La Lena Wilderness Study Area

Pinon and juniper woodland on a sanstone landscape in La Lena Wilderness Study Area
La Leña WSA

La Leña Wilderness Study area is a 10,438-acre property located just to the northeast across the road from the Empedrado Wilderness Study Area. The landscape is a blend of highly eroded mesas, deep arroyos and canyons and shale and sandstone outcrops. The vegetation is composed of scattered juniper and piñon pines with native grasses, shrubs and cacti. The sandstone cliffs offer plenty of nesting sites for golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, prairie falcons, great horned owls and ravens. Elevation vary from about 6,100 feet to about 6,500 feet. The only marked and maintained trail on the WSA is the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

To get there: Go west on NM 279 from NM 550. About 8.5 miles in the road will turn to dirt and gravel. Keep going west until the road forks with NM 279 turning south and a small side road heads northwest. The CDT crosses that road about 1/2 mile in. there is no trailhead but there are markers and rock cairns. La Leña WSA is to the northeast, Empedrado WSA to the southewest. The access road is usually passable by 2WD vehicles with good clearance but if it's wet out there, you'll probably get in trouble.

Map of the La Lena Wilderness Study Area
La Leña Wilderness Study Area map
Photos and map are courtesy of the Bureau of Land Management