Jack's Creek

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Jack's Creek campground is high in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, up in amongst the aspen and fir. It has lots of open space for children to run, along with wilderness access for hiking and backpacking. The campsites are a mixture of some in the sun (nicer for cooler weather) and shade (for the summer). In the fall, the aspen turning are beautiful. This campground also has some of the nicest views of the surrounding mountains of all the campgrounds in the area.

This campground has several double sites which would work well if you are camping with friends. Otherwise, the sites are nicely separated.

Campground data:

Controlling agency: Santa Fe National Forest; Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District
Official URL:forest service campground web site
Region: North-central; Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
CG elevation: 8398ft; 2560m
Campsite count: 47. There are 39 sites in the regular campground and 8 in the horse campground.
Visual density: 9.33. Visual densities were 12, 9, 7. The meadows make for a more open campground.
Fee: $10.00. per vehicle. The host site is available when there is no host. This site has electricity, and is $20.00/night.
Season: May 01 to November 15. The actual season depends on budgets and weather. The horse camp is open until the end of hunting season.
Dogs: Yes. on leash
Horses: Yes. Only in the horse campground.
Handicapped accessible: Yes.
General tent notes: No tent pads, but many good tent areas.
RV parking surface: gravel
RV pull-through spaces? No.
RV parking notes: This campground has rated the campsites by the amount of slope.
General RV notes: Max RV length unknown.
General notes: The large meadows give kids lots of areas to play.

No chainsaws or ATVs.

The horse camp has a corral which may have noisy cattle in the fall.

If you are planning on camping on a weekend in the summer, you should arrive early. A call to the ranger station (505 757 6121) to find out how early might be a good idea.

Campground facilities: water, trash can(s), composting toilet(s) (Nice because of no smell, but they have fans that run all the time, raising the noise pollution.), fire pit (with cooking grates), electrical hookups (Only the host site if there is no host.).
Campground attractions: hiking, wilderness access, wildlife, wildflowers (They are rain dependent.), scenery, stream (Downhill from the lower campsites.).

When we visited it:

Date: 2001-09-22 2011-10-01 2015-07-24
Cleanliness: 8. 9. Only small pieces of litter, and not lots. 9. The campsite had very few pieces of small litter, but a prior camper had left some large plastic litter in the fire pit. The toilets were clean and non-smelly. The unfortunately common problem of some guys being unable to hit the 1-ft diameter hole was in evidence though.
General notes: Oddly, many people were driving through who did not appear to be camped here. The flies were numerous, annoying, and occasionally biting. They showed up as soon as it warmed up in the morning, and left when the sun set or when it was windy enough.

The campground filled up by 1pm on Friday. A couple of sites opened on Saturday, but they were filled by evening. The host said that all summer weekends were similar, but weekdays were nearly empty.

An ice cream truck came through on Saturday. You have to move quickly to catch him though (we did).

Waypoints:

Waypoint Type Description
JCCGCampgroundJack's Creek Campground

Maps:

Paper maps:
Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah Automobile Club of Southern California 1998 1:0 N from Amazon (purchase) Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.
Pecos Wilderness, Santa Fe and Carson National Forests US Forest Service 2004 1:54000 Y from Amazon (purchase)
Santa Fe BLM 1996 1:100000 Y from Amazon (purchase)
Santa Fe USGS 1954 1:250000 Y from sar.lanl.gov (free)
Santa Fe National Forest US Forest Service 2004 1:126720 N from Amazon (purchase) East half
Wildernesses of New Mexico US Forest Service 1981 1:1000000 N No online copies. Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.

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Getting to the campground:

From the town of Pecos, NM, take New Mexico 63 north. Cross the river near a sign pointing to the Holy Ghost campground (do not take the road to the Holy Ghost campground). Near the Terrero General Store (which offers showers for $5.00), the road makes a sharp right turn, but there is really no other place to go. At Cowles, you want to take forest road 555 (which is really a continuation of NM 63). Do not cross the river at Cowles. The road ends at the campground.

Note that the road from Pecos is narrow and it has many sharp turns. Expect to take at least an hour to get from Pecos to the campground.

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About the campground:

Our truck in campsite 33
To the left, you can see our truck parked in site 33. This campground is laid out in three parts. An upper and lower horse-free camp, as well as a horse camp with eight campsites and parking for the trailheads.
To the right, you can see Penitente Peak. I took this photo just above the turnoff for the lower camping loop (which you can see in the foreground).
Penitente peak from the campground
Round Mountain from the campground
To the left is Round Mountain and another of the campsites. This campsite is at the beginning of the upper loop.
This is one of several meadows in the campground. Note the profusion of wildflowers. It had rained a week or two before.
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Plants we saw around the campground:

Reader comments about this campground:

A special note from the webmaster. The following comment warrants being at the top of the comment collection and not buried inside:


On Mon Aug 31 00:27:26 2009 IDP from Edgewood, NM said:
I've scrolled down through all the comments (drama) and realize that Jack's Creek is similar to campgrounds in other parts of NM and Texas that I've visited. At times it can be noisy but for the most part it's peaceful and very enjoyable.

I've loved camping in the Pecos, both backpacking and car camping, for a few years now and haven't found a better or more beautiful place. The Aspen throughout the camp is a peaceful and comforting addition to the surrounding view of the mountains. The afternoon showers are brief and pleasant but the weather can get very wet and very cold (spring and fall). If you really want a quiet camping adventure, grab a backpack, healthy food, water or water treatment and head into the wilderness itself. In the wilderness you will see elk, bear, mule dear, big horned sheep, and marmots.

To all my fellow New Mexicans, be respectful of others and try not to bring shame to the rest of us by your bad behavior or rude comments.

To all visitors to NM including Texans, thank you for enjoying our state and leaving great comments about the place we love. There are many visitors that know NM as a vast desert with nothing to offer; I'm glad you've seen the better parts and appreciate them. Happy camping!


No matter where you are from, please be respectful of others when you are hiking and camping (and it would not hurt to do so in the rest of your life as well). Now to the rest of the comments.

On Thu Jun 12 14:17:20 2003 Anonymous from Moriarty NM said:
Just camped there this past weekend early June. Was beautiful! Aspen groves were beautiful and a great view of the high mountain peaks topped with snow. Likely one of the best camping in the Pecos although not on the river. Campsite was clean. Lots of wooded areas for the children to play and a short drive to Cowles for fishing.

On Sat Jun 28 18:38:55 2003 Carolyn Meehan from Albuquerque NM said:
Arrived Thursday 6/26 to an unfilled campground. Gorgeous place and quiet until Friday when it started filling up with RVs and few tenters. Some had the music going to where they must have been deaf because I could feel the vibrations in my bones. Saturday morning 8 am and I was the first one up. Restroom had Tecate empties and toilet paper on the floors. On the way out there were ATVs riding on the center stripe and cars passing me with a double solid yellow line despite going 5 mph over the limit. What a gorgeous place to be squandered on those who know nothing about enjoying nature at the expense of those who appreciate it. I think I was the only person to hike down to the creek and I did it twice. The road back to Pecos was filled beyond the capacity with more of the same so I may have had the best experience of all. What a shame that a few heathens are allowed to infringe upon us all in the name of seeking pleasure.

On Mon Aug 25 18:03:14 2003 HARRY AND SUZI BOGGUS from MORIARTYNEW MEXICO said:
JUNE 2003. WE HAVE VISITED JACKS CAMPGROUND TWICE IN THE PAST MONTH. WE HAVE NOT CAMPED AS OF YET BUT PLAN TO IN THE NEAR FUTURE. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL AREA. ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE PARTS OF NEW MEXICO WE HAVE SEEN SINCE MOVING HERE FROM GEORGIA.

WE LOVE TO JUST TAKE A DAY OFF AND RIDE THROUGH AND SEE THE SCENERY.

WE HAVE FISHED SOME IN THE RIVER. EVEN IF WE DONT CATCH ANYTHING IT DOESNT MATTER TO US. ITS THE BEING OUT IN ONE OF OUR STATES MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES. THE SCENERY IS THE MOST MAGNIFICENT WE HAVE EVER SEEN.

WE STOP IN AT THE GENERAL STORE IN COWLES NOT REALLY TO PURCHASE ANYTHING BUT TO CHAT WITH THE PEOPLE THAT RUN IT. THEY ARE SO FRIENDLY.

AND TO WATCH ALL THE HUMMINGBIRDS FLYING AROUND OUTSIDE.

JACKS CAMPGROUND IS VERY CLEAN AND SPACIOUS.

WE WILL BE GOING BACK AGAIN!

On Wed Oct 6 07:27:13 2004 Kevin Powell from Branson Missouri said:
Your site is very informational. We are Planning to Camp Jack's Creek 1st week in June 2005 with our Horses. And yip were bringin our house. Photos are great and really has us excited about the trip. KP

On Wed Dec 8 15:37:17 2004 John from Louisiana said:
Been there twice now and look forward to many more trips. It is at the end of the road so receives a little less traffic noise. Beautiful scenery and only three of four other campers when I was there in the middle of May in the middle of the week. Lots of hiking in the area.

On Tue May 17 10:46:23 2005 Daniel from Albq , NM said:
As of 05/17/05, Jack's Creek will be inaccessble because of the road to Jack's Creek washing out. They hope to have it open by the end of summer, that is quote from the Albq Journal.

On Fri Jun 24 13:13:59 2005 Alan from Rio Rancho NM said:
The road to Jack's Creek is open as of 10 Jun 2005. I camp there several times a year, with the best time being in the fall. The Aspens change color and at night you can hear the Elk calling out to each other. Probably the best camp ground in New Mexico.

On Thu Aug 11 02:33:39 2005 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
The campers that have inhabited the campgrounds do not take care of the pecos wilderness. There have been cabins that have been in that area that have taken care of the wilderness better and New Mexio is kicking out these people. My mothers family built a cabin where Jack's creek meets the pecos river and she was 12years old when it was built. Around five years ago the state of New Mexico did not renew our lease. I feel the State of New Mexico made a bad dission and the pecos wilderness is having to pay for this bad dission.

On Sat Aug 20 21:31:12 2005 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
WE HAVE A CABIN ON THE PECOS JUST BELOW COW CREEK, LUCKLY WE HAVE A 99 YEAR LEASE

On Mon Oct 10 08:20:20 2005 Glen from somewhere said:
We stayed at Jack's Creek campground October 7, 8 and 9, 2005. The weather was clear until the evening of the 8th when it rained some, and the rain was mixed with snow. Otherwise the days were crystal clear and cool 60s. The campground was about half full. The campsites are rather close together, and the group camping section was closed. In all, it was a great weekend, and we look forward to returning.

On Sun Mar 26 14:04:37 2006 Linda D from Comanche, TX said:
We are thinking about bringing our horses and our house and camping here in the near future. Has anyone camped or ridden here recently? How are the roads getting to the camping area? Are the trails well marked? Are there maps of the trails available? Any other horse friendly areas that you might recommend? Thanks for the info.

On Fri Apr 14 13:34:45 2006 jim judd from indiana said:
My grown son and I have camped at Jacks three successive years in a row a few days after the Labor Day weekend. Everything about our experiences was superb! It is one of my two favorite campgrounds in the country. The other is Elkmont in Great Smoky Mountains national park. I highly recommend both.

On Mon Jul 17 11:09:43 2006 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
This used to be a great place to camp. Now it is filled with Yahoos that are up past midnight making noise and being inconsiderate of others, cannot pull their vehicles off the road. Just too many people crowded together with noise and lights. Bahh. We left after the first night and found a serene place.

On Sun Aug 6 20:16:36 2006 Cyndy and Rodney Jackson from Bryan, TX said:
We recently camped at this site and it was a wonderful place very very clean, it was a wonderful trip!

thank you

On Thu Aug 31 12:54:29 2006 Daniel from Las Vegas, NM said:
What type of experience you have at Jack's Creek will all depend upon when you go and what you plan on doing. Lots of people drive through the campground who are not camped there for two main reasons. (1) Because it is the end of the road and lots of people just drive the road to the see what they can see and (2) Because this is a very popular starting point for day hikers and overnight hikers going up to Betty's Flats and Pecos Falls and sometimes beyond.

It is simply not reasonable to expect a peaceful camp here during summer weekends and even into mid-sept. This has been the case as long as I can remember (many years.) Mid-week is iffy. Sometimes it is good and sometimes not. During the off-season until the camp closes this can be a great place to camp, although I personally prefer Holy Ghost.

I just want to stress that most people who camp at Jack's Creek at not people who are seeking an isolated wilderness expereince. That doesn't mean you won't find it that way, but that is more luck of the draw than anything else.

If you want to have a more peaceful experience stay away from the campgrounds near Santa Fe and instead go the campgrounds near Las Vegas or Española.

On Mon Apr 30 14:42:02 2007 Knut from Santa Fe said:
Jack's Creek is a great campground, and we who live in Santa Fe like to use it to get away. For all you "horse people" that are looking for "horse friendly" places, do not come to the Santa Fe area. There is nothing I despise more than horses, the noise, smell, flies, etc. when I am going to camp. Keep your fricking horse at home...he is not welcome. In addition, I get sick and tired of all the complaints about noise and beer cans, etc. Many of us are escaping the doldrums of Albuquerque/Santa Fe, and are going out to drink a few beers and unwind. You should perhaps expect to hear some music and perhaps see a little drinking if you are going to a campsite within an hour's drive of a city. I agree that this can get unreasonable if it is really late at night, but don't expect to be surrounded by nature's quiet and have some kind of wilderness experience in a campground within shouting distance of a city. And once again, keep your horse at home on the ranch, I don't wan't to smell it.

On Thu Jun 14 11:56:34 2007 Chris from Somewhere said:
My horse is better behaved than drunks who happen to be camping. He doesn't stay up all night playing loud music & howling at the moon. I dare say he is alot cleaner & smells better than the drunks also. Looking forward to meeting up with you at the campground & listening to your whining...NOT!

On Fri Jun 22 07:15:12 2007 Al from NM said:
I agree with Chris, you want to get drunk and scream and play loud music stay at home. People go out to campsites to get away from all that stuff. Have some respect and self dignity. I'll take the smell of a horses over loud music and drunks any day!

Al

On Fri Jun 22 15:34:33 2007 Seth from Las Cruces, NM said:
Wouldn't escaping the city mean leaving music and drinking like teenagers behind? And aren't horses and their smell more natural than guys named Knut listening to the radio? Maybe not as natural as the inevitable mullet of a rockin' drinkin' Knut, but still mighty natural and outdoorsy. I was going to camp here, but maybe not.

On Wed Jun 27 10:17:26 2007 Anonymous from OKC, OK said:
WE HAVE BEEN MAKING 500+ MILE TRIP TO PECOS FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW TO CAMP WITH OUR HORSES AND RIDE. EACH YEAR IT SEEMS THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE CAMPING IN THE HORSE CAMPGROUND THAT DON'T HAVE HORSES AND WE THAT DO ARE LEFT TO SCROUNGE FOR A PLACE TO PARK AND TETHER OUR HORSES. SINCE WE CAN'T GO UP AND USE THE CAMPERS ONLY CAMPGROUND I DON'T SEE HOW IT'S FAIR FOR CAMPERS ONLY TO USE THE HORSE CAMPGROUND. FIRST COME, FIRST SERVE IS GREAT IF THEY ARE GOING TO UTILIZE THE FACILITIES AND NOT JUST TAKE UP SPACE SO OTHERS CAN'T. WHAT'S THE POINT OF HAVING A HORSE CAMPGROUND? LAST YEAR THERE WERE 3 CAMPS TAKEN UP FOR PEOPLE JUST CAMPING. 3 OUT OF 8 DOESN'T LEAVE MUCH FOR THE EQUINE CROWD.

On Sun Jul 1 09:50:56 2007 Juan De Vargus from Pecos, NM said:
Locals only PLEASE! I take the horse campgrounds first to keep the Texans out and leave beautiful NM for us. Peace.

On Fri Aug 31 10:02:42 2007 creed from pinion, nm said:
what would new mex do without revenues from texans visiting through out the year. are you willing to pay the difference in higher taxes? think before you type. as a new mex resident i welcome the texans spending money here. i have had more problems with new mexicans from albuquerque than texans. take care and have a good day.

On Wed Sep 19 21:25:11 2007 rm from albnm said:
my goodness, now i'm not sure i'll go to jack's creek this weekend after all. between the smell of horses, the people driving around and people like knut, doesn't seem like there is much to look forward to.

On Fri Sep 21 12:51:23 2007 Chris from Somewhere said:
Juan, guess you failed to read the sign, it's a "NATIONAL" Forest. The federal government owns & maintains it, so I guess everybody is free to use it.

On Sun Sep 23 14:56:20 2007 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
WHY DOES KNUT HAVE TO BE SUCH A HORSES REAR....I DON'T KNOW HOW ANYONE LIKE THIS COULD POSSIBLY GIVE A RIP ABOUT NATURE WITH THIS KIND OF ATTITUDE.

On Mon Oct 8 09:39:35 2007 MegCamps from Albuquerque, NM said:
We just came back from our first visit to Jack's Creek and it was fantastic. Granted, it was the 1st week of October but the grounds were quiet even though they were filled. A great group of neighbors like you imagine it should be. The views were untouchable as the Aspens were changing. We loved it and will definitely be back.

On Fri Feb 15 23:58:41 2008 Debbie from Albuquerque said:
My husband and I are both in the R.V. industry. He is a Tech and I am a Service Manager. So...our camping is limited to the "off" season (winter). We look for nice, quiet places to go on the week-end during the summer within an hour drive of ABQ....that allows us to actually spend a day enjoying the experience, rather than in the truck traveling to a destination for a couple of hours. For that reason we go to Cochiti a lot. We are looking for another "favorite". I do agree with several of the comments about being loud and inconsiderate. And I can also understand getting away from it all and letting go. Jack's Creek sounds like a place I would like to camp at in 2008...but from the comments I read it seems to me that there are a lot of inconsiderate people that like to camp there, on both ends of the scale. Those of you that have been there several times...should I check it out??? Thanks!! I would like to.

On Tue May 6 13:41:18 2008 Jezba from Somewhere said:
Jacks Creek is a very nice spot in the mountains. Yes- DURING THE SUMMER THIS PLACE WILL BE FULL. We spent a few days there last season (in early June) and it was pleasant. A hike down to the creek reveals a beautiful view. It gets very cold up here and often rains/hails, so be prepared.

As for the negative comments posted here, i will say this-

I have camped in NM probably 50 times in the past 10 years. If you want a truly wild experience you should find a spot that is seculded and off the beaten path. Jacks Creek is beautiful, but expect to deal with other people. Usually people are friendly in NM. If you are intolerant of other people's music, horses, etc., you should find a spot that is secluded, and avoid sites likethe Jemez, Cowles, Holy Ghost and Jacks Ceek. If you do make it to Jacks Creek please try to be tolerant and respectful to other people.

In my experience NM camping is almost always excellent. Unfortunately you may at some point have to deal with the 11-fingered drooling Gangsta Rap retards... but remember they are not smart enough to know any better.

On Mon Jun 9 08:02:54 2008 CA from Sandia Park, NM said:
We stayed at Jack's Creek the weekend of June 6, 2008 and it was a fantastic experience. The campground is gorgeous - plenty of both sunny and shady campsites. The campground was not full but seemed to get more busy in the late evening, after about 5 pm. Everyone was very quiet and respectful the entire time. By noon the following day, the campground had pretty much cleared out but by early evening, campers started to arrive again and the grounds became more occupied. However, everyone was very quiet. It seems that the upper loop is frequented by larger RVs (and with that, more kids) while the lower loop is used more by tent campers. The camp host is very friendly and also, which is key, closes the gate from dusk until dawn, thereby preventing any drive-throughs by non-campers. Overall, it was a great experience. The Pecos is a gorgeous area and Jack's Creek is a perfect spot from which to explore it. One final note - the creek is not close to the campground so it you want to camp close to water, you cannot do it here.

On Sun Jun 29 17:48:06 2008 KGar from Albuquerque, NM said:
We have been staying at Jacks for 15 years and it is rare, even in the summer to have rude and loud people up there. If you want loud past midnight music, go to Iron Gate. We stay at Iron Gate if we're backpacking but if we just want to camp and dayhike, Jacks is great. We cook our meals, have a few drinks but are in bed by 10 pm, usually quiet. Get up early the next morning and hike all day, come back and do the same as evening before. Great place for kids, let em' go and have some fun.

On Wed Jul 2 16:05:00 2008 debra from texas said:
We have been going to Jacks Creek every year for the last 7 years. We have had no problems untill this year. Everyone there was from out of state, everyone was friendly, respectfull of others. Kids were all playing together it was great untell the weekend. A bunch of people from New Mexico showed up. Drunken fights, bad language, loud, rude to people camping there, running around naked etc. Two days and nights of it. The police showed up on Sunday and started hauling them off. I guess it doesnt matter where you are its still against the law. Thank God for all the out of towners, we all pitched in and cleaned up their mess. Next time something happens like this I'm going to make the phone call. We take our childern to learn of nature not to learn of wildlife from the city.

On Mon Jul 7 21:38:58 2008 Roy Lee from Weatherford, OK said:
Arrived at Jackscreek on July 1, 2008 after traveling 500 miles aand enduring $4.00 + gas. Very beautiful place and enjoyed company of many out of staters. Then on July 3rd Pecos Locals arrived and played LOUD music All night. When a polite lady from Texas asked them to show some respect and turn their music down she was told "These are our mountains and our home and if she did not like it she could leave!" Thanks to camp host the rangers were called and the Pecos Locals were directed to leave. The Pecos Locals bragged to us that they get in trouble every year. It was a shame we had to travel 500 miles to put up with this. After all, these are Federal lands and they belong to all US citizens not Pecos Locals! I would like to go back if the Pecos Locals will stay home to drink and act stupid!!!

On Tue Oct 14 19:54:54 2008 Luke from albuquerque said:
After reading this website decieded to stay at Jacks Creek. It was great campsite! Not crowded at all when we were there. The pump for the water was broken, but the camp host did have water for paid campers (he did check your ticket stub). Unfortunatly it rained the first night we were there and never stoped! We didn't get to do as much as we wanted so we are definatly planning to head back as soon as winter is over! The leaves on Aspens had turned golden yellow making the whole camp site very pretty! This was a great time of year of you can miss the rain!

On Thu Dec 4 09:54:55 2008 Clay from Dripping Springs, TX said:
We visited Jack's Creek for two weeks (end of Aug. and first week in Sept.) Weather was very good. The camp host (Delford?) was most informative and helpful. Our trail riding and camping was very enjoyable thanks to the camp host Delford recommendations. I definitely recommend Jack's Creek. Trails were clear and the scenic rides were awesome. Looking forward to returning next year.

On Fri Apr 24 11:58:45 2009 Medium Lebowski from Somewhere said:
You Texans think we want you here? Get a clue, we don't. We don't care how much money you think you bring in...or how lonely you think we would be without you. But quit suffering under this misconception that we need you or your money...you are simply delusional to continue thinking so. And when you come here to New Mexico, respect the culture, and leave your Texas BS behind!

On Thu Jun 4 10:17:35 2009 Rob from ABQ said:
We have always enjoyed camping here, until last year- we hiked down to the creek, and noticed more gnats and flies than ever before- we smelled something horrid, and thought maybe a dead deer or something was there. We poked around and were horrified to find a head- couldn't tell if it was male or female, it was just black and covered with maggots- skin was peeled off, and an oily scum was all over the bare spots where the hair had just fallen off, or been chewed off by coyotes. We ran back and drove to Tenorio and called hte sheriff- we led them back to the scene, and they asked us to leave- we talked with the investigator from OMI later, and they asked if we saw a body- no we didn't- they think the head was dumped there and the body buried elsewhere- apparently Mexican Cartels are killing competing members in Santa Fe, and dumping parts all over, hoping some get found to send a message.

Beware what your dog brings back to camp!

On Thu Jun 18 08:12:14 2009 Ronnie from dripping springs tx said:
Jacks Creek is a great place. Very clean, nice people, and the camp host is super. Delford something, can't remember. But a great place. Thanks New Mexico

On Tue Jul 28 23:01:48 2009 Jerry from Victoria, Texas said:
As I read the comments, I am amazed at the wide variety of experiences at Jack's Creek. RV folks recommended it to me and I towed my 32 ft. fifth wheel up Hwy. 63 from Pecos. I had no trouble staying on the main road, even though it is very narrow at times.

In May, 2009, it was cold. My two cats and I stayed under the covers until it warmed up. I was unprepared for that. There are no water hookups. I was unprepared for that. There was no electricity. I was unprepared for that. A very helpful couple from Arkansas helped us (water, generater)stay longer than would have been the case. The campfire and cooking was the best part of the day for me. The hummingbird feeder and the hummers it attracted was the best part for the cats. "Dry camping" in frosty weather is the name I would give it. The drive down to Pecos for food or supplies is only app. 30 miles, but it is a two hour round trip. Jack's Creek is a beautiful campground and the folks who complained about the horse must have been camping IN the horse area. Michael, the host, was fabulously helpful. There was still snow on the mountain peaks. The aspens donned their leaves. Beautiful place! Taos is about 45 miles north (as the crow flies). Now I want to know what it's like in August!

On Sun Aug 9 09:34:21 2009 Debra from Rio Rancho said:
We just stayed at Jacks Creek this weekend. First timers here and it was a great experience. We were not prepared to bring heavier blankets for the night time. Was very cold and windy. We had a tent. The fire at night was great. Views are awesome-like nowhere else in NM. A great place to camp. Not noisy in our area at all. The other campers were very friendly and nice to talk to! Was a great experience and we are looking forward to going back very soon (with heavy blankets,) hopefully even this month!

On Tue Sep 8 13:50:59 2009 Regina from Denver, CO said:
We camped at Jack's Creek while in NM to visit family. I found the campground to be very beautiful and clean. We arrived at around 2pm on a holiday weekend and got one of the last 4 campsites available. Tip to other campers: Bring a duraflame log or other firestarter in case of rain.

On Wed Sep 23 12:46:56 2009 Pat from Albuquerque NM said:
The equestrian campsite is clean and well take care of. The camp host "Delford" is the best kept secret on the mountain. He can direct you what trails to ride and give you a history lesson of the wilderness. Jacks Creek is getting more and more popular by word of mouth. The forest service should perhaps increase more lots to camp in and put in electrical & water hookups.Once you are up on the trails you are you are pretty much by yourself. Beautiful country!

On Sun Sep 27 16:22:09 2009 Jim from Santa Fe said:
Having been the Range Rider for the Rociada Grazing Assoc during the summers of '98, '99 & 2000, I have viewed many changes within The Wilderness itself and management of the Equine facilities at Jacks Creek. Delford Daniels has been the biggest asset the NFS has employed over the past 12 years. He not only is knowledgable on the trails throughout the Wilderness, but he geniunely likes people and is always available to help everyone, no matter the experience of party involved. It was great to view the intelligence of the NFS by adding additional equine pens this year. A deed long overdue! For those individuals who care little for the the horses, remember one thing, without horse interested people, who would maintain and manage the trails? I don't see backpackers carrying trail saws, nor any clearing a trail, so before the 'greenie' backpackers rule the wilderness, remember the cattlemen and horse owners are more concerned in the "green" movement than anyone else, it is their livelihood!

On Thu Nov 5 14:27:32 2009 Kip from San Diego, Ca said:
Sounds like the people spoil it. I'll change my plans and go to another state.

On Sat Dec 5 19:26:44 2009 Scott from Corpus Christi, Texas said:
If there was ever a place to describe the word awesome, this is it. But this was my first mountain camping trip and I come from the very flat coastal plans of Texas. So I may just be easy impressed.

I never saw a local on the trails or in the camp area. I went into Pecos often and they seamed to be decent, hard working people, much like where I come from. I'm sure they have their share of town Boneheads, but I never met them.

The culture and history in this area is to be respected. However I'm sure loud music and disrespect to others is not part of it.

After reading some of the reviews and going there, I wonder if it's not just a ploy to keep the crowds away.

On Wed Feb 3 07:52:59 2010 Clay from Austin, TX said:
I would like to emphasize what was said about the camp host Delford Daniels. I personally saw him find a lost horse, go down the road and pull an rv trailer to a campsite. The visitor’s truck broke down while trying to get the camp. They were not camping at the equine area. Delford also helped a lost hunter get back to his camp, he helped one of the guides unpack her pack horses, he cut trees that had fallen on the trail, he reset a horseshoe for a lady, he told many riders where to go, he helped jump start a hiker’s vehicle, and this was just during the one week I was there. He was also very pleasant and answered many, many questions to all ages. To say he is an asset to the Jack’s Creek Camping Area is an understatement. I have stayed at many state and national parks and never experienced a gentleman so willing to help, knowledgeable, and kind. He helps create great memories. I would like to thank the Santa Fe National Forest; Pecos/Las Vegas Ranger District for finding and hiring such a fantastic individual. Thanks

On Sun Feb 21 13:45:21 2010 Buck from Pecos NM said:
"To all my fellow New Mexicans, be respectful of others and try not to bring shame to the rest of us by your bad behavior or rude comments."

How about showing some respect for your fellow New Mexicans by not assuming they are all going to bring Shame upon the state with rude comments and bad behavior?

As if we all have to try, except you.

Anyway,

I hope to see you all in the Upper Pecos one day. Jack's creek is a great place to go and try your luck catching a native Rio Grande Cutthroat.

My only tip would be to get there as early as possible during the height of the season. That canyon gets full quickly!

And the only other thing I would ask is that you pack out all of your trash. You will see people leave bags of trash on the side of the road expecting someone else to come pick it up.

I usually try to pack out more than I came with. It never seems like I am doing any good but every bit helps. The worst part is the bait jars and beer cans and bottle in the river bed.

There is an element up there that do not respect the wilderness. It's a shame.

Don't let that stop you though for the most part is geting cleaned up and you will enjoy the area.

If you fly fish make sure you bring everything you need because the closest shop is in Santa Fe. They have two good places; The Reel Life and High Desert Angler...

On Thu Mar 18 21:47:14 2010 Anonymous from Maple City, MI said:
Just to set the record straight the fantastic camp host that you all are raving about at Jack's Creek, Delford Daniels does not get paid squat for his services. In fact, the NFS does not even offer him food for his animals. Delford uses his animals to clear trails, and haul in supplies so these animals are an integral part of the service he offers. The NFS should be ashamed of the minimal support they offer to such a valuable volunteer. The safety of you campers often depends on back country skills of which Delford is a genius.

On Fri Apr 2 03:26:44 2010 IDP from Edgewood, NM said:
I feel the need for an explanation to my earlier comment in regard to my fellow New Mexicans.

My comments were for those that left ugly and disrespectful comments (on this site) and those New Mexicans that have ruined the camping ideal for the rest. Buck, if you aren't one of those than it wasn't directed at you or anyone else holding our ideal. I'm sorry if there was a misunderstanding and for any offense. That said, I'm glad for another fellow New Mexican that loves Jack's Creek and the Pecos as much or more than I do.

Last year I camped in the group site with my very large family and friends. The weather was cool to cold (August) but bearable. The group sites are located through a gate (get the code from the reservation site www.recreation.gov or the ranger office) and are separated by a few hundred yards from the other sites. I would recommend reserving both sites (A and B) if your group likes to stay up late and play cards or tell stories.

If you want to head into the wilderness there is a very rough and unofficial trail leading from camp B to the main trail (Note - if you don't feel comfortable navigating with map and compass I would recommend walking or driving to the official trail head). There is also a trail leading to Jack's Creek from camp A (please be careful and mindful of where you are!).

The group sites have multiple picnic tables multiple grills, and one large fire pit each. There is also a restroom and potable water between sites A and B. The parking lot is shared between the two sites so if you reserved only one you must use only one side (the camp host will remind you). Happy Camping!

On Sun May 16 19:13:42 2010 jeeps44 from comanche,tx said:
We are considering returning to Jacks Creek this summer. I have not been there for several years. I now have a 36' fifth wheel and a 4 wheel drive Dodge one ton. Dont remember having a problem with getting the 32' up there. Anyone with info. on having pulled a 36 up there please let me know of any problem. Thanks Larry & Penny

On Mon Jul 12 08:25:29 2010 Joe from Albuquerque, NM said:
I am a native of Pecos and spent many childhood summers in the Jacks Creek area. I still remember when the road up to the campground was a nasty gravel washboard. I was there just this past weekend with my wife, 2 year old daughter, and my 2 dogs. It was my daughter's first experience camping out. The place still holds many, many fond memories for me and is still as magical and beautiful now as it was 30 years ago.

There are 2 hosts at Jacks now and they are friendly and helpful. David and Debbie at the upper campsite will even let you share their electricity and water hookup if you park next to their site (although the site fee is double there)...

You can't go wrong camping at Jacks Creek. Just remember, none of the campsites have water or electricity except the host sites. There is potable water available if you take your own containers and if you've got a fully contained RV, you've got no problems.

Also, remember to throw your trash in the bins at the campground or pack it out with you. Keep this beautiful place...beautiful...

On Sun Sep 19 16:56:45 2010 King Family from Albuquerque, NM said:
First time camping in the Pecos. Got a late start Sat afternoon, and intended on one night of tent camping at Holy Ghost. When we arrived, Holy Ghost was closed, so we drove further up the mtn to Jacks Creek. When we arrived,we were met by the friendliest host from Texas. Our short stay was amazing. The Aspens were beautiful. Bathrooms were very clean, as well as the entire campground.

On Sat May 21 22:25:44 2011 Jason from Leander, TX said:
I took my wife and two kids (3 and 5) here for our first camping trip in New Mexico, starting May 15th - a Sunday. We camped in a tent in the upper loop. We made the 14 hour drive aiming for Holy Ghost, which was closed, so we finished the paved road up to Jack's Creek and stayed there. The first night, the upper loop was completely empty except for us, until just after dark, when some other campers showed up, quietly setup camp and a fire, were in bed before we were, and gone before we got up in the morning. The second night, a group of backpackers camped in the group area. Both groups were great neighbors and it was nice to have someone else in the otherwise empty campground.

We saw mule deer, and elk droppings but no elk.

We found a trail down to the creek near the group campground, and hiked along the creek there. The creek was small - we saw some 5 or 6 inch trout in it, but didn't try fishing it. There were lots of hummingbirds, and we saw and heard a couple of woodpeckers.

We were able to gather enough wood for a campfire each night and morning we were there, and had hot dogs, smores, and steaks grilled on the excellent grill/fire pit provided. The kids were able to chase chipmunks, gather pine cones, and play soccer in the empty camps across the road.

The campsite had a great view of the area peaks, which were still snow peaked. There were also lots of budding aspens, and a variety of conifers. We found a couple of pieces of litter - an old shoe and an empty coke can and removed those. There are large trashcans and clean, easy on the nose toilets provided.

This is a great campsite. I'd previously only stayed in national forest campgrounds in Colorado, and this compared well with the best of those. The only caveats are the cold and the lack of campsites near water.

On Sat Jun 4 21:03:13 2011 Ci from Louisiana said:
We're going there in a few days. I hope Delfore is still there; everyone's comments about him have been great. We will be backpacking for a few days. How safe is it to leave our truck at the trailhead?

On Wed Jun 8 23:45:39 2011 Singing Cowboy from New Mexico said:
Jacks Creek is a special place to be enjoyed by those who appreciate alpine splendor. Good times or bad times are not created by which state you travel from but instead by the decisions you make. I became somewhat uncomfortable reading so many insulting comments regarding my fellow man. If one can write such cowardly scribble perhaps one should stop entering the wilderness, as even it's endless glory cannot prevent the occasional bad day. For those surprised by the cold and lack of water I suggest better research. There are dozens of books and oodles of internet pages that will tell you exactly what each campground facility has to offer [webmaster note: including ExploreNM.com!]. All high altitude location get cold at night every day of the year. There is no one else to blame for this lack of knowledge other than the trip planner.

Peace

On Thu Aug 11 20:33:31 2011 Real Men Wear Pink from Albuquerque NM said:
Hey RV campers with big groups... go home or teach your kids to be uncomfortable for a gosh darn night. Tired of you babies.

On Sun Aug 28 11:42:02 2011 Happy NM Hiker from Albuquerque said:
We came to Jack's Creek on our way to a day hike to Stewart Lake. We originally went to Cowles Campground which we quickly rejected and drove up the road to Jack's Creek. This was a BEAUTIFUL aspen campground. There are many loops with campsites (so all campsites are off the main road). There were a few RV's but we had one tent camp neighbor and one pop-up neig0hbor (which was nice as tent campers). The neightbors were very respectful and friendly. The campground was very sparsely populated so we took up a double sight which was WONDERFUL. We took a day hike to a pristine meadow with wildflowers and incredible views. We had a lot of rain, but since we camped under the trees we stayed dry. Our trip was wonderful, I'd suggest Jack's Creek to anyone (but don't be fooled, while there is potable water, there is NO creek at Jack's Creek Campground).

On Thu Jan 26 11:45:45 2017 Steve from Little Rock, AR said:
Jacks Creek Campground is the crowning jewel of the Pecos canyon, literally at the end of the road. Well worth the drive (allow an hour from Pecos). Admittedly my subjective opinion, it is one of the most beautiful campgrounds in the state. Great views of the mountains in every direction. There are trees at some campsites, mostly along the west side of the north loop, with a large open area in the center of the loop that provides a great opportunity for stargazing. Not many campers on the main loop during weekdays in early August (2015), but the large equine camping loop on the south end was busier. Best I can recall, the equine loop had fewer trees and was more open.

On Thu Jan 26 11:47:54 2017 Steve from Little Rock, AR said:
oh...failed to mention...the aspens here are brilliant in October! Absolutely gorgeous! Stunning!

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