Welcome to the Gila National Forest

Fall Colors!

Fall colors are a gradual gift on the Gila National Forest - they appear throughout the autumn. The forest is known for spectacular orange, reds and yellow fall leaves. Follow the colors on social media.  

Find Recreation Sites

The Gila National Forest has over three million acres of forested hills, majestic mountains, and range land. It is probably best known for its wilderness areas, in particular the Gila Wilderness - the first wilderness in the United States. The magnificent mountain scenery, cool summer temperatures and relatively warm winters permit a wide range of recreational opportunities during all seasons.

Preparing for Your Visit to the Gila National Forest

Get Involved with the Gila National Forest


A Path through the Wilderness: The Story of Forest Road 150

photo of Black Canyon Bridge on North Star Road

Imagine the world in 1875. The Civil War has been over for ten years. The normal mode of transportation in southern New Mexico is either horseback, or a horse-drawn wagon. Black cavalry and infantry troops, known as Buffalo Soldiers, were sent to the American West to take part in the Indian wars and the protection of settlers.


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