Autumn HikeChanging ColorsGreen and YellowMosiac

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The Gila is 3.3 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.

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Check out our Facebook, Flickr and Twitter sites for some great pictures and the latest Forest updates.




Recent News


Celebrating 75 Years of a Beloved Fire-Prevention Icon

Smokey Bear with a balloon for 75th year preventing wildfires

Here in the Gila National Forest, we feel a particularly close connection to Smokey Bear and his message of fire-prevention. The Lincoln National Forest, our neighboring forest, is the home of the orphaned black bear cub that would become a living symbol. While we celebrate 75 years of Smokey Bear as an integral part of the nation’s popular culture, let’s take a look back at his captivating story!

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 five 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.

Forest System Road (FSR) 150 began its life as the North Star Road in the 1870s. Used primarily as a military road, it connected several military forts and camps in the area during the Apache-U.S. Army conflicts in the late 1800s. Citizens of Grant County also thought it would provide safer passage to and from the Mimbres Valley and Silver City Area than other routes.


Cosmic Campground

photo of night sky - Blue Horse Head Nebula

Boasting some of the darkest nights in the Southwest, the Gila National Forest offers many visitors the chance to view and admire the natural night sky.