The Aden Lava Flow Wilderness is located 20 miles southwest of Las Cruces in the Chihuahuan Desert. The area is characterized by basalt flows, volcanic craters, and coppice sand dunes. The lava flow includes pressure ridges, lava tubes, and steep-walled depressions of up to 100 feet wide. Grass and shrubs grow on the flow with many cacti and yucca. Vegetation consists of grasslands and desert shrubs such as mesquite and creosote. Vent tubes, and the many crevices found in the lava, provide cover and den sites for wildlife. Melanistic (dark) forms of mammals and reptiles occur on the black lava flows. including the rock pocket mouse and black-tailed rattlesnake. Bats are also numerous, making their homes in the cracks of this broken lava landscape.
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 Aden Lava Flow Wilderness.
From Interstate 25 at Las Cruces, exit onto Interstate 10 west for approximately 17 miles and take exit #127/Corralitos Rd. Turn left at the immediate T-intersection and continue up to the overpass and turn left. Drive over the Interstate and turn right onto Robert Larson Blvd. Drive for just over 2 miles on Robert Larson Blvd, and veer left onto County Road B5. Drive southwest on CR B5 for about 8 miles, and just after crossing the railroad tracks, turn southeast onto County Road B4. Parallel the fence for approximately 7 miles to the wilderness boundary, the wilderness is to your right.
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.