Welcome to the Southwestern Region

Spring into the Southwest!

Spring is a great time to get outdoors and back to nature. Whether hiking among the flowers, taking a scenic drive, or bird watching, the diverse experiences of the Southwestern Region's National Forests will inspire you.

Find Recreation!

Picket Post Trailhead, Tonto National Forest. US Forest Service photo by Amanda Oliver.

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.

Permanent Wildland Fire Jobs

  • Challenge Yourself to New Limits

    wildland firefighter near fire truck on scene of prescribed fire

    The USDA Forest Service employs approximately 10,000 wildland fire personnel annually including wildland firefighters, dispatchers, prevention technicians, fuels management, and more. Apply May 7 through May 20.

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

    two people hiking on a rock path with a dog

    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.

  • Smokey Bear Reading Challenge

    Smokey Bear graphic with the number 80 to celebrate his 80th birthday

    Help celebrate Smokey Bear's 80th Birthday by joining the Smokey Bear Reading Challenge.

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.

Features

New Helibase on the Payson Ranger District

Forest Service officials say the $4.9 million facility will play a major role in suppressing wildfires in Arizona and supporting the agency’s wildfire crisis strategy for reducing wildfire risk to communities and improving resilience of Arizona’s forests.

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Money-Saving Recreation Pass

The more you use the Enchantment Pass the more you save, making it great for locals and visitors. The Enchantment Pass covers the use of 30+ sites (more sites will be added in 2024) in New Mexico that charge a day-use fee. Visit an unlimited number of times year-long! Your purchase contributes to the sustainability of local recreation and shows your NM pride.

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