This remote area has deep forest cover interrupted only by pleasant meadows and alpine tundra on the northern portion's Latir Mesa. With three peaks exceeding 12,500 feet in elevation, including a portion of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this Wilderness showcases the very finest of New Mexico's high country. An abundance of southern Rocky Mountain wildlife takes advantage of the region's riches, including mule deer, black bears, badgers, beavers, bobcats, coyotes, ferrets, foxes, mountain lions, marmots, martens, and muskrats. Heart Lake, named for its romantic shape, is the source of Cabresto Creek. The Lake Fork Trail is the most popular of the main trails. It begins at Cabresto Lake and continues five miles to Heart Lake, which is 11,520 feet above sea level. More ambitious hikers can head five miles past Heart Lake to enter the magnificent country of Latir Peak and the alpine mesas. Two other trails, Midnight and Bull Creek, run west and receive much less use.
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 Latir Peak Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
New Mexico Wilderness Act - Public law 96-550 (12/19/1980) To designate certain National Forest System lands in the state of New Mexico for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes