USDA Forest Service, Cibola National Forest
1 hour, 29 minutes
Interpretive trails. Campgrounds. Toilets.
The Kiowa National Grasslands in Northeast New Mexico consist of over 130,000 acres of mostly-undeveloped public land. The grassland property is broken up by a checkerboard of public and private land, but it can be generalized as two separate areas: the open grassland near Clayton, and the spectacular Mills Canyon area new Roy.
Because the land is checker-boarded, a map is necessary to identify the National Grassland Units and avoid private property. The Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands map produced by the USDA is minimally sufficient.
Hiking Opportunities: There is an interpretive trail north of Clayton where visitors are encouraged to follow the Santa Fe Trail markers across the National Grassland property. In Mills Canyon is a short formal trail through the ruins of the Mills Canyon Hotel and other buildings associated with the Mills farm and ranch. The opportunities for off-trail exploring are virtually limitless.
Camping Opportunities: There are two formal campgrounds near Mills Canyon, one on the upper rim and one in the canyon bottom. No-trace backcountry camping is allowed as well.
Kiowa National Grasslands, official website: Link
Official grasslands driving map: pdf file
Official website for Mills Canyon information: Link