Description - The Wilderness Ranger District is located in the heart of the Gila National Forest and covers an area of 900,000 acres. The majority of the District is designated as Wilderness and comprises the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas. The wilderness features steep mountains, rough deep canyons, flat mesas, large river channels and flood plains. Higher elevations consist of a mixture of pine spruce and other mixed conifers, while lower elevation vegetation is semi desert shrub and grassland. There are large areas with pinyon-juniper-oak woodlands and others with ponderosa pine.
- The Ranger District offers a number of recreation attractions for the visitor, including Wilderness areas, Lake Roberts and the Gila Cliff Dwellings. The Copperas Vista and Clinton P. Anderson Overlooks offer beautiful views into river canyons and wild ranges. They overlook the eastern ramparts of the Gila Wilderness and honor one of the pioneers of the Wilderness Act.
Recreation - Mimbres is famous for the distinct Mimbreno-Indian painting on pottery with dramatic black-on-white geometric designs of animals and ceremonial scenes. It also has a rich history of ranching, farming (including apple orchards) and mining. The Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center includes a bookstore that offers a variety of books including history writings of the area, a great place to stop before or after visiting the monument. Lake Roberts is a popular recreation area drawing fishermen, and campers.
Climate - The gentle climate is one of the highlights Mimbres has to offer at an elevation of 6257 and average summer temperatures of about 55 in the lows and highs in the 90’s. Winter temperatures fall to the teens and highs in the 40’s and 50’s. All four gentle seasons are enjoyed for an almost equal amount of time each.
Travel US 180 east from Silver City to Jct. with Hwy 152. Take Hwy 152 approx. 14 miles to Junction of NM 35. Continue 11 miles north on NM 35 to Wilderness Ranger Station.