Travel Time:
New Mexico Game & Fish
45 miles
57 minutes
Hiking trails.  Designated backcountry campsites.

Only a one-hour drive from Raton, the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area is one of the most outstanding areas of public land in all of Northeast New Mexico. The area is exceptionally rugged with high elevation peaks, steep canyons, mountain streams and waterfalls, and vast meadows.  Touch-Me-Not Mountain, for example, has a peak elevation of 12,044' and Mt Phillips (also called Clear Creak Mountain) is 11,742′.

At over 33,000 acres, there is plenty of space for exploring, hiking, and outdoor adventure.  Only a small portion of the area is served by formal hiking trails, so most of the land is accessible only by off-trail wilderness travel.  A quality topo map and basic map and compass skills are essential.

There is a hoop to jump through with regards to access; the only public parking and access is via the Cimarron Canyon State Park.  Vehicles cannot park along the road or anywhere in the canyon without a state parks pass.  Furthermore, posted signs indicate that no one is allowed into the Wildlife area without a hunting/fishing license or a GAIN permit, meaning visitors would have to pay twice.  Fortunately this is clarified in the current Wildlife Area brochure:

Individuals may also access this WMA with a valid Cimarron State Park entrance permit.

And a State Parks website states:

Vehicles parked at a trailhead must have either: a park permit; hunting or fishing license; or Department of Game and Fish GAIN permit.

Hiking Opportunities:  Several established hiking trails exist but most of the property is accessible only by off-trail exploring and bushwhacking.  There are old logging roads throughout the area that are sometimes useful for navigation.

Camping Opportunities:  Designated campsites for hunters are located along the Tolby Meadows Trail.

More Information:

Official brochure with map, season closures, and other important info:  pdf file

Local photography website:  Link