Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road In New Mexico

Here is everything you need to know about the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: New Mexico
  • Length: 11.5 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road holds significant historical importance as it played a crucial role in the development and operation of Fort Bayard, a United States Army post located in southwestern New Mexico. Constructed in the late 19th century, the road served as a vital transportation route for hauling firewood from the surrounding forests to the fort.

The need for a reliable wood supply arose due to the harsh climate and limited resources in the region. Fort Bayard, established in 1866, was tasked with protecting settlers, miners, and travelers in the area. As a result, a constant supply of firewood was essential for heating and cooking purposes within the fort. The Wood Haul Wagon Road was constructed to facilitate the transportation of wood from the nearby Pinos Altos Mountains to Fort Bayard.

The road was built using manual labor and basic tools available at the time. It followed a winding path through rugged terrain, crossing canyons and steep slopes. The construction of the road was a challenging task, requiring the removal of large rocks and the creation of embankments to ensure safe passage for the wagons. The road’s design also incorporated drainage features to prevent erosion and maintain its usability during inclement weather.

The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road remained in use until the early 20th century when the fort transitioned from wood to coal as its primary fuel source. Today, the road stands as a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the individuals who built it, serving as a reminder of the challenges faced by those who lived and worked in this remote frontier outpost.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Fort Bayard Trailhead: This is the starting point of the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road. It is located near the historic Fort Bayard in Santa Clara, New Mexico.

2. Little Walnut Picnic Area: This access point is located along the road and provides a picnic area for visitors. It is a popular spot for picnicking and relaxation.

3. Fort Bayard Cemetery: This historic cemetery is located along the Wood Haul Wagon Road. It is the final resting place for many soldiers and officers who served at Fort Bayard.

4. Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark: This landmark is located near the Wood Haul Wagon Road and offers visitors a chance to explore the history of the fort through exhibits and guided tours.

5. Continental Divide Trail: The Wood Haul Wagon Road intersects with the Continental Divide Trail at certain points, providing access to this long-distance hiking trail.

6. Signal Peak: This is a prominent peak along the Wood Haul Wagon Road. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding area and is a popular hiking destination.

7. Gomez Peak: Another notable peak along the road, Gomez Peak offers hiking trails and scenic views. It is a popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

8. Pinos Altos: This historic mining town is located near the Wood Haul Wagon Road. It offers amenities such as restaurants, lodging, and shops for visitors to explore.

9. Tyrone Mine Overlook: This overlook provides a view of the Tyrone Mine, an open-pit copper mine located near the Wood Haul Wagon Road. It offers a unique perspective on the mining industry in the area.

10. Santa Clara Indian Reservation: The Wood Haul Wagon Road passes through the Santa Clara Indian Reservation, providing access to the reservation and its cultural attractions.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road.

Transportation Available

1. Fort Bayard Shuttle Service – Convenient shuttle service for transportation within Fort Bayard and surrounding areas.
2. Wood Haul Wagon Road Taxi – Reliable taxi service operating in and around Wood Haul Wagon Road.
3. Fort Bayard Car Rentals – Offers a variety of rental cars for exploring the area at your own pace.
4. Wood Haul Wagon Road Bike Rentals – Rent bicycles to enjoy the scenic Wood Haul Wagon Road and its surroundings.
5. Fort Bayard Bus Tours – Guided bus tours showcasing the historical and natural attractions near Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road.


The amenities available at the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road may vary, but here are some common amenities that can be found at similar locations:

1. Restrooms: Public restrooms or portable toilets may be available for visitors to use.

2. Parking: Parking areas or designated parking spaces may be provided for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: Depending on the location, there may be designated camping sites or areas where visitors can set up tents or park RVs for overnight stays.

4. Picnic Areas: Picnic tables, benches, or designated areas may be available for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals or picnics.

5. Hiking Trails: The Wood Haul Wagon Road may offer hiking trails for visitors to explore and enjoy the natural surroundings.

6. Interpretive Signs: Informational signs or panels may be placed along the road to provide historical or educational information about the area.

7. Scenic Views: The road may offer scenic viewpoints or overlooks where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

8. Wildlife Viewing: Depending on the location, visitors may have the opportunity to observe wildlife in their natural habitat.

9. Historical Markers: Historical markers or plaques may be placed along the road to highlight significant events or landmarks.

10. Visitor Center: A visitor center or information kiosk may be available to provide maps, brochures, and additional information about the Wood Haul Wagon Road and its surroundings.

It is recommended to check with local authorities or visitor centers for specific amenities available at the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road.

Nearby Services

1. Fort Bayard Inn – A nearby lodging option offering comfortable rooms and amenities.
2. The Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House – A food service establishment known for its delicious meals and lively atmosphere.
3. Gila Regional Medical Center – An emergency service facility providing medical care and assistance.
4. Bear Mountain Lodge – A charming lodging option nestled in the mountains, offering a peaceful retreat.
5. Diane’s Restaurant – A local eatery serving a variety of dishes, known for its friendly service.
6. Silver City Food Co-op – A grocery store providing fresh produce and organic products.
7. Grant County Sheriff’s Office – An emergency service providing law enforcement and assistance.
8. Comfort Inn Near Gila National Forest – A comfortable lodging option conveniently located near the Wood Haul Wagon Road.
9. Walmart Supercenter – A retail store offering groceries, household items, and more.
10. Gila Regional Airport – An emergency service providing air transportation and medical evacuation capabilities.

Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road Difficulty Notes

The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road presents a moderate level of difficulty for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. The trail encompasses a variety of terrains, including rocky sections, steep inclines, and uneven surfaces. While it may not be overly challenging for experienced hikers, it does require a certain level of physical fitness and endurance. The trail also offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, making the effort well worth it. Overall, the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road provides a satisfying and enjoyable hiking experience for those seeking a moderate level of difficulty.

Features And Attractions

The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road, located in New Mexico, offers several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the road:

1. Fort Bayard: The starting point of the road, Fort Bayard is a historic military installation established in 1866. It played a significant role in the Indian Wars and later served as a tuberculosis hospital.

2. Gila National Forest: As you travel along the road, you’ll pass through parts of the Gila National Forest, known for its diverse wildlife, hiking trails, and stunning landscapes.

3. Pinos Altos: This historic mining town is located near the road and offers a glimpse into the region’s mining history. You can explore the old buildings, visit the Buckhorn Saloon, and learn about the area’s rich past.

4. Continental Divide: The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road crosses the Continental Divide, a significant geological feature that separates the watersheds of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. This is a great spot for photos and to appreciate the natural beauty of the area.

5. Mogollon: A ghost town located near the road, Mogollon was once a thriving mining community. Today, you can explore the preserved buildings, visit the museum, and learn about the town’s fascinating history.

6. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: Although not directly on the road, the Gila Cliff Dwellings are a short detour away. These ancient cliff dwellings were built by the Mogollon people and offer a unique glimpse into their lives. Guided tours are available to explore the dwellings and learn about the indigenous culture.

7. Gila River: The road follows the Gila River for a portion of the journey, offering beautiful views and opportunities for fishing, kayaking, or simply enjoying the serene surroundings.

8. Hot Springs: Along the road, you’ll find several natural hot springs where you can relax and soak in the therapeutic waters. Some popular options include Faywood Hot Springs and Gila Hot Springs.

These are just a few of the many attractions and landmarks along the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road. Exploring this scenic route will provide you with a mix of history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Clean up after your pets and dispose of waste properly.
3. Respect seasonal restrictions and closures.
4. No motorized vehicles allowed on the Wood Haul Wagon Road.
5. Stay on designated trails and do not venture off the path.
6. No camping or overnight stays allowed on the road.
7. Pack out all trash and leave no trace.
8. Do not disturb or harm wildlife or plant life.
9. Observe and follow any posted signs or regulations.
10. Be considerate of other visitors and maintain a peaceful environment.

Seasonal Information

The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road, located in southwestern New Mexico, offers a unique and historical experience for visitors. When planning a visit to this site, it is important to consider the best times of the year to explore, as well as any seasonal closures that may affect your trip.

One of the best times to visit the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road is during the spring and fall seasons. In spring, the landscape comes alive with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for your journey. The temperatures during this time are generally mild, making it comfortable for hiking and exploring the area. Fall, on the other hand, offers stunning foliage as the leaves change colors, providing a breathtaking view along the road. The cooler temperatures of autumn also make it an ideal time for outdoor activities.

It is important to note that the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road may have seasonal closures, particularly during the winter months. Due to the potential for heavy snowfall and icy conditions, the road may be inaccessible or unsafe for travel. It is advisable to check with local authorities or visitor centers for the most up-to-date information on road closures and conditions before planning your trip. Additionally, some sections of the road may be closed for maintenance or preservation work, so it is always a good idea to research and plan ahead to ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit.

Overall, the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road offers a fascinating glimpse into the history of the region and provides a scenic route for outdoor enthusiasts. By considering the best times of the year to visit and being aware of any seasonal closures, you can make the most of your experience and create lasting memories along this historic road.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road offers wheelchair accessibility, ensuring individuals with mobility challenges can navigate the trail comfortably.
2. ADA-compliant Restrooms: The trail provides ADA-compliant restrooms, ensuring individuals with disabilities have accessible facilities along the route.
3. Accessible Parking: The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road offers designated accessible parking spaces, allowing individuals with disabilities to park conveniently.
4. Accessible Trail Surface: The trail features a smooth and even surface, making it easier for wheelchair users and individuals with mobility aids to traverse.
5. Handrails: Handrails are installed along certain sections of the trail, providing additional support and stability for individuals with mobility limitations.
6. Signage: The trail includes clear and visible signage with universal symbols, aiding individuals with visual impairments in navigating the route.
7. Rest Areas: The trail offers accessible rest areas with seating and shade, providing individuals with disabilities a place to rest and enjoy the surroundings.
8. Assistance Animals: The Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road welcomes assistance animals, allowing individuals with disabilities to be accompanied by their service animals.
9. Accessible Information: The trail provides accessible information, such as braille or large print materials, ensuring individuals with visual impairments can access relevant information about the trail.
10. Accessible Picnic Areas: The trail features accessible picnic areas with tables and benches, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy outdoor dining experiences.

Safety Information

1. Road Conditions: Be aware of the road conditions, as the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road may have uneven surfaces, potholes, or loose gravel.
2. Speed Limit: Adhere to the posted speed limit to ensure safe travel along the road.
3. Vehicle Maintenance: Regularly maintain your vehicle to prevent breakdowns or accidents on the road.
4. Weather Conditions: Check weather forecasts before traveling, as the road may become hazardous during inclement weather.
5. Wildlife Awareness: Be cautious of wildlife crossing the road, especially during dawn and dusk.
6. Seat Belt Usage: Always wear your seat belt while driving on the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road.
7. Defensive Driving: Practice defensive driving techniques, such as maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and being aware of your surroundings.
8. Avoid Distractions: Avoid distractions like texting, eating, or using electronic devices while driving on the road.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Carry emergency supplies, such as a spare tire, jack, first aid kit, and water, in case of unexpected situations.
10. Road Signage: Pay attention to road signs and follow their instructions for a safe journey.
11. Passing Safely: Use caution when passing other vehicles, ensuring proper visibility and adhering to traffic rules.
12. Use Headlights: Use headlights during low visibility conditions or when required by law.
13. Share the Road: Be considerate of other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.
14. Avoid Fatigue: Take breaks if feeling tired to prevent drowsy driving accidents.
15. Observe Weight Limits: Adhere to weight limits and load restrictions to prevent damage to the road and ensure safe travel.
16. Stay Alert: Stay focused and alert while driving, avoiding any activities that may distract you from the road.
17. Report Hazards: Report any road hazards or concerns to the appropriate authorities for prompt action.
18. Follow Traffic Laws: Obey all traffic laws, including stop signs, yield signs, and speed limits, to maintain safety on the road.
19. Use Turn Signals: Use turn signals to indicate your intentions and communicate with other drivers.
20. Plan Ahead: Plan your route in advance, familiarize yourself with the road, and allow for extra travel time if needed.

Conservation Notes

The conservation status of the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road is currently classified as “endangered” due to various factors threatening its preservation. This historic road, located in Grant County, New Mexico, holds significant cultural and historical value as it played a crucial role in the development of the region during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the road’s conservation status is at risk primarily due to neglect, lack of maintenance, and encroachment by modern infrastructure.

Over the years, the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road has suffered from a lack of proper conservation efforts, resulting in its deterioration and loss of integrity. The road’s historical significance is at risk of being lost if immediate action is not taken to preserve and protect it. Additionally, the encroachment of modern infrastructure, such as roads and buildings, poses a threat to the road’s physical existence and authenticity.

Efforts are being made by local authorities and preservation organizations to raise awareness about the importance of conserving the Fort Bayard Wood Haul Wagon Road. These efforts aim to secure funding for restoration and maintenance projects, as well as to establish legal protections to prevent further encroachment and damage. The conservation status of the road serves as a reminder of the urgent need to prioritize its preservation and ensure that future generations can appreciate and learn from this significant piece of history.

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