Gila Wilderness

Area Status: Open

***Attention Gila River Rafters - please see the latest Gila River trip report from Gila National Forest  from April 6 - 9, 2023***

The 559,688-acre Gila Wilderness, created in June 1924 at the urging of the great conservation pioneer Aldo Leopold, was the world's first designated wilderness and also New Mexico's largest wilderness.

“The richest values of wilderness lie not in the days of Daniel Boone, nor even in the present, but rather in the future.” ~ Aldo Leopold

photo of Gila Wilderness Gila River Group of people on horseback

At a Glance

Reservations: No permits required.   First come - first serve. Camping is under a 14-day stay limit.
Fees: There are no fees.
Permit Info:
Restrictions: All camping within the Gila National Forest is restricted to a 14-day stay limit. Please follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles while visiting this beautiful wilderness area. For more information on Leave No Trace -
Closest Towns: Mimbres, NM or Glenwood, NM
Information Center: Both the Glenwood Ranger District and the Wilderness Ranger District manage the Gila Wilderness. Information is available by calling 575-388-8201.


Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities