Sweeping Vistas from the Hamilton Mesa Trail
For our next hike we somewhat randomly chose the Hamilton Mesa Trail, described as a moderate climb into the Pecos Wilderness that leads to views of the Sangre de Christo Peaks.
From the trailhead we switchbacked up to the ridge through mature stands of fir followed by aspen (read: big trees); once on top we began a gentle descent through more aspen and then ponderosa with occasional views east over the valley. Within a couple miles we broke out into what turned out to be the southernmost edge of a loooong meadow that immediately provided sweeping vistas that blew the previous overlooks out of the water. As we crossed the high grassy plateau we gained fantastic views not only down Pecos Canyon to the south but west/northwest to the majestic rocky peaks of Pecos and East Pecos Baldy.
It felt as though we were walking along the highest path in the wilderness as we trekked north through the seemingly-endless expanses of Hamilton Mesa. Though we had interludes where we crossed through forest and drainages, the final miles of the day were characterized by open space and sweeping vistas.