Labor Day weekend is a time for exploring the outdoors and enjoying family and friends. What better way than a day trip to the Pecos Wilderness? Long held family traditions make this outing a favorite for the Behm family of Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Regardless of age or ability, the Pecos Wilderness has always provided warm memories of good times to be enjoyed for years to come.
After a restful night’s sleep, begin your day with gracious hospitality and a plentiful breakfast at Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn. Fill your tummy, then fill your water bottle and gas tank, grab your hiking shoes, a towel and your digital camera … And head to I-25 (toward Las Vegas NM). Take exit 299 toward NM 50 Glorieta/Pecos (left onto 50, then right on 50). Note: Memorial of the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass
will be off the left. Take a right at S Main St (63) and follow signage to Pecos National Monument
(this is the Old Santa Fe Trail which passes through what are now Park grounds). Enter the Pecos National Monument Park office for information on self guided tours highlighting the history of the pueblo and Spanish settlers, ranch history in the Upper Pecos Valley, and the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass. Plan an hour for hiking and sightseeing, then exit the park the same the same way you entered, turning left on 63. You are heading back toward the village of Pecos.
Are you hungry? (If not, keep this suggestion in mind and use when returning home to Santa Fe). Try “Casa de Herreras
” restaurant and lounge (dancing on Fri & Sat eves) located off the right side of 63 for authentic New Mexican food and outstanding pie. Odelos Market, just down the road is a local landmark and has been owned and operated by the Odelo family for over 68 years! It’s worth a stop to see this quaint local market with it’s antique wooden floors, hardware stocked back shelves and popular butcher shop. Step back in time when life was much less complex which can avail an excellent educational opportunity for the kids! Continue on 63 and you’ll pass the Pecos Benedictine Monastery
which has a bookstore and gift shop. A little farther along 63, you will pass through Macho Valley, NM where you’ll find a really neat little church on the left-hand side of the road. The iron gate is chained, but not locked so stop and peek through the windowed entry doors at the humble sanctuary.
Next, you’ll pass the Pecos Fish Hatchery (in partial operation) which is off to the left and on your way to Dalton Canyon. The Dalton gang (four brothers) were some of the boldest and most feared outlaws in the southwest and were last sighted in New Mexico after attempting train robberies in California. Watch for the signs and turn right into Dalton Canyon. You will find a delightful backdrop of colorful canyon rock splashed smooth by the Pecos river water and pooled to create a local favorite swimming hole. Take a splash or make a splash by skipping a smooth river stone across this peaceful, neck deep swimming hole. Regardless the degree of your wet & wild enjoyment, this area provides a great photo moment.
Skipping stones in Dalton Canyon
Continue to head toward Cowles, following this windy road through pine and aspen packed mountain sides. Peek through the vegetation and you will get glimpses of elite home sites and Hollywood star properties as well as occasional wildlife which adorn the area. Not uncommon to see a deer cross the road. This is a favorite spot for fishermen, bird watchers and hunters. Soon a fairly sharp bend will bring you to Terrero General store where horse back riding and Terrero hummingbird
watching is always popular. Inside this charming family run convenience store, is an antique ice box used for dairy product sales, while outside an antique gas pump complete with siphon pump, measure and nozzle (no gas though!) stands erect. Along the portal are displayed 8 heavily-visited feeders providing liquid nourishment for 50 or more colorful, combative and energetic hummingbirds. A special treat to enjoy.
Terrero NM Hummingbirds
At this point, one can begin the journey home to Santa Fe or head to Cowles, NM and hike the Cave Creek Trail (an appropriate family hike, 6 miles out and back if the caves are the turn-around point). Heavily used by hikers and horses, this trail is lined with large, aged Douglas firs, aspens and wildflowers. Left to the trip planner’s final designs, this day trip from Santa Fe is truly a delightful experience for the mind, body and soul compliments of Pueblo Bonito bed & breakfast inn.