This past weekend we returned to the Pecos Wilderness, yet again. This time we opted to take it relatively easy and stick to some of the lower territory at the heart of the Wilderness. We basically spent two days circumnavigated Hamilton Mesa via trails 249, 260, 24, 239, 224 and 250. We drove up Friday evening and spent the night at Iron Gate campground – even though we weren’t planning on gaining a whole lot of elevation (about 1,500 feet) it’s still nice to have an evening to acclimate before hitting the trail. There were a few other people camping, but the campground was relatively (surprisingly) quiet. I guess everyone gets scared of cold weather, but the night was actually pretty mild, and we were able to enjoy a great sunset. On Saturday, we hiked up onto Hamilton Mesa, where we crossed paths with a couple of hunters – the only people we would see until we returned to the trailhead Sunday afternoon. I know, right? It was a beautiful sunny day, the aspens were glowing gloriously gold, and we had it all to ourselves. I assumed we’d run into more folks when we dropped down into Beatty’s Flats, but nope, we didn’t even see anyone at Pecos Falls. Saturday night we camped at an established site above the Rio Valdez, at the junction of trails 239 and 224, and had a relatively easy hike out on Sunday. I think the entire loop was about 22 miles, but without any of those serious, unending climbs, the distance was pretty relaxing.