Combine New Mexico's Blue Range Wilderness with Arizona's Blue Range Primitive Area and you have two pieces of earth that encompass a wild, generally dry, and seemingly endless expanse of rough but beautiful terrain. The state line is all that separates the two areas, with New Mexico's Wilderness tucked into the Blue Range Mountains and halved by the Mogollon Rim, a dramatic edge of the Colorado Plateau that runs east to west. Grassland foothills rise to juniper woodland and higher up to peaks forested in ponderosa pine, spruce, and fir. On occasion, just when you can't see the trees for the forest, the dense woods will give way to a mountain meadow or a cool aspen glade. The rock-walled canyons are narrow and steep, sometimes plummeting as much as 1,000 feet from their forested rims. By contrast, the sweeping reaches of stark land offer tremendous solitude and soul-stretching quiet, a silence broken only visually by ragged rock towers. Hikers may be discouraged by Forest Service reports that the few trails of the Blue Range have no dependable water source, and that trail markers aren't always easy to follow. However, if that doesn't deter you, consider crossing the Wilderness via the 8.8-mile WS Mountain Trail, which starts at Pueblo Park Campground, continues along the rugged Pueblo Creek and Bear Creek drainages, and ends in Arizona. Chances are you won't run into a single person, and there's something to be said for that.
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 Blue Range 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