Willie White Area Trails
United States Forest Service
Department of Lincoln National Forest
Agriculture Sacramento Ranger District
The Willie White & Wills Canyon trails are located near the Rio Penasco in the beautiful Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico. This trail system climbs from 8,000’ where it leaves the Rio Penasco to over 9,350’. An ideal motorized and non-motorized trail, this trail is acces-sible in all seasons except for winter when snows cover the area.
Many of the trails in the area are the remains of old rail-road grades from the early 1920’s so keep an eye out for the occasional trestle and other such items. Always re-member to leave what you find for the next person.
The overall area can easily be reached by travelling south of Cloudcroft via NM130 1.8 miles, then turning right onto NM6563 (Sunspot Hwy). Approximately 8 miles further turn left onto the Rio Penasco Rd (C17). You can also access the Wills Canyon Trail from the Wills Canyon Rd (D18) which is further down the Rio Penasco.
Open all year, these trails are mostly used in the spring, summer and fall months. Willie White and Wills Canyon trails are motorized for all motorized vehicles <50” in width, allowing also for hiking, biking and pack/saddle use as well.
Restrooms are available at Bluff Springs along the Rio Penasco. No other developed features are available in the area. Be sure to PACK OUT WHAT YOU PACK IN to leave your public lands better than found them
This trail system wanders through high country meadows, deep green mixed conifer woods and stands of aspen trees. Summer wildflowers mix with deep green meadow grass to create a rainbow carpet on the forest floor.
Fall provides a lush experience of golden aspens and the occasional red maples. Winter covers the area with snow and as such is a good place for snow-shoers or cross country skiers to practice their craft.
Please call or visit the Sacramento Ranger District in Cloudcroft at (575) 682-2551 for more information or visit us on-line at www.fs.usda.gov/lincoln.