Pecos NHP to Celebrate Founder’s Day

South Pasture Loop Trail (Courtesy Photo / Pecos National Historical Park)
Celebrate 102 years of National Parks with a hike through one of the seldom-seen areas of Pecos National Historical Park as part of its annual Founder’s Day Celebration. The 3.8 mile South Pasture Loop trail on the grounds of the historic Forked Lightning Ranch will be open to hikers from 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 25). This moderately difficult trail follows old ranch roads through a shady cottonwood grove, along the bluffs of the Pecos River, and through the open pasture lands of the Forked Lightning Ranch.

Founder’s Day commemorates the August 25, 1916 signing of the “Organic Act” by President Woodrow Wilson, which stated that the role of the National Park Service was to “conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and…leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Hikers must first check in at the Visitor Center to receive driving directions to the trailhead and a hiking map.  The trailhead is open from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; visitors must complete their hike no later than 1:00 p.m.  Dogs on leash are permitted. This trail is exposed to the elements; exercise appropriate caution with regard to weather. Please bring plenty of water there will not be a water station on the trail available.

After your hike, bring your lunch and join us for a retrospective presentation, “The National Park Service after 100 Years” by Dr. Dwight T. Pitcaithley, Professor of History at New Mexico State University and former National Park Service Historian. The free, hour-long presentation begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Kiva Theater at the Visitor Center. There is limited seating; admittance to the program will be on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 11:15 am.

For more information about the park contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at Please like on us on Facebook at or Instagram ( 

From I-25 N: Take the Pecos/Glorieta Exit, #299. Left onto overpass, right onto Route 50; proceed on Route 50 for eight miles. At the village of Pecos, take a right at the four-way stop onto Route 63. In two miles, the park will be on your right. From I-25 S: Take the Rowe Exit, #307. Follow signs. From Highway 63, the park will be on your left.