The Gila National Forest occupies 3,321,000 acres of forest and rangeland in southwestern New Mexico. The smaller of its two units extends north from Lordsburg
along the Big Burro Mountains. The main unit, north of Silver City
embraces the Black Mogollon, Tularosa and Diablo mountains. These wild ranges and remote canyons were the stronghold of such Apache warriors as Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas. In the 1870s the region was the center of a mining boom, of which ghost towns and old mine structures are silent reminders. The 110-mile Inner Loop/Gila Cliff Dwellings Scenic Byway travels from Silver City east to San Lorenzo, through the Mimbres Valley, down Sapillo Creek, past Clinton P. Anderson Vista to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
, and returns to silver City over the Pinos Altos Range. There are numerous developed recreation areas in the forest.