East Empire Ranch Road

Scout Route
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East Empire Ranch Road is the main artery into the northern portions of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. Beginning near the historic Empire Ranch Headquarters, the trail crosses the stream created by the Empire Spring via a concrete ramp. The band of massive cottonwood trees surrounding the spring is visible across the conservation area. A small pullout just before the water crossing serves as a trailhead for hiking to the spring.

A massive flat area with a few scattered trees serves as a popular campground at the intersection with Oak Tree Canyon. The Airstrip Group Campground is just a bit farther east. You can reserve this campground through the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. Potable water is available at the ranch headquarters.

The northeastern end of the trail runs briefly along a dike through a wetland before ending at a network of smaller trails and a very out of the way seldom used campsite. Wildlife sightings in this area are common.