Sabinoso Wilderness Area
Guide

Introduction

Sitting within a remote area that features a series of high and narrow mesas surrounded by cliff-lined canyons is Sabinoso Wilderness, a fantastic destination for primitive camping and outdoor recreation. This Bureau of Land Management property lies in rugged country that supports diverse vegetation. If you fancy a trip to this wilderness, come along with all the water you will need. The park is easily accessible by vehicles; however, look out for improved dirt roads and lightly maintained routes. Private lands surround some parts of the wilderness, so ensure you don’t cross these areas without permission.

In terms of recreational activities, there are plenty of things to do here. Your sightseeing adventure through the wilderness areas could either be on the back of your horse, or on foot. Rest assured, you will find resplendent vegetation decorating the corridors of the park, as well as fauna roaming the grasslands and woodlands. Nature observation and study enthusiasts are also intrigued by the geological elements in the park.

Primitive camping is permitted in this wilderness, but there are no developed campgrounds or facilities. Nearby attractions and sites such as Canadian River, Carson National Forest, and Conchas Lake State Park offer additional camping and outdoor activities such as winter recreation, hunting, fishing, and many more.

RV Rentals in Sabinoso Wilderness Area

Transportation

Driving

Sabinoso Wilderness Area lies eight miles northeast of Trujillo, within San Miguel County, and 20 miles NW of Conchas Reservoir, New Mexico. This BLM wilderness is surrounded by private lands and can only be accessed via public routes from the west, from Trujillo. Guests coming from Interstate 25 should exit on to New Mexico Highway 104 and travel about 33 miles to Trujillo. Access to the wilderness area is via an improved dirt road that leads to a lightly maintained route to the parking area of the wilderness.

The use of motorized vehicles and mechanical equipment within Sabinoso Wilderness Area is not allowed, just as in other wilderness areas. So, as you drive to the park, ensure you look out for signs that indicate where the wilderness boundaries are. A parking area is provided for guests to park their vehicles outside the wilderness. Wheelchairs are allowed in the wilderness.

There are no direct transportation services to this Bureau of Land Management property in New Mexico.

For guests who wish to rent recreational vehicles and camping equipment for developed camping, rental services are available at Carson National Forest and San Miguel County.

Parking

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Sabinoso Wilderness Area

Campsites in Sabinoso Wilderness Area

Reservations camping

Conchas Lake State Park

Conchas Lake State Park lies southeast of Sabinos Wilderness, on the shore of Canadian River. This State Park features a modern campground that is open year-round and has developed campsites. Peak season is from May to September, during which time reservations are accepted for the campsites. During off-peak season, the campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are 68 campsites in the campground, three of which are tent-only sites. All the other campsites can accommodate tents and RVs. An ADA accessible site is also included. 32 campsites are equipped with electric hookups for RVs, but no water or sewer hookups are provided.

Amenities available here include modern restrooms, potable water, shower facilities, picnic tables, and fire grills. Recreation activities to enjoy include boating, bird watching, fishing, water skiing, and wildlife watching.

Motorhomes and RVs up to 57 feet can be accommodated in the campground.

Seasonal activities in Sabinoso Wilderness Area

In-Season

Hiking

Plenty of interesting spots are present within Sabinoso Wilderness for willing hikers to visit and explore. These areas are accessible via footpaths that have been left by previous sightseers in the park. You may want to carry your camera so you can take pictures as you stroll through some of the interesting areas here.

Additional day hiking and backpacking opportunities are available within Carson National Forest for guests who fancy an adventure through the forest. Plenty of hiking trails are provided, including equestrian trails and cross-country ski trails.

Flora and Fauna

This BLM wilderness area is a favorite destination for fauna and flora enthusiasts. This is so for many reasons, one among them being the possibility of catching sight of an elusive cougar among the rocks. The slopes in the forest bristle with cacti and as you explore the park, you should look out for rattlesnakes that thrive in the area. At the bottom of the canyon, there is the lush environment Largo Creek that absolutely teems with life.

Flora communities in this park include junipers, cottonwood trees, green watercress, and reeds. Fauna species found here include elk, mule deer, turkey, and black bear.

Hunting

Sabinoso Wilderness lies within one of New Mexico’s Game Management units that guide hunting in the wilderness area. Although there are some wildlife species available in the park, turkeys, deer and mountain lions are the most commonly hunted game in the park. Some of the other huntable game in the park have been cleaned out by the mountain lions.

Small game hunting opportunities are available at Carson National Forest. Here, guests can go after mourning dove, blue grouse, grey squirrel, and banned-tailed pigeon.

Hunting regulations are in effect.

Off-Season

Winter Recreation

Guests that visit Carson National Forest in winter enjoy various recreation activities in different parts of the forest. Whether at Red River, Taos Ski Valley, or Sipapu Ski areas, you can engage in downhill and Nordic skiing. Other common activities here are snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and sledding.

Come geared up for the exciting adventure, and ensure you don’t go out alone, particularly if you’re inexperienced. There are facilities provided for equipment rentals if you’re missing some items to make your experience fun-filled.

Fishing

Fishing opportunities are not available in Sabinoso Wilderness. However, there are plenty of places to fish in the area, such as Largo Creek, the Canadian River, and many other lakes, streams, and rivers in Carson National Forest.

The waters of Carson National Forest offer some of the most productive trout habitat in New Mexico, thanks to the abundant cold-water streams and lakes that are home to brown trout, rainbow trout, and native Rio Grande cutthroat trout.

Within Canadian River, 24 native fish species are available, more than half of which are minnows.

Geology

Visitors may be interested in the geology of the area where Sabinoso Wilderness lies, or be keen to enjoy nature study and observation within the park.

The area features sedimentary rocks that dip gently to the southwest in some parts, and lie flat in other parts. You may be able to identify sandstones, siltstones or shales, all of which give hints about the kind of environment that was predominant here in the past.

It may interest you to know that some of the rocks in the park have given rise to the formation of cliffs such as the Chinle Formation and Entrada Sandstone.