Cruces Basin Wilderness Area Trails

Tres Piedras, New Mexico

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2 Reviews
5 out of 5
I first visited the cruces basin wilderness on a typical day in October, when the grassland was tawny as the fur on a puma and the aspens, just beginning to lose their leaves, seemed like translucent pewter. Leaves fluttered like a hillside choir in the faint breeze. Shallow snow lay puddled in hollows on the north slopes and beneath the great coats of spruce and fir, while in the meadows dandelions and even an occasional aster still bloomed in the lean warmth of the declining sun. Emerging from my tent at morning, I found my bootprints crystallized in frozen mud. The Cruces Basin Wilderness lacks developed trails and trailheads yet animal trails and unmarked human routes abound, and cross-country hiking is easy through the meadows. This trail guide covers an area with no maintained trails.
New Mexico's Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide

DESCRIPTION FROM:

New Mexico's Wilderness Areas: The Complete Guide

by Bob Julyan & Tom Till (Westcliffe Publishers)

I first visited the cruces basin wilderness on a typical day in October, when the grassland was tawny as the fur on a puma and the aspens, just beginning to lose their leaves, seemed like translucent pewter. Leaves fluttered like a hillside choir in the faint breeze. Shallow snow lay puddled in hollows on the north slopes and beneath the great coats of spruce and fir, while in the meadows dandelions and even an occasional aster still bloomed in the lean warmth of the declining sun.

Emerging from my tent at morning, I found my bootprints crystallized in frozen mud. The Cruces Basin Wilderness lacks developed trails and trailheads yet animal trails and unmarked human routes abound, and cross-country hiking is easy through the meadows. This trail guide covers an area with no maintained trails.

©  Bob Julyan & Tom Till/Westcliffe Publishers. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking, Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Tres Piedras
Trail Type: Several options
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Summer, fall
Trailhead Elevation: 8,525 feet
Top Elevation: 10,840 feet
Additional Use: Skiing
Local Contacts: Carson National Forest
Local Maps: Carson National Forest—Cruces Basin Wilderness
Driving Directions: Directions to Cruces Basin Wilderness Area Trails

Recent Trail Reviews

7/19/2014
0

Excellent roads to the basin from FR87, 285 below San Antonio Mountain. Green meadows and forested hills make everything look alike. Wife and I had no issues, but you must go in prepared for cold rain or other potential events. Few people around


7/6/2014
0

I saw Cruces Basin on a FS map and figured this far off corner of New Mexico needed to be explored. Off the beaten path? Yes! Worth the trip? Absolutely! However, take care if you are coming from the Osier, Colorado side, since there is no bridge over the Rio de los Pinos between Osier RR stop and Lagunitas Campground. The road and the ford offer too many opportunities to get stuck. Cruces Basin is one of my state's hidden gems. I found endless vistas of pure wilderness following critter trails. The bears had been active signing the aspens so bear cautions are a good idea. Great summer or fall hike. Will go up there again with friends and family to share the bounty.



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May 2018