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The San Carlos Indian Reservation

Updated: Sep 23, 2020


Some say ‘Apache’ is the most famous name of any Native American people in the Grand Canyon State. ‘N’dee’ is their name for themselves – meaning ‘the People’.  Encompassing 1.8 million acres, the San Carlos Apache Reservation spans Gila, Graham, and Pinal Counties – a landscape visitors find begins with panoramic views across saguaro-studded low desert, proceeding up through chaparral and high desert prairie – into thick forests of pine and fir trees above 6,000 feet. Formerly nomadic, today’s San Carlos Apaches continue their most ancient and sacred traditions – but have also found success with a telecommunications enterprise expanding off ‘the Rez’ to serve neighboring communities’ high-tech needs. Known for its lakes, more than one-third is forest or woodland - drawing hunters, anglers, campers and hikers. Carefully managed logging continues in upper elevation ponderosa pine forests, a renewable source of income. Forestry here is carefully balanced with wildlife management to assure future generations of Apache hunters and visiting sportsman will find trophy elk, mule and Coues deer; Merriam’s turkey, javelina, black bear and mountain lion – and all three species of quail: Gambel’s, Scaled & Mearn’s. Who else visits this famous land of the Apache? Overnight guests relax at Apache Gold Casino Resort’s hotel for gaming, cuisine – and golf at the adjacent Apache Stronghold links. The new Apache Sky casino opened just south of Winkelman on Hwy 177. Western history buffs visit the Cultural Center to read Apaches’ own view of their history, culture and art. And buyers of gems know Peridot Mesa is one of few places on Earth where August’s birthstone is mined, the green semi-precious stone is a magnesium-rich variety of olivine.

Create Your Adventure In San Carlos, AZ

The San Carlos Indian Reservation is a place full of history. With current Covid-19 restrictions (at the time of the publishing of this article) access to the reservation has been limited to just members of the reservation.

We hope and stand with the people of San Carlos and look forward to the adventures that await in this amazing part of Gila County.

Stay tuned for updates on openings of the San Carlos Reservation and the attractions the area provides by following @discovergilacounty on Facebook and Instagram.

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