Many who visit New Mexico are struck by our history, people and the underlying quiet spirit of the land. We welcome all to envelop themselves in the outdoor recreation adventures of the nearly one million acres of public land managed by BLM’s Rio Puerco Field Office, all of which are within a short drive of the Albuquerque metropolitan area.
Much of this landscape is volcanic in origin with fascinating diversity. To the west of the Rio Grande lies the Rio Puerco Valley and nearly 50 volcanic necks, including the prominent Cabezon Peak. The basalt-covered mesa of the Ignacio Chavez Special Management Area has an elevation of over 8,000 feet, with segments of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail traversing a portion of the mesa. You can also see the lava flow of El Malpais National Conservation Area, containing two wilderness areas, one of New Mexico’s largest readily accessible natural arches, and the Chain of Craters. In the north, the beautiful cone-shaped formations of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument carved out of pumice is something to behold. There's an array of cultural periods to discover as well. Chacoan era ruins have been uncovered and evidence of Spanish habitation during the 18th century can be found in these lands.
Numerous backcountry roads provide opportunities for visitors to experience the western landscapes of piñon/juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine parklands, open rangeland, and sagebrush flats mingled with sandstone bluffs and dry washes. Our public lands are relatively undeveloped for recreation use, allowing visitors to test their outdoor recreation skills and experience isolated solitude. It all awaits you and your adventurous spirit.