Explore the diverse landscapes of southwestern forests, from red rock desert to alpine vistas.
Welcome to the Southwest
The Southwestern Region covers more than 20.6 million acres, boasting thousands of recreation opportunities spread across six national forests in Arizona, five national forests and a national grassland in New Mexico, and one national grassland each in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. The elevation ranges from 1,600 feet above sea level and an annual rainfall of 8 inches in Arizona's lower Sonoran Desert to 13,171-foot high Wheeler Peak and over 35 inches of precipitation a year in northern New Mexico.
The Southwest Region is brimming with opportunities for all kinds of outdoor recreation.
Plan for your next adventure by purchasing a map and browsing our publications. Maps can be puchased online or in-person.
Most national forest system lands are open, free of charge for your use and enjoyment. Several types of passes and permits exist for sites that require fees.
In the Southwestern Region, the Forest Service is tasked with managing public lands brimming with natural resources and diverse wildlife. The Forest Service works to protect at-risk species like the Mexican spotted owl and New Mexican jumping mouse, ensure forest health through safe logging and grazing practices, and restore critical ecosystems.
Christmas Tree Permits allow people to cut down a Christmas tree from designated locations in our National Forests. Permit availability varies by forest and district and some locations sell out very quickly.
Sam, a Forestry Technician with the US Forest Service, is on a mission to save lost hikers and hunters on the Guadalupe Ranger District (or at least help them save themselves) through turning existing structures known as "trickle tanks" into orienteering tools.