News Release

Pecos NHP to Keep New Trail Open for Year Round Hiking

View of a river from a trail with trees in the background.
The Pecos River from the South Pasture Loop Trail

NPS Photo/Stan Ford 2019

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News Release Date: August 30, 2019

Contact: Visitor Center, 505-757-7241

Pecos, NM: Pecos National Historical Park is pleased to announce that beginning September 1st, 2019 the 3.8 mile South Pasture Loop trail on the grounds of the historic Forked Lightning Ranch will be open to hikers from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on weekends throughout the year. The process of opening the trail began in earnest during a trial period in 2018 when the South Pasture Loop was accessible on special occasions and staff could easily remedy safety issues and evaluate impacts to the resource. Based on the success of these endeavors, Superintendent Karl Cordova has given approval to open the trail on weekends year round. Supt. Cordova notes, that he and the park staff “have a duty to explore ways to make our park more accessible while meeting the mission of the National Park Service.
This moderately difficult trail follows old ranch roads through a shady cottonwood grove, along the bluffs of the Pecos River, and through the open pasture lands of the Forked Lightning Ranch. Hikers must first check in at the Visitor Center to receive driving directions to the trailhead and a hiking map. The trailhead is open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; visitors must complete their hike no later than 3:00 p.m. Dogs are not permitted. This trail is exposed to the elements; exercise appropriate caution with regard to weather.
Legislation in the 1990s added the Forked Lightning Ranch property to the park, which expanded park lands from 342 acres to more than 6,700 acres. This vast scenic expanse of land offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the beauty of the Upper Pecos River watershed. 
For more information about the park contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website ( and Tourism Santa Fe ( Please like on us on Facebook at or Instagram (
From I-25 N: Take the Pecos/Glorieta Exit, #299. Left onto overpass, right onto Route 50; proceed on Route 50 for eight miles. At the village of Pecos, take a right at the four-way stop onto Route 63. In two miles, the park will be on your right. From I-25 S: Take the Rowe Exit, #307. Follow signs. From Highway 63, the park will be on your left.

Last updated: September 1, 2019

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Mailing Address:

Pecos National Historical Park
P.O. Box 418

Pecos, NM 87552


(505) 757-7241

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