3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061
- 5 miles
- 2 - 3 hours
- Trailhead Elevation:
- 6400 feet
- Elevation Range:
- 6400 feet to 6600 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 200 feet
- Year Round
The Big Juniper Tree is nationally ranked as the second largest alligator Juniper Tree. Its diameter is 70.2 in, circumference is 18 ft. 4 in, crown spread is 62 ft., and height is 63 ft. The Big Juniper Tree is located on lands previously utilized as part of the historic Fort Bayard Military Reservation. The route to the Big Juniper Tree follows primitive roads that pass through the rolling foothills of the Pinos Altos Mountains which lie to the north.
Scenic walk through pinon juniper setting
You will encounter people on horses and bikes. There will also be people walking and some will have dogs.
Motorized use is prohibited beyond the trailhead. Also, please remember to close all gates. No water is available along the route. Directional trail signing is present. Use of the Fort Bayard topographic map is recommended for visitors wishing to explore in the area of the Big Juniper Tree. A toilet and hitching posts are located at the trailhead.
Bayard is 4 miles from the trail head and provides gas stations and shopping center.
No water is available. It is advisable to carry your own.
During the 1860''s, Fort Bayard was an active military outpost housing soldiers who provided protection to the local mining settlements of Pinos Altos and Santa Rita. The route to the Big Juniper Tree is an old wagon road that provided access to the Pinos Altos Mountains. Rough cut lumber and fuelwood was transported down these roads by animal drawn wagons.
Current management of the Fort Bayard area emphasizes wildlife, watershed protection, and recreational values. Travelers on this trail often see glimpses of the resident elk herd that occupies the Fort Bayard area.
Follow U.S. Highway 180 to St. Clara and turn onto the Fort Bayard Medical Center access road. Pass the hospital complex by taking the right fork till you get to the sign with Forest Road 536. This will take you to the Fort Bayard Administrative Site Trailhead and parking is 1/10 mile west of the junction of forest Roads 536 and 929.