Ignacio Chavez Wilderness Study Area

The Ignacio Chavez WSA is located in the northwestern portion of New Mexico. The northern portion of this WSA is arid, while the southern portion consists of a higher plateau dominated by piсon and ponderosa pines. The diversity of vegetation provides scenic appeal, and also a highly diverse wildlife population. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail passes through this WSA.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips


Geographic Coordinates

35.56980528, -107.3333333


From San Ysidro, NM, drive US 550 about 18 miles to just north of mile marker 41 and the junction with 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. Travel on this gravel road approximately 13 miles, crossing the bridge over the Chico Arroyo, until the road splits – NM 279 continues south to Guadalupe and BLM Road 1103 begins here and continues west. At about one mile, CR 25 splits to the right and from this point the WSA is on the right side of 1103 – continue on 1103, climbing to the mesa top. A gate and parking area is located just below the top of the mesa and is locked during wet times of year. Visitors can park here and look for an unmaintained trail on the right side of the parking area that passes through rugged terrain and connects to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail approximately 1/2 mile to the north. If the gate is open, continue driving one mile to a signed parking area delineated by a split rail fence on the right side (north) of the road. Hike a flat, unmaintained trail to the north, through a gate in a barbed wire fence, and across dry meadows approximately one mile to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.