High Plains Enchantment – Sabinoso Wilderness

The unknown green spots on the map intrigue me.

What is the place like? What are the available activities?  How can I get there?

One such place on the map is the Sabinoso Wilderness on the High Plains of New Mexico.

I’ve known about this place for quite a few years.  But, maddingly, it was not open to the public. Private land surrounded the wilderness area.  A pristine patch of public land with a  plethora of wildlife, creeks, and canyons was locked up.

Then something remarkable happened in November 2017. The Federal government, the New Mexico state government, private non-profits and various recreation groups all came together to purchase land, make an easement, and allow public access to this gem on the High Plains.

Naturally, I wanted to go there.

To hike, explore, camp, and take in the place.

So I did.

And the place did not disappoint.

View from the rim

With the nearest services about fifty miles away, the Sabinoso Wilderness was that oft-repeated phrase of off-the-beaten-path. 

The old ranch track led deeper and deeper into the canyon.

The walls of the canyon reached high. And were sheerer than expected considering the overall location.

Very few remnants of the ranching days were present. Only an occasional brick wall or fence post.

I need to come back here and go on a multi-day backpacking trip. Looking at the maps, I could easily link the Sabinoso Wilderness to another High Plains canyon just to the north.

I left and made my way to other engagements. I made one last camp on a nearby national wildlife refuge.

New Mexico and the High Plains continue to call me back. There will be other trips done here in the future.

All the photos

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