The United States Congress designated the Cebolla Wilderness (map
) in 1987 and it now has a total of 61,600 acres
All of this wilderness is located in New Mexico
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Cebolla Wilderness, part of El Malpais National Conservation Area, lies just across State Highway 117 from West Malpais Wilderness but offers easier traveling than the ominously raw volcanic terrain of the badlands. Cebolla shares its eastern border with the Acoma Indian Reservation, but you should avoid crossing the border without first checking with the reservation manager. Primitive two-track trails provide effortless hiking up Cebolla Canyon, Sand Canyon, and Armijo Canyon, all of which feature sandstone bluffs and sandy side washes beneath high mesas, ranging in elevation from about 7,000 to 8,350 feet. Look for evidence of past habitation, from ancient petroglyphs to the ruins of Depression-era homesteads. La Ventana Natural Arch, eroded from sandstone laid down when dinosaurs ruled this territory, anchors the northern portion of what is now primarily forested rimrock. Vertical escarpments provide excellent nesting habitat for golden eagles, prairie falcons, red-tail hawks, and great horned owls. Vegetation is juniper and piñon dominate with ponderosa pine found on north facing slopes. Of the trails that provide access to this area, La Ventana Arch Trail extends only a few hundred feet to a good viewpoint, Narrows Rim Trail goes for about 3.5 miles along the rim of the mesa with excellent views of lava flows and eding at a viewpoint of La Ventana Arch, Lobo Canyon Trail leqads to a petroglyph and is about 0.75 miles roundtrip, and Homestead Canyon Trail and Armijo Canyon Trail are both about 3.75 miles long. Carry plenty of water, as you won't find any here.