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Sabinoso Wilderness

General Location Maps Contacts Area Management Wilderness Laws Trip Planning Images
A small pool surrounded by red rocks.
Library image #4399: The newly added section of the wilderness, added in 2017, through a donation of land by the Wilderness Land Trust.


The United States Congress designated the Sabinoso Wilderness (map) in 2009 and it now has a total of 19,625 acres. All of this wilderness is located in New Mexico and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.


The Sabinoso Wilderness is in a remote area of the northeastern portion of New Mexico. The wilderness is located in the short-grass prairie region of the Great Plains along the Canadian Escarpment where the Las Vegas Plateau drops away to the Canadian River. Though grassland predominates around the wilderness, the deeply incised topography of the Canadian Escarpment is covered by juniper trees, with pockets of ponderosa in sheltered canyons and north facing slopes. The name Sabinoso refers to the abundance of junipers in this region. A prominent feature of the Wilderness is Canyon Largo, which is a deep canyon cut into colorful sandstone. A small intermittent but perennial stream flows in the canyon, providing a water source for wildlife and cottonwood trees. The wilderness lies predominantly to the south of Canyon Largo, featuring mesas and rugged terrain, and, from the higher vantage points, long views across the plains to the east. The large deep canyons and mesas of the escarpment create a unique and striking topographical and geological contrast in the otherwise flat, wide open terrain of the New Mexico plains. The colored sandstone cliffs and treed slopes provide a scenic setting for hiking, horseback riding, hunting, camping, and nature observation.

Planning to Visit the Sabinoso Wilderness?

Leave No Trace

How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Sabinoso Wilderness.
  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  4. Leave What You Find
  5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
  6. Respect Wildlife
  7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
For more information on Leave No Trace, Visit the Leave No Trace, Inc. website.

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