BLM New Mexico COVID-19 Information Update

The Department of the Interior’s current COVID-19 policy incorporates CDC guidance. As CDC science-based guidance changes, our policy will adapt. Visitors have always been encouraged by DOI to review CDC guidance when making their plans to recreate responsibly. CDC guidance indicates that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. Unvaccinated people must wear a mask indoors in DOI buildings at all times and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained. All people, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a mask on all forms of public transportation and in healthcare settings on DOI lands. We will continue to ask visitors to follow CDC guidance to recreate responsibly.

The latest information on changes to facilities and services in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is available here.

View the alert: BLM New Mexico COVID-19 Information Update

Lonesome Ridge Wilderness Study Area


Carlsbad Field Office 620 E. Greene Street Carlsbad, NM 88220

32.02104556, -104.7260778

From U.S. Highway 285, take NM 137/Queens Hwy (12 miles northwest of Carlsbad, 23.5 miles south of Artesia) southwest approximately 36 miles to Queen, NM. Continue about 3 miles past Queen and turn left, heading southeast on Forest Road 540 (County Road 412/Guadalupe Ridge Road), and drive for about Ѕ mile, and veer right to continue on Forest Rd 540 for 3ѕ miles. Turn left on Forest Road 69 (Klondike Gap Road), drive for 2ј miles, and turn right on Forest Road 69A, just after Road 69 starts heading northwest; continue another 2ј miles to the Dark Canyon Lookout. Turn right (southwest) on Forest Road 201 (4 wheel drive required at this point). Drive or hike for just over 2Ѕ miles southeast to Forest Road 3010 and turn left. Drive approximately 1 mile on Road 3010 to where the Lonesome Ridge Trail begins (this is National Forest land). Hike on the trail for approximately 2 miles to the northern border of the WSA. The trail becomes the Golden Stairway Trail on BLM land and continues another 2 miles through the WSA.


Lonesome Ridge Wilderness Study Area

Lonesome Ridge WSA is located in southern New Mexico, about 40 miles southwest of Carlsbad on the eastern side of the Guadalupe Escarpment. The area features stark landscape transitions from Chihuahuan Desert shrubs at the lower elevations to sheer limestone cliffs. The steep, rugged mountains with dramatic rock outcrops are highly scenic. The WSA is contiguous with the Guadalupe Escarpment WSA (managed by the U.S. Forest Service) and Guadalupe Mountains Wilderness (managed by the National Park Service) in Texas.