The desert grasslands and rolling, oak-studded hills of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area (NCA) are ideal to enjoy some of the best recreational opportunities on public lands.
Starting with backcountry hiking, visitors can enjoy the Oak Tree Canyon area with its tapestry of cottonwood/willow, mesquite bosques and sacaton grasslands.
Wildlife-viewers will get their fill in the NCA. A variety of wildlife thrives in Las Cienegas, including pronghorn antelope, Coatimundi, birds, reptile, amphibians and native fish.
There is plenty of opportunities for bicyclists to travel on both 4-wheel and administrative routes on the NCA. The extensive system of backcountry roads allows bicyclists to take it slow and appreciate the NCA’s scenic landscapes.
The NCA provides miles of open rolling terrain for equestrian exploration. Group horseback rides are popular in the area. Commercial equestrian events require a permit.
Off Highway Vehicles
Visitors seeking slower-paced motorized-vehicle activities will find it in Las Cienegas. Depending on the weather, high-clearance, 4-wheel-drive vehicles or ATVs are suitable for the adventurous backcountry traveler.
The historic Empire Ranch is a main feature on the NCA, dating back to the 1876. The ranch headquarters is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a part of the NCA’s living history.