Special Places

The Lincoln National Forest offers many special places for you to visit. 

Wilderness Areas

Capitan Mountains Wilderness Area

Located North-East of Capitan, NM off of US-380.  A rugged and rural environment, this wilderness offers many hiking and pack & saddle trails.  To access the area you will need a 4 wheel drive, high clearance vehicle for most areas as the roads are in a primitive condition.



Trails of the Capitan Wilderness Area

South Base Trail - T57

Pancho Canyon - T62

Summit Trail - T58

Copeland Canyon - T63

Padilla Trail - T59

Capitan Peak Trail - T64

Mitt and Bar Trail - T60

North Base Trail - T65

Pierce Canyon Trail - T61

Seven Cabins Trail - T66

Pierce Canyon Alternate - T61A

Thorium Canyon Trail - T79



White Mountain Wilderness Area 

Located just NW of the Village of Ruidoso, this wilderness area rises from 5,000' to over 11,000'.  Many trails, most at higher elevations, offer spectactular views.

Map of the trails of this wilderness area.

Popular and accessible trailheads (accessible via passenger car) include the Three Rivers, Nogal Canyon, Crest and  Mill's trailheads.  Other areas may require 4 wheel drive, high clearance vehicles.


Trails of the White Mountain Wilderness Area

Telephone Canyon Trail - T12

Cut Across Trail - T38

Scenic Trail - T15

Argentina Canyon Trail - T39

Miner's Road Trail - T16

Turkey Canyon Trail - T40

Peacock Trail - T18

Skull Springs Trail - T41

South Fork Trail - T19

Clear Water Trail - T42

Rodamaker Canyon Trail - T20

Oak Ridge Trail - T43

Mill's Canyon Trail - T22

Three Rivers Trail - T44

Sander's Ridge Trail - T23

Dry Canyon Trail - T46

Dry Mill's Trail - T24

Goat Canyon Trail - T47

Crest Trail - T25

Nogal Canyon Trail - T48

Nogal Peak Trail - T26

Barber Ridge Trail - T49

Spring Canyon Trail - T27

Doherty Ridge Trail - T50

Phantom Trail - T29

Pennsylvania Canyon Trail - T51

Bluefront Trail - T33

Gaylord Canyon Trail - T52

Norman Canyon Trail - T34

Water Canyon Trail - T53

Aspen Trail - T35

Tortolita Canyon Trail - T54

Big Bonito Trail - T36

Church Mountain Trail - T55

Little Bonito Trail - T37

North Eagle Creek Trail - T77


Lookout Mountain Trail - T78


Highlighted Areas

Rim Trail (T105)

Trail #105: The National Recreation Rim Trail is 31.2 miles long. It begins at the southern end of the Village Of Cloudcroft along NM130 and ends 31.2 miles later at the Sacramento River Road south of Sunspot. The first 0.73 miles (to Slide Campground) is non-motorized with the rest of the trail south of Slide being motorized for motorcycles. There are multiple trailheads along the route so smaller day-hikes are easily planned. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Motorcycle Trail Riding.

Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area

The Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area is a rare gem in the hot desert, this oasis offers cool pools of water and the awesome Sitting Bull Falls. Day-use area only. Pavilions, picnic tables, water, and restrooms provided. Access to many trails can be found from this site.

Dog Canyon Trail (T106)

Trail #106: The National Recreation Dog Canyon Trail is 5.5 miles long. It begins at Oliver Lee State Park and ends at Forest Road 90B. This beautiful trail traverses up from the desert to elevations over 2000' above its starting point and is a trail for the experienced hiker. The trail is open for the following uses: Hiking, Horseback Riding

Bluff Springs

Partially developed picnic and dispersed camping area nestled next to the waterfalls called Bluff Springs.  A short trail exists just beyond the bridge that will take you up and over the waterfalls as well as another trail (Willie White Spur T112) that follows and old railroad grade to the east.

Trestle Recreation Area

Located at the west end of the Village of Cloudcroft, the Trestle Recreation Area offers a day-use picnicking site with access to popular area trails. Water, restroom facilities, interpretive information, access to trails, picnic sites. This is a day-use facility only.