The Beattys Trail is a 12 mile trail that begins at the Jack’s Creek Trailhead and ends on the Santa Barbara Divide at the Skyline Trail – Trail #251.
Trail Condition: Moderate
Although most of the trail remains in good condition and is easy to follow, there are consistently downed trees from the Skyline Trail through Beatty’s Cabin.
The worst section is about 1/4 mile stretch, where there appeared to be some kind of microburst about 1-2 miles from the junction with the Skyline Trail. The other difficult section is in the last 1/2 before reaching Beatty’s Cabin at a point where the trail climbs away from the Rio del Padre. Most of these downed trees are fairly easy to bypass, but in a few sections take you away from the trail or could be physically challenging to due the surrounding topography.
Also of note, if hiking downhill from the Skyline Trail, the trail will pass through a meadow after about 1 mile. From the top of the meadow, you can see two faint forks in the meadow. The right fork will lead you quickly into the woods where the trail becomes good again.
The trail remains in good to excellent condition from Beatty’s Cabin to the junction with the Jack’s Creek Trail.
From the Jack’s Creek trailhead, the trail climbs steeply along some switchbacks that parallel the campground below. It flattens out a bit after the horse trail comes in from the right at the top of the switchbacks, but remains somewhat nondescript until the junction with the Jack’s Creek Trail – Trail #257.
Taking a right at the fork, the trail climbs through an open grassy meadow before descending. The trail then traverses through open meadow on the east side of the ridge before entering forest. This portion of trail is well-traveled, and the tread remains easy to follow.
The trail continues through the forest for a couple of miles. Shortly before reaching the Beattys Cabin are, there are some good view points of the Pecos River just off the trail.
About 1/2 mile before Beatty’s Cabin, there is a junction for a high route and a low route. Choose either trail. They will meet again shortly.
Toward the end of the meadowy lowlands that define Beatty’s Cabin, Trail #25 turns left (north) on the west side of Rito del Padre. There are some downed trees in this section, which is severely overgrown, but the trail is easy to follow.
Continue to follow Rito del Padre past the conflucent with Rito Sebadilloses and the Rito Sebadilloses Trail – Trail #245. Here the trail remains about 100 feet above the creek. Shortly after the junction with the Gascon Trail – Trail #239, Beatty’s Trail climbs steeply uphill at the confluence of a few smalls streams.
About a mile after, it crosses back to the west side of the Rito del Padre.
NOTE: If you are doing the trail in the opposite direction, after crossing the Rito del Padre stay straight. Do not follow the small social path that parallels the creek downstream.
The trail continues to climb through forest and crosses through a few small meadows before reaching the marked junction with the Skyline Trail – Trail #251. In a few of these meadows, the trail temporarily disappears, but should be easy to locate again.
To read more about the Beatty’s Trail, see my trip report from East Pecos Baldy – Truchas Lake Loop.