Cibola National Forest

Quick Facts

Cibola National Forest

New Mexico

(505) 346-3900

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Valued for its recreation opportunities, natural beauty, timber, water, forage, and wilderness resources, the Cibola National Forest is a gem of the west. Hiking, camping, backpacking, picnicking, fishing, and so many other recreational opportunities await you at this forest. While the season of recreational use is all year, the high country winter can be very severe. Indian Pueblos, prehistoric ruins, ice caves, and lava flows can also be seen within Cibola.

Map of Cibola Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 34.223158, -107.391357

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Some trails on portions of the Cibola are closed to use by all kinds of mechanized/motor vehicles. Motorized vehicles are not permitted in the four designated wilderness areas. While there are no trails specifically designated as jeep trails or motorcycle trails on the Cibola, there are numerous old woods routes and logging roads throughout the districts, which may be enjoyed by mountain bike, motorcycle or jeep. Please inquire at the local ranger district office for information on trails, off-road vehicle use and areas closed to mechanized traffic.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Sandia Crest, elevation 10,678 feet, is accessible by road, aerial tramway, and trails. Capillia Peak, elevation 9,375 feet, is accessible by road and trails. Mount Taylor, elevation 11,301 feet, has a good road to within a mile of the top. There are several other scenic drives available.

  • Camping

    All developed recreation areas on the Cibola National Forest allow camping except those on the Sandia Ranger District, which are for group camping and day-use picnicking. National forest campground units are suitable for tents and most recreational vehicles, however, large trailers may not be able to negotiate all campground roads. Many national forest campgrounds have toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, and garbage disposal facilities.

  • Fishing

    There are fishing opportunities in Bluewater and McGaffey Lakes in the Zuni Mountains; Skipout, Spring Creek, and Dead Indian Lakes in Oklahoma; and Lake Marvin and Lake McClellan in Texas.

  • Hiking

    A maximum of 10 is recommended for backpacking groups. Special orders limit your stay to 14 days in a 45-day period. Most backcountry areas are quite dry; most streams and springs do not flow throughout the year. You will need to carry water for camping in the backcountry.

    Downhill skiing is available at the Sandia Peak Ski Area, located on the east side of the Sandia Mountains.

  • Historic Sites

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Horseback Riding

    Please contact park services for more information.

  • Hunting

    On the Cibola there are hunting opportunities for deer, elk, antelope, and turkey.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Some trails on portions of the Cibola are closed to use by all kinds of mechanized/motor vehicles. Motorized vehicles are not permitted in the four designated wilderness areas. While there are no trails specifically designated as jeep trails or motorcycle trails on the Cibola, there are numerous old woods routes and logging roads throughout the districts, which may be enjoyed by mountain bike, motorcycle or jeep. Please inquire at the local ranger district office for information on trails, OHV use and areas closed to mechanized traffic.

  • Picnicking

    The Sandia Ranger District offers day-use picnicking areas.

  • RVing

    National forest campground units are suitable for tents and most recreational vehicles; however, large trailers may not be able to negotiate all campground roads.

Seasonality/Weather

Season of recreational use is all year, although the high country winter is severe. Summer nights are cool, cold above 8,000 feet. July and August have frequent afternoon showers due to the monsoon season.

Directions

Driving

Contact the ranger office for information on getting to one of the 13 separate forest areas.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(505) 346-3900

Links