Gila National Forest, Silver City

4.7
#1 of 7 in Parks in Silver City
The Gila National Forest boasts a rich history of the Mogollon and Apache Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, ranchers, prospectors and miners. Apache Chiefs Mangas Coloradas, Geronimo, and Victorio, Aldo Leopold: conservationist, ecologist and author of the Sand County Almanac, and renowned lion hunter Ben Lilly are but a few of the personalities from the past that have left their mark in the Gila. Place names like Raw Meat Canyon, Tepee Canyon and Grave Canyon tell the tales of the past.

The forest boasts six ranger districts; Black Range Ranger District, Glenwood Ranger District, Quemado Ranger District, Reserve Ranger District, Silver City Ranger District, and Wilderness Ranger District.

The unique beauty of the Gila National Forest is its wilderness areas. The Gila, Aldo Leopold, and Blue Range Wildernesses offer unparalleled hiking and horseback riding. The magnificence of these mountainous regions imparts an indescribable feeling of awe and wonderment. Former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas may have captured the feeling when he said, "Wilderness helped preserve man's capacity for wonder ... the power to feel, if not see, the miracles of life, of beauty, and of harmony around us." The Gila Wilderness was established in 1924 as the first designated wilderness in the country.

The San Francisco, Gila, and Mimbres Rivers, the Catwalk, Pueblo Park Campground, Gila Cliff Dwellings, Mogollon Baldy, Castle Rock, Eagle Peak Mountain, Emory Pass, and the Burro Mountains are among the many islands of beauty on the Gila. Other areas of interest include Cooney's Tomb, El Caso Lookout Tower, Beaverhead, Reed's Peak, Frisco Hot Springs and Cherry Creek.

During one of Aldo Leopold's hunting trips into the Gila National Forest he eloquently stated, "We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes ... something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view." Such is the legacy of the Gila; a beautiful and unique forest with majestic mountains; a complex interwoven fabric of all living things.

Visit us online at http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila

or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr: https://twitter.com/GilaNForest https://www.facebook.com/GilaNForest

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gilaforest
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Gila National Forest Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
149 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Good hike up many stairs to explore this magical space. It feels ancient. The docent was helpful and we were able to keep our dogs in a safe kennel during the hike. I am so grateful that President Roo...  more »
  • I wish I had a lot more time to spend in this area. I went to the Indian cliff dwellings and it was amazing. There are plenty of stops to make for picture taking up in the mountains and it is well wor...  more »

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