BLM's Cebolla Wilderness, located within the El Malpais National Conservation Area, includes 61,600 acres of rimrock country east of NM 117. Sanstone mesas, canyons and grassy valleys characterize the area. The Mesas and canyons are clad with juniper, piñon, and ponderosa pine. Vertical escarpments provide excellent nesting habitat for golden eagles, prairie falcons, red-tail hawks, and great horned owls.
The Cebolla Wilderness is rich in prehistoric archaeological sites, petroglyphs and historic homesteads. One such archaeological site is the Dittert Site (Download Brochure). Sometime between A.D. 1000 and1300, the Dittert Site was built and occupied by the Anasazi people, who were the ancestors of modern Pueblo Indian people. Cebolla Wilderness also contains La Ventana Natural Arch, a dramatic arch sculpted through wind and water erosion in the sandstone cliffs located about ¼ mile inside the wilderness.
Primitive types of recreation, such as hiking, backpacking, camping, wildlife viewing and horseback riding.
A popular hiking trail in the wilderness area is the Narrows Rim Trail (BLM). Download Brochure
Start from a trailhead located at the southern end of the Narrows Picnic Area, and follow a rock carin trail or the edge of the cliff along the rim of sandstone. The views from the narrows rim are spectacular. Going to the far end a distance of 4 miles will result in excellent views of La Ventana Natural Arch.
Additional hikes in El Malpais National Conservation Area are listed here -- Trails Brochure. Many other opportunities exist to hike to areas or locations that have no trails or along roads that are no longer used. Ask at El Malpais Ranger Station for suggestions.
Trail-head facilities are located at La Ventana Natural Arch, The South Narrows, and the BLM Ranger Station.
Location and Access
The Cebolla Wilderness is part of the El Malpais National Conservation Area. Both are located south of Grants, NM, and 80 miles west of Albuquerque. South from I-40, the Cebolla Wilderness lies east of NM 117. Check in at the BLM’s Ranger Station on NM 117 for additional visitor information.