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Dittert Site at the Cebolla Wilderness Welcome to Wilderness Wednesday, our weekly posting to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

This week, we are highlighting the Cebolla Wilderness, as accessed by the Armijo Canyon Trail.  The 61,600 acre Cebolla Wilderness was designated in 1987.  The Armijo Canyon Trail will bring you through an area abundant in cultural history and sites.  Just north of the trail, near the trailhead, is the Dittert Site Between A.D. 1000 and 1300, Ancestral Pueblo people built and occupied a 30 room pueblo here.  2¼ miles up the Canyon exists an old homestead from the early 1900s.  Exploring rocky outcrops nearby the trial will reveal occasional petroglyphs.
The Wilderness Act recognizes that a wilderness may contain ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value, and directs that these values be preserved as a component of their wilderness character.  Archaeological sites found in a wilderness can significantly contribute to our appreciation and understanding of human history and culture, including clues to the lives of indigenous peoples, Spanish colonialism, and settlement as a part of the United States.  Local Native Americans refer to sites as “cultural” resources, not “archaeological” resources, signifying their importance as an integral part of their living culture.  These resources are protected within the wilderness setting (as they are on all public lands) for present and future generations.
From I-40, drive 31.6 miles south on NM Highway 117 to CR 41 (gravel, known as “the Pietown Road”).  Drive south on CR 41 for approximately 3.7 miles until you reach a sign for Armijo Canyon, which will be on the east side of the road.  Turn left, and after approximately 1.5 miles, and stop at a parking area at the Wilderness boundary.  Hike past the fence and along a closed 2-track route for approximately 3¾ miles at which point it connects to the Sand Canyon Road.

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Last updated: 05-14-2014