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Ft Stanton-Snowy River Cave Natl Conservation Area
6-NM Recreation Map: Southeast
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Ft Stanton-Snowy River Cave Natl Conservation Area, New Mexico
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Description: The cave complex was closed to visitors on January 25, 2011. The closure was necessitated by the threat of White Nose Syndrome which has killed more than a million hybernating bats in the East and Southeast. The caves will remain closed to visitors for at least two years.

This 24,000-acre area protects an underground wonderland of delicate formations of the Fort Stanton cave. The Snowy River cave, which is still being explored, features a thick calcite deposit on its floor. Aboveground, visitors can explore 60 miles of trails on foot, horseback, or mountain bike. The Rio Bonito Petroglyph Trail, reached from the Upper Rio Bonito on NM 220, is an easy to moderate 2 mile loop that passes petroglyphs created by the Jornada Mogollon some hundreds of years ago.

Visitors can learn more about the colorful and bloody history of this area at historic Fort Stanton, which saw active duty through the turbulent years of 1855-1896.

Primitive campgrounds are at the trailhead on NM 220 and at the entrance to Fort Stanton Cave. The trailhead on NM 220 also offers hitching rails and a stock tank. Vault toilets can be found at both campgrounds. Dispersed camping is also permitted, with a 14-day stay limit.

Location: From Capitan, NM, drive on US 380 east 4.25 miles to NM 220. From Lincoln, NM, drive west 7.7 miles to NM 220. Drive south one mile to the equestrian trailhead. The historic Fort Stanton is approximately one mile further on NM 220. BLM is investigating the opportunity to provide visitor services information about the NCA at Lincoln, Capitan, Ruidoso, and at the historic Fort Stanton.   Latitude: 33.495914   Longitude: -105.523036

Address: Bureau of Land Management
Roswell Field Office
2909 West Second Street
Roswell, NM  88201
Phone: 575-627-0224

Season: Year Round


Reservations: No
Blue Box indicates availability  White Box indicates unavailability
 Biking  Fishing  Picnicking
 Boating (Motorized)  Hiking/Backpacking  Scenic Driving
 Boating (Non-motorized)  Horseback Riding  
 Boating (WW)  Hunting  Water Sports
 Camping    Wildlife Viewing
 Caving  Off Highway Vehicles  Winter Sports

Services and Facilities
Blue Box indicates availability  White Box indicates unavailability  An A for Accessible indicates the service or facility is accessible to people with disabilities
 Visitor Center  Group Campgnd  RV Sites
  Exhibits  Campgnd, Primitive  Electric Hookup
 Interpretive Programs  Drinking Water  Dump Station
 Cultural-Historic Sites  Restrooms  Boat Ramp
 Campgnd, Developed  Showers  Marina
 Rental Cabins

Notes: Click to open permit application in a new window
Click for Location Map (PDF) in a new window
Vault Toilet and sun shelters at Horse Trails Parking Lot on NM 220.
BLM pages about Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area
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