The Jicarita Peak Trail is a beautiful place to go if you're looking for an all-day hike that will offer great views and a place to go with your pup. The trail is dog-friendly, but you and Fido better be used to the elevation before trekking out. Not only does the 2-foot wide trail gain over 3000 feet, but it already starts at 8,860 feet above sea level. The rural trail is made from packed dirt and grass, with some rocks to climb over.
Dogs aren't required to be on a leash on the trail either, making it easier for them to hike alongside you. The trail begins in the Santa Barbara Campground, right at the front entrance and parking area. Once you get started, you will be going up steep inclines and sometimes muddy surfaces. There's plenty of shade to start out since the trail is inside the Pecos Wilderness in the Carson National Forest. The higher you go, the more open the trail gets, with views of grassy fields and ponds.
Plenty of activities can be done along the trail, besides just hiking. Although the trail isn't wide, it still provides space for joggers and horse riding. Along the way, there are spots for hunting during the season, wildlife observation of elk, marmot, ptarmigan, deer, sheep, and black bear, and fishing along the Santa Barbara Rio and other unnamed ponds along the way. Once you reach the top though, all you will want to do is stare. Views from the peak are breathtaking, with scenes that follow along with the Rio Grande Valley, with sights of the surrounding Truchas Peaks and Trampas Peak, along with sights of the mountains that stretch into Colorado.
Along the trail, there are no amenities, but inside the campsite, the trail starts in are restrooms and water fountains. The campsite is dog-friendly to leashed dogs and offers tent spots and RV spots, along with picnic tables and fire pits.
You're not required to stay at the campsite, but after such a long and beautiful hike up the mountain, how could you and Fido not want to go back for some more?