Backpack the Jemez Mountains East Fork Trail

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Date(s) - 26/05/2017 - 30/05/2017
6:00 am - 6:00 pm

Las Conchas Trail Head


Let’s backpack this beautiful location again!

Last year, we started out at Battleship Rock and I think we’d have been better off starting at Las Conchas (, so this year that’s the plan.


5/26 – Drive out to the trailhead in New Mexico on Friday. This is roughly a 12-hour drive, but it goes by quickly. Last year, we made a few stops including one for a “picnic” lunch.

5/27 – Trail/Activity Day 

5/28 – Trail/Activity Day

5/29 – Trail/Activity Day

5/30 – Drive back home to Texas. 

So, for most people, this will require at most two days of vacation (three if your company doesn’t recognize Memorial Day).

Activity Day? What the hell?

This trail is not super-duper long. It is tough in places (for those average mortals like myself), but it is definitely BEAUTIFUL country in which to backpack. BUT… there are also activities in which we could partake: hot springs, fishing (license required), rock climbing… um… hiking (duh!)

Last year, the group split into two. Some adventurous hikers who blazed their own trails with GPS and Compasses in hand, and honestly they had some of the best stories. The rest of us took a more chill approach and did some day excursions as well as just hung around camp and RELAXED.

Other Stuff to Note:

There are sections of the trail that are very popular amongst local day hikers and on the Battleship Rock section last year we ran into plenty of them. Especially the closer you get to the parking areas.

Water… do I have to carry gallons of it?

There are lots of spots along this trail where we’re directly following the river and so replenishing your water is an easy task. I would recommend three (3) to four (4) liters to tide you over between refills. Of course, YOU use your own best judgment here. If you drink a lot and need to stay constantly hydrated, you may want to carry more… if you know that you drink like a bird, you may not need to carry as much. Know your own body, and plan accordingly.

Dogs welcome?

You bet! I’m bringing my two pups, and yours are welcome too as long as they’re good around other dogs. 

All of our dogs have quirks. One of mine is pretty food aggressive and thinks that any food on the ground is hers even if it’s yours (Sorry BJ). As owners, we just need to be on top of things. Almost always if there are problems it’s when we’ve stopped to camp for the night, and the dogs have free run to play. Let’s just work together as owners to keep all of our dogs safe on the trails. 

Leashes are of course required, and whether or not you make your dog wear one (entirely up to you), please do bring one for each of your dogs. If rangers bust you for lack of a leash on your dog, you are responsible for the fines and such. That said, we’re only likely to run into rangers the closer we are to the trailheads.

I’ll put more details up here as they become available.