Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico
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BLM>New Mexico>Outdoor Recreation>Outdoor Activities>Hiking/Backpacking
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The majority of public lands in New Mexico are open to hiking and backpacking. Certain BLM lands provide excellent opportunities for these activities, especially where they are combined with scenic landscapes, or with special designations such as Wilderness areas. Some BLM locations have designated trails, while other areas require visitors to find their way through the landscape with map and compass.  BLM offers trails that will take you through the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, past historic forts, through rugged lava flows, over picturesque badlands, and into the scenic Rio Grande Gorge.
For your own safety sake, study maps and site information before you go so you are properly prepared.  Tell someone where you’re going and your expected time of return.  Bring plenty of drinking water.  New Mexico is known for its rapidly changing weather - don’t be caught off guard.  Summer afternoon thunderstorms are typical. Be prepared to avoid lightening by timing your visit to peaks, ridges and open areas during the morning. BLM lands aren’t known for their shade; be sure to bring along sunscreen.  Also, make sure you have warm cloths, even in the summer months nighttime temperatures can drop significantly; and a rain jacket is essential during the thunderstorm season.
Our most outstanding opportunities for hiking or backpacking are listed in the column to the right. Follow the links to the individual recreation websites to learn more about each area. 

BLM New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Areas

Photo of Hikers

Hiking/Backpacking Hiking/Backpacking

Carlsbad Field Office
 Black River Recreation Area
 Guadalupe Backcountry Byway
 Pecos River Corridor Recreation Area

Farmington Field Office

 Alien Run Mountain Bike Trail
 Angel Peak Scenic Area
 Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness
 Dunes Vehicle Recreation Area

Glade Run Recreation Area


Simon Canyon Area of Critical Environmental Concern

Las Cruces District Office
 Aguirre Spring Campground
 Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
 Dripping Springs Natural Area
 Gila Lower Box Canyon
 Granite Gap

Kilbourne Hole Volcanic Crater

 Lake Valley Backcountry Byway
 Lake Valley Historic Townsite
 McGregor Range
 Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument
 Picacho Peak Recreation Area
 Prehistoric Trackways National Monument
 Sierra Vista Trail
 Soledad Canyon Day Use Area
 Three Rivers Petroglyph Site
 Tortugas Mountain Recreation Area

Rio Puerco Field Office

 Cabezon Peak Wilderness Study Area
 Cebolla Wilderness
 Chain of Craters Backcountry Byway
 Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
 El Malpais National Conservation Area
 Ignacio Chavez Special Management Area

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

 Ojito Wilderness
 Perea Nature Trail
 San Ysidro Trials Area

West Malpais Wilderness

 White Ridge Bike Trails

Roswell Field Office

 Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area

Valley of Fires Recreation Area

Socorro Field Office

 Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Datil Well Recreation Area Campground


Quebradas Backcountry Byway


San Lorenzo Canyon Recreation Area

 Socorro Nature Area

The Box Recreation Area

Taos Field Office

 Rio Chama Wild and Scenic River

Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River

 Red River Wild and Scenic River

Wild Rivers Backcountry Byway


Wild Rivers Recreation Area

 Orilla Verde Recreation Area
 Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area
 Sabinoso Wilderness
 Diablo Canyon Recreation Area