SANTA FE – Add warmer than usual temperatures to a good snowpack, and the result is an early start to the spring runoff in rivers and streams that run through the Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF).
Recreation specialists on the SFNF report that streams in the Pecos Wilderness and popular destinations like the Rio Nambe, Rio en Medio and Rio Frijoles are flowing high and fast. Conditions are similar across the forest.
Visitors are advised to use extreme caution around fast-flowing mountain waters, which can be dangerously deceptive. Streams and rivers which will be easy to cross on foot later in the year are hazardous under current conditions. Hikers, backpackers and day-use visitors should consider the spring runoff when planning their itinerary on the forest so they don’t find themselves stranded on the “wrong” side of a stream.
Forest visitors are reminded to be aware of their surroundings at all times and follow basic safety practices.
- Let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return
- Prepare by learning about the terrain, conditions, weather and your equipment before you start
- Read all trail head signs and follow local regulations
- Stay on the trail
- Hike in groups and pace your hike to the slowest person
- Be prepared to turn back if conditions change
- Don’t hike in the dark
- Keep children within sight at all times
- Pets may attract bears and mountain lions. If you take your dog, it’s best to keep it on a short leash so it won’t bother wildlife
- The bears are waking up. Carry EPA-registered bear pepper spray when hiking in bear country