Those who know us well know that we LOVE the 1.6 million acre Santa Fe National Forest, of which about 1/4 million acres is designated wilderness. Of course we've hiked relatively little of it - which is entirely the point of wilderness - it's not overrun with people. Recently we hiked up to Lake Peak (12,409), back down to Nambe Lake and out the Windsor Trail.
The Lake Peak trail ascends quickly and, before we knew it, we had some great views to reward our efforts nicely. Talus slope where the Pika lives:
Wet alpine meadow:
Santa Fe Baldy (12,622):
A bit longer and we were above treeline:
Looking north towards Lake Peak:
Looking NE towards Penitente Peak (Catholic boys get a foreboding feeling here for some reason!):
Looking north and deep into the heart of the Pecos Wilderness. There's still snow on Truchas Peak (13,102):
Storms were a-brewin' to the north and west but we didn't want to turn back. With some good off-trail advice from a friendly hiker we decided on...
...an off-trail route down to Nambe Lake:
Down a narrow sloping ridge...
...across the talus slope:
...and to the edge of Nambe Lake where we ate our lunch:
Nambe Lake spills down into Spruce-Fir forest...
...through mixed conifer forest...
...and guided us down to the whimsical Windsor Trail; lined with aspen and ablaze with fall colors.
This was a great hike but so are all the other we've done up here in the Pecos. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!!!