Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands


The Cibola is spread far and wide across the width of New Mexico and into the grasslands of Texas and Oklahoma - the season varies so check your local ranger district for the status.

Contact a District

The Enchantment of Forest, Wilderness and Grasslands 

The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands encompasses 1.9 million acres. The 4 “sky island” ranger districts: Sandia, Mountainair, Magdalena, and Mt Taylor cover more than 1.6 million acres in New Mexico with elevations range up to 11,301 ft. The Cibola also has four wilderness areas: Sandia Mountain, Manzano Mountain, Withington and Apache Kid and administers four National Grasslands: Black Kettle, McClellan Creek, Kiowa and Rita Blanca covering 263,261 acres in northeastern New Mexico, western Oklahoma and northern Texas.

Prepare for Your Visit 

  • Recreation Sites

    people on horses in the forest

    Four season opportunities for visitors to the forests, wilderness and grasslands

  • Find Your Way

    bikers on trail

    Cibola area maps are available in all formats and for all devices. Plan ahead by mapping your adventure.

  • Passes & Permits

    Buy a pass or permit

    Check out what fees are required and what passes are available. Know before heading out.

Get Involved

  • Comment Period Open:
    Legacy Road & Trail Projects

    River with trail maintenance equipment

    The Legacy Road & Trails program is accepting comments on proposed projects for fiscal years 2025 and 2026. Submit comments by July 14.

  • Smokey Bear Reading Challenge

    Smokey Bear graphic with the number 80 to celebrate his 80th birthday

    Help celebrate Smokey Bear's 80th Birthday.

Discover More about the Cibola

  • Caring for the Land

    cliff on cibola

    ​Learn more about how the Cibola is managed and cared for, including forest planning, travel management, grazing management and annual operating instructions (AOIs), assessments, and special projects.

  • The Cibola's New Land Management Plan

    Forest Supervisor Stephen Hattenbach signs the new land management plan

    In July 2022, the Cibola released a new, long-term plan that provides direction for the management for the Cibola National Forest’s four mountain districts.

  • A family fire legacy

    two people standing and smiling

    Matthew Rau, fire staff officer on the Cibola National Forest and Grasslands in New Mexico and incident commander of a Southwest Complex Incident Management Team, never imagined being where he is today. But he had mentors and leaders that believed in his abilities along the way.


Great Showing at the Annual Fishing Derby

two kids sitting on a blanket fishing in a lake

On June 1, 2024, the Black Kettle National Grassland and the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce hosted the 32nd Annual Youth Fishing Derby at Skipout Lake this past Saturday. We were blessed with favorable weather and a great showing of youth and their families. 

View Feature

Cibola Air Tanker Base on Kirtland Air Force Base

May 17, 2024 Press Conference on ATB Upgrade

The Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands in collaboration with long-standing partner Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB) has completed upgrades to the Albuquerque Air Tanker Base (ATB) on the KAFB. These upgrades allow very large airtankers (VLATs) to be filled and deliver fire retardant to suppress wildfires across the Southwest and beyond. The upgrades to the ATB increases capacity for combating the wildfire crisis, making it one of four bases in the region that can accommodate the VLAT. 

View Feature