534 respectively for more info before going.

See the “Leave No Trace” website at for the seven principles for reducing impact while enjoying the outdoors.

Originally published in the Las Vegas Optic 2014 summer guide which can be seen in its entirety at Reprinted with permission.

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