Day 2a – Peñasco to Truchas (llano San Juan pass)
Although this is my personally preferred path to the town of the trouts (las truchas), the pilgrim should know that it adds a few miles compared to the boring road walk. Walking the extra miles to see the communities of old New Mexico is completely worth the experience. Be prepared to for a taste of the rural life: sheep, farms, and even llamas. There is one potential water crossing at the end of the detour, which could be dry or quite full, depending on how much snow-melt is going on upstream. This being said, some ingenuity and cleverness can usually get you across the full water crossing without getting wet.
Like the mountain pass, it is difficult to define the exact turns once you get in the National Forest, so having the GPS file is key.
Check the NOHRSC NOAA interactive snow information mapbefore going!
– GPS FILE (.kmz)
– Mileage: 17.3 miles
– Elevation Gain: 2,223 ft
– High Point: 8,146 feet
– Low Point: 7,417 feet
There are a surprising amount of Airbnb’s between Peñasco and Truchas, including the town in the middle of the route, Las Trampas. If you don’t want to spend the $$$, then you can camp in the Carson National Forest along the route (Map Here).
No food along the way. At one point years ago there were shops in Trampas, but no more. There is a coffee shop in Truchas – but be sure to call ahead as they have seasonal hours. My opinion is to get what you need in Peñasco until you get to Chimayó.
Interesting things along route
Many art galleries in Peñasco and Truchas
San Antonio-Padua Church – PEÑASCO
This active church in Peñasco has several masses every weekend. Unfortunately no website exists for the parish. Mass Times: Sunday 8:30AM, 7:00PM at San Antonio
Phone: (575) 587-2111
Address: 14079 NM-75, Peñasco, NM 87553
Santa Barbara – RODARTE
This mission church is only open for mass, which is currently scheduled on 1st Sunday of Month 1:00PM (call to confirm).
Phone: (575) 587-2111
San Juan Nepomuceno – LLANO SAN JUAN
I am unsure of any of the history behind this little church in the llano. Let me know if you find any information about it! It does not seem that there are schedules masses here.
San José de Gracia Church – TRAMPAS
This very famous church dating to at least 1776 has been said to be the best preserved Spanish-colonial pueblo church in the US. Unfortunately, there are no regularly scheduled masses here, but if you can find the right people to talk to, then you are allowed to go inside. If you manage to enter, be sure to patronize the small shop with postcards and posters they sell inside, or just offer donations (only cash).
Nuestra Señora del Rosario Church (old church and new church) – TRUCHAS
Both churches being quite beautiful in their own way, the old church’s date of construction beats the new church most likely by 150-200 years. The old church in the plaza of Truchas has been recently restored. Because the old church lacks modern HVAC (with the exception of a small oven), Sunday masses are usually help in the new church during the winter, and in the summer they switch to the old church.