Location: Northwest New Mexico
Elevation: Up to 8,300 feet
BLM Acreage: 33,609 acres
The Ignacio Chavez WSA is located in the northwestern portion of New Mexico. The northern portion of this WSA is arid, while the southern portion consists of a higher plateau dominated by piñon and ponderosa pines. The diversity of vegetation provides scenic appeal, and also a highly diverse wildlife population.
From San Ysidro, NM, drive US 550 about 18 miles to just north of mile marker 41 and the junction with NM 279. A green highway sign labeled, "San Luis-Cabezon" marks NM 279. Drive west on NM 279, a paved road, through the small village of San Luis, after which the road turns to gravel and dirt. Travel on this gravel road approximately 13 miles, crossing the bridge over the Chico Arroyo, until the road splits – NM 279 continues south to Guadalupe and BLM Road 1103 begins here and continues west. At about one mile, CR 25 splits to the right and from this point the WSA is on the right side of 1103 – continue on 1103, climbing to the mesa top. A gate and parking area is located just below the top of the mesa and is locked during wet times of year. Visitors can park here and look for an unmaintained trail on the right side of the parking area that passes through rugged terrain and connects to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail approximately 1/2 mile to the north. If the gate is open, continue driving one mile to a signed parking area delineated by a split rail fence on the right side (north) of the road. Hike a flat, unmaintained trail to the north, through a gate in a barbed wire fence, and across dry meadows approximately one mile to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
1. The gravel and dirt roads leading to the WSA may be impassible when wet, and are subject to becoming rough and eroded after rain, which may require high clearance vehicles.
2. The only designated trail in the WSA is the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. It is marked with rock cairns and posts, but in many places does not have trail tread. Other unmarked trails exist in the form of cattle trails, closed vehicle trails, and trails established by repeated visitor use. These trails are not signed, can be confusing, and require good navigation skills. This includes the trails described as connecting to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
Rio Puerco Field Office
435 Montano NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107