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It’s an easy hike down from the painted desert inn down and into the wilderness. Permits are free and easy to obtain. Ask for a wilderness hiking booklet as well, it’s very well made and can help orient yourself in the vast wilderness as well as offer hiking options and specific destinations and points of interest.
Once you’re out there - you’re out there! No amenities and you only have what you packed!
Indian Route 12 runs north to south and bisects the wheatfields lake and the main campground areas. Overnight camping and fires are discouraged along the lake but people get away with it. There is sporadic night traffic on the roadway throughout the night and it is sometimes loud. The campsites are hit and miss. Some have old dilapidated picnic tables and along with sandstone fire rings or barriers. The roads to the campsite are not graded and over time roads have been created through campsites with no regard.
There are 3 compost type toilet facilities at various parts of the lake. No running water. There are some trash receptacles but most leave their trash in piles next to the receptacles because the chutes to the receptacles are about 12x12 and wont accommodate a large trash bag. There are numerous stray dogs in the area that take advantage of the trash piles.
Fishing: I have only seen small rainbow trout. Stockers from the Navajo Hatchery in Toadlena NM. There is no motorized access to the east side of the lake as it was blocked off years back by metal tube barriers.
Too many rude fishers and kids running around unchecked. Fiddling with your fishing area and fishing gear.
Dispersed Camping was wonderful here. Permits are available at the visitor center. We walked down into the wilderness area behind the painted desert Inn. Beautiful views, an easy hike out, and no one else around