September 02, 2017
I was joined by Diane, Nancy, and Raven on this trip. It takes about two hours from De Vargas Mall to reach the trail head off of FS207. You can park along FS207 or cross San Leonardo Creek and drive up FS689 for a mile to the official trail head. The Forest Service sign says that 689 is not suitable for passenger cars but I didn’t think it was that bad. Perhaps it is was wet and muddy though? We decided to walk the road to get a bit more mileage. The creek crossing could be tricky without a high clearance vehicle and it would be difficult for any vehicle if the water was high. You can always park along FS207 and cross by foot though. There are places where that is possible along the road.
I would call this a late Summer or Fall trip for a number of reasons. The drainage is steep here and the water would be high all along the creek until snow melt is complete, and it takes longer for that to happen in this part of the Pecos. Heavy monsoon rains will have the same affect on water levels. You have to make a number of crossings which were manageable for us despite a mishap (see photos).
As far as the hike itself? It is superlative in all regards. We visited the lower lake only and my photos do not do it justice. This would be an excellent location for a one or two night backpack. Jicarilla Peak (the other Jica) is accessible from trail 30 about a mile down from the lakes. The following video shows just that:
Stats for our hike were 9.21 miles and 2566 feet of gain. Remove 2 miles of that if you go from the trail head proper.
Thanks to Diane, Nancy, and Raven for coming on this one. We will do it again.