About the Forest

Santa Fe National Forest - Ranger Districts

The Santa Fe National Forest is administered through a Forest Supervisor's Office and five Ranger Districts. Click on the picture below for more information about the districts.

Map of Santa Fe National Forest Ranger Districts


The climate in northern New Mexico is mild. The summer and fall months are characterized by daytime temperatures in the mid-80’s and chilly nights. Winters are also mild, but snow depths can average 8 to 10 feet. The monsoon season normally begins mid-July and lasts until mid-September. Hikers and campers should prepare for these rainstorms.

Fish & Wildlife

Fishing is a great way to enjoy the forest. The SFNF has more than 620 miles of streams and lakes. Many of these aquatic areas are stocked with Rainbow Trout and the native Cutthroat Trout. Fishing licenses can be obtained at the New Mexico Game and Fish Department.

Game animals roam the Santa Fe. They include mule deer, elk, turkey, black bear, mountain lion, and bighorn sheep. There are many species of smaller animals and song-birds. Wildflowers abound.


There are 291,669 acres of wilderness in the Santa Fe. Wilderness is land set aside as part of wild America, where man is visitor. The natural environment has not been disturbed and travel is restricted to foot or horseback. No mechanical equipment is allowed. Wilderness areas include Pecos, San Pedro Parks, Dome, and the Chama River Canyon. Together these areas contain a rich, diverse resource, including 13,000 foot alpine peaks, large grassy and aspen filled meadows, streams, rivers, and glacial lakes, dramatic colorful canyons, and a broad range of wildlife, cultural resources, and recreation opportunities.


There are 1,002 miles of trails, some maintained by volunteer groups. Opportunities abound for hiking, horseback riding, trail-biking, and 4-wheel drive exploring. Many summer hiking trails become cross-country ski and snowmobile trails in winter.


Presently, there are 23 campgrounds, 13 picnic areas, and one scenic overlook on the Santa Fe. In addition, there are countless opportunities for back-country camping, backpacking, hunting, and fishing. Without a doubt, the Santa Fe offers a variety of experiences for those seeking quality outdoor recreation visits.

Whether you plan a day trip or an overnight camping trip, the SFNF offers a variety of recreational areas in the high desert, mountain or riparian areas. Most overnight camping spots cost an average of $6 a night. Reservations are required for group camp sites (1-877-444-6777 or Recreation.gov)


At specific times throughout the year, the National Forest offers firewood permits. Permits are for dead and down trees, green piñon-juniper and pine are also available. During the holiday season, the SFNF sells permits for Christmas trees. All of these permits may be purchased at the Supervisor’s Office in Santa Fe, or Ranger District offices.