Salt Creek Wilderness
A view in Salt Creek Wilderness
Salt Creek Wilderness covers most of the North Tract of the 24,526-acre Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, just outside of Roswell in southeastern New Mexico. The Wildlife Refuge is broken into 3 parts: the South Tract, which is mostly farmland, the Middle Tract, which holds the refuge headquarters and Bitter Lake itself, and the North Tract, 9,621 acres of which is the Salt Creek Wilderness.
This area is mostly seasonal wetlands that serve as the October-through-February home for thousands and thousands of migratory waterfowl: geese, ducks, cranes, snowy egrets, and white pelicans, to name a few of the many species that winter here. In the summertime, Bitter Lake itself often dries up completely, leaving only a white alkaline bed to show where it was. Salt Creek though, runs through the center of its namesake, the Salt Creek Wilderness, for most of the year. This is an area of brushy bottoms, sand dunes and native grasslands bounded on the north by a red-rimmed plateau.
As no camping is allowed anywhere on the Refuge, this is a day-use only, bird watcher's paradise.
Map of the Salt Creek Wilderness area
Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!