Dome Wilderness from Bandelier National Monument
The Dome Wilderness, at 5,200 acres, is New Mexico's smallest wilderness. It's located in the Santa Fe National Forest in the southern Jemez Mountains with the Bandelier Wilderness directly to the east. This is an area of prehistoric ruins and primitive canyon lands. St. Peter's Dome, at 8,463', is the highest point in the Dome Wilderness, and vista points around there yield some excellent views towards the Sangre de Cristo's to the east, Cochiti Pueblo and Lake to the south, and the Manzanos and Sandias further to the south.
The St. Peter's Dome Trail travels 6.1 miles, north to south, across the wilderness from its beginning near Dome Lookout, losing elevation as it runs through stands of Ponderosas and past canyon walls before crossing Sanchez Creek, a fish-less stream at the southern end of the Dome Wilderness. The Capulin Trail also begins at the northern end of the Wilderness and travels for two miles to the east before meeting up with another trail at the boundary of Bandelier National Monument. Special care should be taken not to disturb the many prehistoric ruins scattered throughout the area. The Dome Wilderness is located in the Jemez Ranger District of the Santa Fe National Forest.
Virtually the entire acreage of Dome Wilderness has been burnt a couple times over the last 20 years.
Map of the Dome Wilderness area
Upper left photo of the Dome Wilderness courtesy of the US Forest Service
Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!