Jicarita Peak Trail

The Jicarita Peak National Recreational Trail is strings together segments of three different US Forest Service System Trails: Indian Creek Trail #27, Divide Trail #36, and the Serpent Lake Trail #19 that allows trail users to climb steeply up and over Jicarita Peak at 12,835 feet. Serpent Lake is also an easy 1 mile sidetrip from this route.

photo: Photo by Sean D. Kelly

Type: Backcountry, Equestrian Trail
Length: 23.00 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Camping
Equestrian - Riding
Equestrian - Pack trips
Equestrian - Other stock
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency: USDA Forest Service
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Location: In the Pecos Wilderness, accessed from either the Santa Barbara Campground, or the Alamitos (Serpent Lake) Trailhead.
State(s): New Mexico
Counties: Taos
Latitude: 36.0891
: -105.61

Santa Barbara Campground: from Penasco, head southeast on State Road 73,turn left on County Rd. 021. This turns into Santa Barbara Road/Forest Road 116, dead-ending at the Santa Barbara Campground. The trailhead is accessed from the FIRST parking area on the left.
Alamitos (Serpent Lake) Trailhead: from Penasco, head northeast on State Road 75, turn right at the "Rock Wall" onto HWY 516 towards Sipapu Ski Area. Pass Sipapu, continuing southeast. Turn right onto Forest Road 161,dead-ending at the Alamitos Trailhead.


This is a challenging, but unforgettable, Pecos Wilderness experience. The views from the top of Jicarita Peak off to the west out across the Rio Grande Valley, and north to the mountains of Colorado, are spectacular. And, the Fall aspens are especially prominent along this route. The trail gets faint above treeline, so routefinding skills are essential. Elk, marmot, ptarmigan, deer, and black bear are some of the wildlife to be found in the area.

Additional Details

Width: 24 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: Grass or Vegetation

Average Grade: 15%
Maximum Grade: 25%
Elevation Low Point: 8,860
Elevation High Point: 12,835
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Craig Saum
Trails, Wilderness, and Recreation
Camino Real Ranger District
Camino Real RD
PO Box 68
15160 SR 75
Penasco , NM 87553
(575) 587-2255



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