Travel Time:
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.

More Information:

Kiowa National Grasslands, official website:  Link

Official grasslands driving map:  pdf file

Official website for Mills Canyon information:  Link