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

Panoramic view of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness. USDA Forest Service photo.

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.

Discover More about the Cibola

  • Christmas Tree Permits Available Now

    Child inspects a potential Christmas tree covered in snow

    Take part in a treasured New Mexico tradition! Christmas Tree Cutting Permits can be purchased for the Mt. Taylor, Magdalena or Mountainair Ranger Districts.

  • 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.


Cibola Offering Recreation Passes Online

Planning to visit the Cibola? Now you can purchase your day use pass on line! Save the hassle of finding cash for the fee envelope and instead purchase a digital pass through our partner, This pass can be used for all sites that charge a day use fee on Sandia Ranger District, and at Lake McClellan on Black Kettle Ranger District.  Purchase your pass ahead of time or directly at the site when you visit; your license plate will be used to verify your purchase.

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Heading outdoors to get a break from being in the house?

Tips for treading lightly at a distance

An adaptation of the TREAD Principles by Tread Lightly!

We've adapted the T.R.E.A.D Principles for social distancing outdoors to align with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help slow the spread of the disease and maintain physical and emotional health. Please help us keep the outdoors and enthusiasts healthy by following these easy guidelines.

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