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Outdoor Recreation Areas

Do you need some help?

The quickest way to reach us is to contact us through the contact form on the website.

Address:
310 Old Santa Fe Trail,
Santa Fe NM 87501

Phone:
505-827-5760

Due to COVID-19 and orders from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, The State Land Office recommends following these guidelines regarding outdoor recreation:

·    Stay very close to home. As close as possible. Think of your backyard as your backcountry for the time being. The farther you travel, the farther you could spread the illness. Try to limit all your outdoor recreation to your neighborhood.
·    Keep it chill. Do not participate in any outdoor rec activities that come with a high risk of getting hurt. Health care systems are already overwhelmed and you could put search and rescue teams in danger if they have to come look for you. Toss a frisbee instead of going mountain biking. Go for a walk, not a backcountry ski.
·    Respect closures. Check the land management agencies’ websites before venturing out to recreate. Many of these places are closed right now to protect both recreationists and staff. The New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division provides this list of closures.
·    Use common sense. Easter weekend is typically a very busy time on our public lands. Try to limit your recreation to off hours or off days; avoid any trailheads that are typically crowded; and stay close to home. Group outtings in groups of 5 or more, especially with people you don’t live with, are strongly discouraged. 

Respecting closures includes those of New Mexico’s Pueblos, Tribes, and Nations. Read the statement from Assistant Commissioner of Engagement and Tribal Liaison Rachael Lorenzo.

State trust lands are home to extraordinary landscapes and historic sites, and are currently accessible to permit holders that follow the COVID-19 guidelines of not gathering in groups of 5 or more and maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more. To lawfully access these areas on state trust land you must purchase a recreational access permit from the New Mexico State Land Office. Permits cost $35 and are valid for one year.

Download Recreational Access Permit

MYSTERY STONE, VALENCIA COUNTY

Channel your inner Indiana Jones and visit Mystery Stone, located on State Trust Lands at the base of Hidden Mountain, 16 miles west of Los Lunas. Also known as the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone and Commandments Rock, this 80-ton boulder of volcanic basalt bears an inscription which is believed to be an abbreviated version of the Ten Commandments written in Hebrew.

Mystery Stone was first documented in 1933 by University of New Mexico archaeology professor Frank Hibben.  Believers say the carvings could be 2,000 years old; skeptics call Mystery Stone a hoax. Which are you? Visit and decide for yourself.

MOON MOUNTAIN, LINCOLN COUNTY

Moon Mountain is located on State Trust Lands within the Village of Ruidoso. The diverse forest of pinon-juniper, ponderosa pine, and Douglas fir provides ample opportunity for recreation and breathtaking views.

In 2016, the Moon Mountain Fire scorched 125 acres but demonstrated the value of active forest management by limiting the fire’s size and severity.  In the wake of the fire, flood mitigation work saved Ruidoso High School from being washed away.  Amateur biologists and seasoned conservationists alike will find Moon Mountain a stellar example of land management strategies effectively enhancing the ecosystem.

To access State Trust Lands you must purchase a recreational access permit from the New Mexico State Land Office. Permits cost $35, are good for up to 10 people, and are valid for one year.

MELROSE TRAP, CURRY COUNTY

The North Roosevelt Trap, also known as the Melrose Trap, and locally as Cottonwood Spring, is a popular birding destination 10 miles west of Melrose on the eastern high plains of New Mexico.

The trap consists of about four acres of cottonwood and poplar trees surrounded by a sea of desert shrub and grasslands.  The grove, located on State Trust Lands, makes it a classic trap for rare migrants and casual vagrants.  During migration, 40-70 species of birds can be spotted.

To access State Trust Lands you must purchase a recreational access permit from the New Mexico State Land Office. Permits cost $35, are good for up to 10 people, and are valid for one year.

RIO GRANDE BOSQUE, BERNALILLO COUNTY

The Rio Grande Bosque is a recreational treasure, popular among outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.  The State Land Office owns 240 acres within the Bosque on the east and west side of the Rio Grande River south of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge.

Easily accessible, the area is ideal for hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding, and bird and wildlife viewing. This parcel also provides a multitude of educational opportunities for children and adults alike.

To access State Trust Lands you must purchase a recreational access permit from the New Mexico State Land Office. Permits cost $35, are good for up to 10 people, and are valid for one year.

SIERRA GRANDE, UNION COUNTY

Sierra Grande is an extinct shield volcano that rises 2,200 feet above the plains and boasts 360 degree views from the summit.

Located on State Trust Lands near the community of Des Moines, Sierra Grande is part of the Raton-Clayton volcanic field.  Sierra Grande is identified as a shield volcano which is typically built almost entirely of fluid lava flows.  They are named for their low profile, resembling a warrior’s shield lying on the ground.

Visitors can explore pockets of spruce and aspen along the slopes and see the results of restoration and remediation projects implemented by the State Land Office, which continue to increase forest resiliency and enhance wildlife habitat.

To access State Trust Lands you must purchase a recreational access permit from the New Mexico State Land Office. Permits cost $35, are good for up to 10 people, and are valid for one year.

LUERA MOUNTAINS, CATRON COUNTY

Get away from it all in the Luera Mountains, located 30 miles south of Datil.  This 15-mile long mountain range on State Trust Lands offers hiking, extreme biking, and wildlife viewing.

These mountains are another example of how the State Land Office’s land management strategies are improving the ecosystem.  Prescribed burns have restored ponderosa pine stands and pinon-juniper woodlands, and reduced the risk of catastrophic wildfire and associated post-wildfire erosion.

To access State Trust Lands you must purchase a recreational access permit from the New Mexico State Land Office. Permits cost $35, are good for up to 10 people, and are valid for one year.

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