Empedrado Wilderness Study Area

The Empedrado WSA is characterized by deep arroyos, highly sculpted mesas, canyons, and sandstone and shale outcrops. This area is easily traveled by horseback. 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 Knight’s milevetch.

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail passes through this WSA.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Geographic Coordinates

35.63193472, -107.2333333


From San Ysidro, NM, drive US 550 about 18 miles north to the junction of US 550 and 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, until you reach a sharp left (west) turn, approximately 10 miles from US 550. Empedrado WSA is to the west.

Empedrado WSA can also be accessed via the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) if you continue to travel and additional 3 miles on NM 279, crossing the bridge over the Arroyo Chico, until the road splits – NM 279 continues south toward Guadalupe Ruins, and BLM Road 1103 begins and continues to the right. Travel on BLM Road 1103 for approximately one mile to CR 25 which splits to the right. Travel about 1 mile on CR 25 to where the CDT enters the WSA on the northeast side of the road. Though there is no trailhead, you will see trail signs with the CDT emblem. The trail is marked by cairns; there is no trailhead signage, but you will now be at the second entrance into the Empedrado WSA."