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New Mexico Public Lands Information Center

New Mexico Fire Information

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Want to explore New Mexico's public lands?

Chat with us! Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:15pm, Mountain Time.

We're ready to answer your questions about access, activities, and
which public lands are openin New Mexico, including: BLM sites,
Forest Service sites, state parks, county open space, and more!

Click the chat link or call us at (505) 954-2002.

We are open and ready to help, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:15 pm MT.
New Mexico Public Lands Information Center
301 Dinosaur Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87508

Click here for a list of frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

   Which public lands are open in New Mexico?

All public lands (BLM and US Forest Service) in New Mexico are open for dispersed, backcountry camping, fishing, hiking, rock collecting, and recreational shooting, unless posted. Other recreation activities (mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and OHV use) are subject to local regulations.

Do not count on access to restroom facilities and services like trash pick-up. Learn more about packing out waste to properly dispose through Leave No Trace.

Most of the public land in New Mexico is remote and can be difficult to access. Roads can be unimproved; sometimes four wheel drive and high clearance vehicles are necessary. Be prepared to be self-sufficient with water, food, shelter, GPS, maps, and recovery tools and skills. There are NO services in these remote areas. Cell phone reception is rare and should not be relied upon.

Unless driving access is on a county, state or federal highway, you must have prior written permission to be on tribal, military, state trust, or private land. This applies even when crossing to get to public lands.

Fireworks are not allowed on any public lands in New Mexico, ever.


BLM LANDS IN NEW MEXICO:
All BLM lands in New Mexico are open for dispersed, backcountry camping, fishing, hiking, rock collecting, and recreational shooting, unless posted.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is closed until further notice.
Click here for other BLM closures.

Open campfires are OK on all BLM lands in New Mexico, unless posted. Please be safe. Put out all campfires until they're dead and cold.


US FOREST SERVICE LANDS IN NEW MEXICO:
All US Forest Service lands are open for dispersed, backcountry camping, fishing, hiking, and recreational shooting, unless posted.

Most US Forest Service campgrounds in New Mexico are open. Some have seasonal closures and/or no facilities, so check before visiting.

Open campfires are OK on all US Forest Service lands in New Mexico, unless posted. Please be safe. Put out all campfires until they're dead and cold.

NPS LANDS IN NEW MEXICO:
All National Park Service lands are open; some only for day use. Check each park for specific regulations regarding recreation, camping, seasonal access and hours of operation.
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Have a great time exploring the public lands of New Mexico!

For more information please contact us at:

New Mexico Public Lands Information Center
www.plia.org/information
1-505-954-2002
wtefft@plia.org

   Where can I go camping in New Mexico?

The US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management maintain developed camping areas throughout in New Mexico. Please check each area’s website regarding seasonal closures, camping fees, and facilities (restrooms, water, etc.) before visiting.


Note: All BLM and Forest Service lands are open for dispersed, backcountry camping and hiking, unless posted. Some NPS lands are open to dispersed, backcountry camping with a valid permit issued by the park.


U.S. Forest Service


Carson National Forest – North/Northeast NM
https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/carson/recreation/camping-cabins

Campgrounds in Camino Real Ranger District and Tres Piedras Ranger District are closed for the season.


Some campgrounds in Canjilon Ranger District, El Rito Ranger District, and Questa Ranger Districts are open year round. Please check before visiting.

Cibola National Forest –Central/Southwest NM
https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/cibola/recreation/camping-cabins

Campgrounds in Sandia Ranger District and Magdalena Ranger District (except Datil Well) are closed for the season.


Some campgrounds in Mt. Taylor Ranger District and Mountainair Ranger District are open year round. Please check the link above before visiting.

Gila National Forest – Southwest NM
https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/gila/recreation/camping-cabins
Most campgrounds are open year round with some closures between November and March. Please check the Gila National Forest website before visiting.

Lincoln National Forest – South Central/Southeast NM
https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/lincoln/recreation/camping-cabins

All campgrounds in the Sacramento District are closed for the season except James Canyon Campground.


All campgrounds in the Smokey Bear District are closed for the season except Baca and Skyline Campgrounds.

Santa Fe National Forest – North/Northwest NM
https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/santafe/recreation/camping-cabins

Most campgrounds are closed for the season due to high elevation weather conditions, except:
Resumidero Camping Area (Coyote RD)
Rio Puerco Campground (Coyote RD)
Vista Linda Campground (Jemez RD)
Borrego Mesa Campground (Espanola RD)
Big Tesuque Campground (Espanola RD)
Aspen Vista Campground (Espanola RD)


BLM
Some campgrounds have seasonal closures or currently undergoing construction. Please check the respective district or field office closures before visiting: https://www.blm.gov/new-mexico-advisories-and-closures


National Park Service

Camping is open at Bandelier National Monument at the Juniper Family Campground (first come, first serve) or Ponderosa Group Campground (via reservation at recreation.gov).


Camping is open at El Morro National Monument, first come first serve.


Dispersed, backcountry camping is available at Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Free backcountry permit required and regulations apply.


New Mexico State Parks: 

New Mexico State Parks are open to all. Several state parks are currently managing for seasonal closures and it is important for visitors to continue to check for details on specific park hours of operation and additional information before visiting. Check the State Parks website: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/ and know before you go.


Maps of New Mexico public lands access can be found here.

   Where can I go fishing in New Mexico?

All streams, canals, and rivers on and accessible from public lands are open for day fishing. Fishing license required for anyone 12 years of age or older. Check NM Department of Game and Fish for all regulations and license information.

To see what’s biting, the NM Dept. of Game and Fish posts weekly fishing and stocking reports.

   Where can I collect gemstones and/or minerals in New Mexico?

BLM and Forest Service lands are open to these activities without a special permit. You may collect reasonable amounts of mineral specimens, rocks, semi-precious gems, petrified wood, and invertebrate fossils.
Check out BLM's Rockhounding page for more information.

It is illegal to collect anything over 100 years old or to collect Native American artifacts. Take pictures and leave those where you found them.

   Where can I go hiking in New Mexico?

Hiking Trails near Albuquerque
The Sandia Mountain trails are open to small groups who practice social distancing while on the trails.


The La Luz, Embudo, Embudito, Bear Canyon, and Foothill Trails, on the west face of the Sandias are great trails but can be steep, rocky, and very hot as the weather warms. The east side is gentler, cooler in the summer, and offers cross country and snowshoeing opportunities in the winter.


The Bosque Trail along the Rio Grande is the best riparian walking and cycling trail in the area. It is a very low impact trail. Check out 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of ABQ for more recommendations.

Hiking Trails near Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a hiker’s paradise. Many trails are just a few minutes from the downtown Plaza. There are day use trails from 7000 ft. elevation to 12,000 foot elevation near Santa Fe.


The Borrego-Bear Wallow Loop and Circle Trails are good for a quick walk off Hyde Park Road, which dead ends at the Santa Fe Ski Area.


The Lake Katherine and Nambe Lake Trails are the best day hikes in an alpine environment but are not recommended in the winter.
Santa Fe also has a network of trails in town. The Dale Ball Trails and close to town and the Glorieta Basin Preserve south of town have horseback riding and mountain biking opportunities, as well as hiking. Atalaya Peak and Picacho Peak are popular, moderate to difficult hikes on the northwest side of Santa Fe.


Multi-day hikes include the Winsor and Skyline Trails into the Pecos Wilderness.

For more general hiking information on BLM land across the state, check https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/hiking

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New Mexico Public Lands Information Center

301 Dinosaur Trail
Santa Fe, NM 87508

(505) 954 - 2002

Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 4:15 pm MT.

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