New Mexico Travel Destinations


This National Forest in south-central New Mexico is made up of three large tracts of land, one of which is adjacent to both Carlsbad Caverns National Park as well as Guadalupe Mountains National Park across the Texas border.

There are several mountain ranges in the region, with elevations as high as 11,500 feet. Terrain includes high ridges and deep canyons, rock outcrops, and open plains. Some streams and rivers flow through the forest.

The area also has high meadows and savannahs, stands of pine and madrone, along with pinyon and juniper, plus desert flora. Among the wildlife are elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, and bobcat. There are two designated wilderness areas: the 48,143-acre White Mountain Wilderness, and the 35,800-acre Capitan Mountains Wilderness.

Activities: Hiking and backpacking are possible on over 250 miles of trails. Difficulty varies from easy to strenuous. Horseback riding is allowed on most trails.

Many trails outside of designated wilderness areas are open to mountain bikes. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available at higher elevations during winter.

Spelunking (caving) is popular in an area of caves and caverns. A permit is required for this activity. Fishing is also possible, and hunting is permitted in season.

Camping Regulations: Camping is allowed throughout the National Forest, as are campfires, except near public use areas or where otherwise prohibited. No permits are required.

For Further Information: Lincoln National Forest, Federal Building, 1101 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, NM 88310; (505)437-6030.

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