San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation spans Gila, Graham and Pinal

counties in southeastern Arizona. It was first established as a

reservation by President Grant's Executive Order in

1871. Apaches are descendants of the Athabascan family, which

migrated to the Southwest in the 10th century. Many bands of

Apache, as well as Mohave and Yuma Indians, were relocated from

their traditional homelands, extending through wide areas of

Arizona and New Mexico, to the reservation. Later, separate reservations

were created for the Mohave and Yuma tribes. U.S. 70, a

main scenic route between Phoenix and Lordsburg, New Mexico,

runs through the 2,854- square-mile reservation that ranges from

low plains and rolling desert hills to pine-forested, high-mountain

country.

 

Government agencies are the major employers on the San Carlos

Indian Reservation. The federal government employs many residents

in its delivery of health, education and economic services. Numerous

tribal enterprises, as well as tribal administration, also provide

employment.

 

Cattle-ranching operations generate approximately $1 million

in annual livestock sales. The tribe's cattle association is also the

third largest source of income, providing full-time and temporary

employment. Lumbering and tourism are other industries contributing

to the economy. Off the reservation, copper mining is the main

source of employment. Southwest Forest Fighters provides summer

jobs.

 

The San Carlos Reservation is a scenic adventure ranging from

desert to alpine meadows. The area is blessed with a wide variety of

geological, historical and recreational attractions. U.S. 60, the direct

route between Show Low and Globe, cuts through the Salt River

Canyon, often referred to as the mini Grand Canyon. Whitewater

rafting, kayaking and canoeing are popular as the snowmelt fills

the river. San Carlos Lake, formed by the construction of Coolidge

Dam, has 158 miles of shoreline and stores 19,500 acres of water.

Also on the reservation are found more than 100 small ponds,

called tanks, and many other lakes and streams.

 

Talkalai Lake is fully stocked and fishing for trout, bass, channel catfish, crappie

and bluegill is excellent throughout the reservation (permits are

required). The temperate climate makes hunting for big and small

game, such as elk, bighorn sheep, javalina, antelope, and migratory

birds, enjoyable year round. On many summer weekends traditional

Apache ceremonies take place, and visitors are allowed to observe

portions of Crown Dances or Sunrise Rituals. Annual events include

the All Indian Rodeo/Fair in November and a spring roundup rodeo.