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La Lena WSAWelcome to Wilderness Wednesday, our weekly posting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. 

This week we feature the La Leña Wilderness Study Area (WSA).  This WSA is characterized by arroyos, mesas, and weather sculpted sandstone and shale outcrops.  Nesting sites for golden eagles, prairie falcon, great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, and raven are found on sandstone cliffs. Vegetation includes grama grass, cactus, and scattered juniper trees.
The scenic qualities of this WSA attract regular primitive recreation visits.  This WSA lends itself to day hikes or short backpack trips, including hiking on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST), which passes through the WSA.  Sculpted and contoured layers of white and tan sandstone outcrops provide for interesting hiking and wandering exploration.  Expansive views from mesa tops reward those who venture to higher ground.  Backpackers camping in this landscape are often provided beautiful sunsets and sunrises, which make for appealing photographic compositions.  Most of BLM’s WSAs are short on water, and backpackers will find this WSA is no different.  Camping is most limited by the amount of water the backpacker is able to carry. 

You are encouraged to use Leave No Trace principles as you hike and at your camp.  Wilderness is everyone’s to share and enjoy; and protecting these special places requires active stewardship and responsible use on everyone's part.  Leave No Trace is about making good decisions as you enjoy the wilderness so that our Nation’s heritage is passed on to future generations in a condition for which they will be grateful.  For more information, please visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles.
From Highway 550, approximately 18 miles north of San Ysidro, turn west on County Road 279.  Continue about 17 miles.  Past the village of San Luis the road turns to dirt, which may be impassible when muddy conditions exist.  As the road bends to the south, turn right on a side road and drive approximately ½ mile to where the CDNST crosses the road.  There is no trailhead; and the trail is marked by cairns.  Hike north into the WSA.  The trail extends for 4 miles through the WSA.
For more information please visit the La Leña WSA website

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Last updated: 04-23-2014