Welcome to Wilderness Wednesday, our weekly posting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
This week, we are highlighting the Cabezon Wilderness Study Area (WSA). The focal point of this WSA is Cabezon Peak, a steep-sided symmetrical volcanic plug. A volcanic plug is formed when magma solidifies in the vent pipe of a volcano and the surrounding earth is later eroded away. A successful climb to the summit will reward those having basic mountain climbing experience with expansive views of the Rio Puerco Valley.
Lands with wilderness characteristics are identified for their size, natural appearance, and outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation. They may also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value. Not only does Cabezon meet the definition of wilderness, the scenic geology of this remarkable peak draws the attention of anyone within the surrounding region.
From Highway 550, approximately 18 miles north of San Ysidro, turn west on County Road 279. At 8.5 miles, County Road 279 passes through the village of San Luis and the road becomes dirt. Continue approximately 4 miles and turn south on BLM Road 1114. Follow BLM 1114 south for 2.9 miles to a dirt route that leads east to a trailhead parking area. A trail leads from the parking area to the base of the mountain on its east side, and ends at the common climbing route for the peak. Basic mountain climbing experience and proper gear, including a helmet, are needed, but most will not choose to use a rope on the common route. Thunderstorms are typical on summer afternoons. It is extremely important to make sure you are off the mountain before thunderstorms develop. For more information, please visit the Cabezon WSA website. BLM Photo Courtesy of Steven W. Martin Photography
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