Welcome to the Southwestern Region

Winter in the Southwest!

Winter is a time to slow down, get outdoors, and become a participant of nature. Whether planning fun winter activities, taking a scenic drive, or gathering firewood, the snow-covered wonderlands of the Southwestern Region's National Forests will delight you.

Enjoy Winter!

Tree Springs Trail, Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands. US Forest Service photo by Patricia E. Johnson.

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.

Plan Your Visit

  • Find a Getaway

    cabin on the kaibab national forest

    The Southwest Region is brimming with opportunities for all kinds of outdoor recreation. There is something for everyone!

  • Be Prepared

    Dirt road and with hiker and fall colors

    Plan for your next adventure by purchasing a map and browsing our publications. Maps can be purchased online or in-person.

  • Passes and Permits

    person launches a canoe on a river in the coconino national forest

    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, and for commercial and special uses.

  • New Enchantment Pass

    the Enchantment Pass on a rustic wood holiday background with evergreens, gifts and string

    Is your New Year’s Resolution to get outdoors more? We can help! The new Enchantment Pass offers access to dozens of New Mexico National Forests’ recreation areas for one low annual fee of $40.

Learn About the Southwestern Region

  • Caring for the Land

    Image of Nambe Falls

    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.

  • Wildfire Crisis in the Southwest

    firefighters walk towards smoke

    In 2022, the Forest Service launched a 10-year strategy to address the wildfire crisis across the west. The Wildfire Crisis Strategy aims to dramatically increase fuels and forest health treatments, including on four designated landscapes in Arizona and New Mexico.

  • New National Monument Designated

    View of Red Butte

    The Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni—Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument comprises 917,618 acres acres of land managed by the Kaibab National Forest and Bureau of Land Management around Grand Canyon National Park. Designating the new national monument, which contains ancestral homelands of many Tribes, will preserve its important historic, cultural, natural, scientific, and recreational values.

  • Thank You for Your Submissions

    collage of winning entries

    Gila Wilderness Centennial Poster Contest winners have been announced!