If you regularly hike, camp, fish or mountain bike in the national forests around Albuquerque or Santa Fe, you might be feeling a bit…well…restricted.
But with a little planning, o utdoor experiences – even wilderness ones – can still be had.
All Ranger Districts in the Cibola National Forest and Santa Fe National Forest are closed. But the Carson National Forest in Northern New Mexico, the Gila National Forest in Southwest New Mexico and the Lincoln National Forest in the southeast are still open.
In addition, the BLM lands are also open, although under some fire restrictions as well.
All of the Forest Service Ranger Districts that remain open are under fire restrictions, so it’s best to check the Forest Service website for the latest information. There is also a list of all areas with recreational opportunities at www.fs.fed.us
Gila National Forest
At 3.3 million acres, Gila is the largest national forest in New Mexico and the most remote, extending over a rugged, high-elevation area in the west of the state centered on the Mogollon Mountains.
There are three wilderness areas (Gila, Aldo Leopold, Blue Range) within the forest, a national monument (Gila Cliff Dwellings), three rivers and a section of the Continental Divide trail. The main highways through the forest are U.S. 180 and N.M. 12.
Carson National Forest
Carson National Forest covers 1.5 million acres around Taos, either side of the Rio Grande, and includes Wheeler Peak. The forest lists 330 miles of trails, 30 campgrounds and dozens of lakes as its assets. Red River, Questa, Eagle Nest and Angel Fire are all near the Carson.
Lincoln National Forest
The Jicarilla, Sacramento, Capitan, Sierra Blanca and Guadalupe mountain ranges are in the Lincoln National Forest in the southeastern part of New Mexico and is in the areas around Ruidoso, Carrizozo and Alamagordo.
This website t has a full list of recreation areas and conditions .
New Mexico state parks
Although Cimarron Canyon, Hyde Memorial, Fenton and Morphy Lake state parks are closed until further notice due to extreme fire danger, and many other parks are under fire restrictions, many remain open.
Visit this site for information about closures and fire restrictions.
Fire restrictions remain in effect for public lands in New Mexico managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, Three Rivers Petroglphys, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks and Cebolla Wilderness Area/El Malpais National Conservation Area are all open.
The BLM website has extensive information on recreational activities.