The United States Congress designated the Apache Kid Wilderness (map
) in 1980 and it now has a total of 44,668 acres
All of this wilderness is located in New Mexico
and is managed by the Forest Service.
Angered by his relentless raids, local ranchers hunted down and killed the Apache Kid on these grounds. To mark the site of the Kid's undoing, the vengeful posse blazed a tree, the hacked remains of which you can see to this day.
Narrow, steep canyons bisect the peaks of the southern San Mateo Mountains, where elevations exceed 10,000 feet. The vegetation is typical of the region, with pinion-juniper woodland at lower elevations, spruce and fir and aspen at the higher elevations, and ponderosa pine in between. Human visitors are few, but wildlife can be seen making their way across this rugged terrain range from Coue's white-tailed deer and mule deer to elk, black bears, bobcats, cougars, antelope, javelina, coyotes, rabbits, squirrels, and quail.
Hiking is easy if you manage to stay on the 68-mile trail system (the pathways are not always maintained). The main trail, which leads to the Kid's gravesite, follows about 13 miles of mountain crest, which translates into ample photo opportunities. Water is limited to less than a dozen semi-dependable springs, most of which dry up in summer. July and August rains keep small streams periodically filled.