Ranger District - Quemado

Area Description


Quemado is located in northern Catron County, 33 miles east of the Arizona border on US 60, at an elevation of approximately 6,900’. The population of the Quemado area is approximately 750.

Quemado serves the area with a post office, one cafe, two motels, two churches, two gas stations, a small general merchandise/grocery store, one convenient store, one laundromat, two real estate offices.  Pie Town (22 miles east) has three churches and two restaurants. The nearest full service communities are Springerville, Arizona (50 miles west), Grants, New Mexico (75 miles north), and Socorro, New Mexico (110 miles east).

The Ranger District (approximately 640,000 acres) is situated on the Apache National Forest but is administered by the Gila National Forest. A work center offering service to the public is located 75 miles away in Luna, New Mexico.


The climate is mild and dry with warm days and cool nights in the summer. Rainfall averages 11 inches. Monsoon showers usually occur in July and August but do not last long. There are usually over 300 sunny days a year with four seasons tempered by the high altitude. The average maximum temperature in July is 85°F, while the average minimum temperature in January is 13°F.

Cultural and Recreation Opportunities:

The District and surrounding area offers numerous outdoor recreation opportunities. Visitors take advantage of the abundant game population of deer, pronghorn, javelina, bear, mountain lion, wild turkeys, and world-class elk hunting. Quemado is about a three-hour drive from Albuquerque, which offers a variety of shopping, recreational, and cultural opportunities.


There is a medical center in Reserve (50 miles away), which also provides a clinic twice a week in Quemado. Hospitals and pharmacies are in Springerville, Silver City (150 miles away), and Socorro.


The modern community oriented school in Quemado provides grades K-12 while opportunities for higher education are available at the branches of Northland Pioneer College in Springerville and New Mexico State University in Grants, New Mexico. There are also universities in Albuquerque, Silver City, and Socorro.


The Forest Service and Quemado Schools are the main employers in Quemado. Ranching is a major activity in the area.


Government housing may be available. The typical family house is a 1500 square foot ranch style 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom house with laundry facilities, a wood stove, a fenced backyard, and a 1-car garage. Crew quarters for single or unaccompanied personnel may also be available.

Rental housing in Quemado is limited and typically costs $400 to $500 per month. Several real estate companies offer 5 to 20 acre lots. Many employees buy property and put manufactured homes on it. Purchase price for an established home starts around $80,000. The average commute for those living outside town is 25 minutes.


The nearest commercial airport access is in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 175 miles from Quemado. A small airport is located in Springerville, Arizona.

Contact Information:

Quemado Ranger District Office