With a population of 53,500 residents and covering 4,796 square miles, Gila County has always been a great place to live, work and play. Gila County is in Central Arizona and contains the Tonto Apache Reservation and parts of the Fort Apache and San Carlos Reservations. The county was formed in 1881 from parts of Maricopa and Pinal Counties, and later added the northern portion of the county from Yavapai County. Cities and Towns in Gila County include Globe, Hayden, Miami, Payson, Star Valley and Winkelman, along with a large number of rural unincorporated communities. Gila County is located on the northeastern edge of the Sonoran Desert, and covers a wide variety of life zones, including desert, high desert plains, chaparral, pinon-juniper and pine forests. There are a number of popular recreation areas in Gila County, including Roosevelt Lake, Tonto National Monument, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, and Fossil Creek, along with several designated Wilderness Areas and popular camping areas within the Tonto National Forest.