The Wood Haul Wagon Ruts trail is part of a historic trail system close to Silver City and runs from the Fort Bayard Administrative Site to the Wagon Wheel Ruts.
The Wood Haul Wagon Ruts are a result of the tireless passing of supply wagons hauling construction and fuel wood from the high pine forests of the Pinos Altos mountain range to the Fort Bayard Military Reservation. Mule and oxen drawn wagons were used to haul the heavy loads. Over time the hard wagon wheels cut into the volcanic cap rock leaving a testament to the endurance of these early settlers. The route to the Wagon Wheel Ruts follows primitive roads that pass over land that was once part of the reservation.
Elk herds can be seen in this area. During the 1860's Ft. Bayard was an active military outpost housing soldiers who provided protection to the local mining settlements of Pinos Altos and Santa Clara. As you travel toward the Wood Haul Wagon Ruts you will be on one of a network of wagon roads that led soldiers high into the Ponderosa Pine forests of the Pinos Altos Mountains. Animal drawn wagons traversed these rough mountain roads returning with fuelwood and roughcut lumber to construct the first permanent structures at Ft. Bayard Military Reservation.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.