Expect Adventure

Explore the diverse landscapes of southwestern forests, from red rock desert to alpine vistas.

Find a Forest Near You

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.

  • Find a Weekend Getaway

    cabin on the kaibab national forest

    The Southwest Region is brimming with opportunities for all kinds of outdoor recreation.

  • Be Prepared

    Dirt road and dandelions through an aspen grove at High Country Ranch

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

  • Recreation Passes

    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.

  • 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-riskn species like the Mexican spotted owl and New Mexican jumping mouse, ensure forest health through safe logging and grazing practices, and restore critical ecosystems.

Features

Christmas Tree Permits in the Southwestern Region

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.

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Lincoln National Forest technician creates innovative resource for lost visitors

Forest Technician Sam stands next to a trickle tank

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. 

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