Originally started as a hunting lodge in the 1980’s, Geronimo Trail evolved into a guest ranch in 2002. It was 10 years ago that Harry, Diana, and Meris Esterly purchased Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch.
So how did a family who grew up on an island off the Maine coast come to own a guest ranch in the Gila National Forest of New Mexico? It all started when Meris was eight years old and started taking English riding lessons together with Diana. After a few years of riding lessons the whole family decided to vacation out West, taking advantage of the trail riding opportunities offered. When Meris was fourteen they went to a dude ranch in Colorado for a week. They loved it so much that they returned every summer for 5 years. By that time, Meris was old enough to work at a dude ranch. In the summer of 2005 she hired on as a wrangler at a dude ranch in Colorado where she worked for three summers. After the third summer, Meris had graduated from college while Harry and Diana had retired and they all were looking for a new adventure. The Esterlys love of dude ranching led them to seek out a dude ranch to buy. A broker set up seven ranches for them to visit from New Mexico to Montana. Geronimo Trail was the very first one they visited. It was love at first sight and the rest is history!
Today, Harry and Diana have retired (again) to Bayard, NM while Meris and her husband Seth Stout take care of the day to day operation of the ranch
A Unique New Mexico Guest Ranch
We Offer Memorable New Mexico Dude Ranch Vacations
Situated west of the Continental Divide in the mountains of southwest New Mexico, Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is located in a truly unspoiled setting, secluded and serene. We are off the power grid; electricity comes from solar arrays supplemented by generators as necessary. Cell phone coverage stops 70 miles away; your stay will be undisturbed. Our water comes from stream fed wells, and the taste is spectacular. Our cabins are attractive and comfortable, with fully equipped baths and covered porches.
The Premier Southwestern New Mexico Guest Ranch Experience
We are a small, family run guest ranch. Our objective is to provide a limited number of guests with the time and the place to slow down from the fast pace of modern life, and to share in our experience in one of the last remaining strongholds of our western heritage.
Relax after a ride or a hike and enjoy a good book from our library in one of our many swings. Savor our ranch-style cooking either in the dining hall, or at outdoor barbecues. Evenings are spent around the campfire sometimes with s’mores and sing-a-longs, line dancing, watching western movies or playing family-style games.
In our view, the weather here is as pleasant as any we have encountered, anywhere in the world. As the song goes, “the skies are not cloudy all day.”
This is your opportunity to create a lifetime memory for your family and friends.
A Stay at Our Ranch
Family Vacations in New Mexico Are Memorable at Our Dude Ranch
At Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch we treat you like one of the family. You will find solitude as well as adventure on your visit. This is a great opportunity to kick back and enjoy life on a different level.
A Unique New Mexico Guest Ranch
Horses are the Heart of Our Family Vacations in New Mexico
Whether on horseback or hiking you will enjoy some of the most beautiful, untouched country in America and learn about some incredible history here at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch! We are a small ranch (only 4 cabins) with a relaxed and personal atmosphere, located in the mountains in the beautiful Gila National Forest of southwest New Mexico.
Horseback riding here takes you through open meadows, tall ponderosa forests with an abundance of wildlife, up on high hills where the views go on forever across the 3.3 million acre National Forest, and down into deep canyons with sheer cliffs and crystal clear streams. The trails start at our backdoor and we have millions of acres to discover.
We have gentle and responsive horses good for any ability so you can enjoy the magnificent scenery from horseback. Horse owners and inexperienced riders alike enjoy our well-trained horses and we can find a good match for any riding level.
Our main focus is on trail riding: seeing the beautiful scenery from horseback, and making this a special vacation for you. No lines or schedules here! You can ride as much as you want or not at all…. the choice is yours.
Other activities that our guests enjoy are seeing 1,000 year old archeological sites right near the ranch, campfires at night (sometimes with s’mores and sing-alongs!), fantastic stargazing, unguided hiking, outdoor and indoor games, photography, swimming in the creek, or just reading a good book on one of our bench swings.
You will have a unique opportunity to discover the history of our region as we ride and hike over the same trails as the early Mimbres (200-1150AD), Geronimo and the Chiricahua Apaches, Tin Miners, Sheep Herders and even Outlaws! Along the way you will visit the border of Old Mexico, see Mimbres pictographs painted on the rock walls, climb into cliff dwellings over 1,000 years old and hold actual pieces of Mimbres pottery in your hands.
Family Vacations in New Mexico Are Simply Better Here
The ranch’s Ponderosa cabins nestled in the pines are comfortable and well-appointed with fireplaces, queen, twin and bunk beds, coffee maker, full bath/shower, sitting area, covered porches, and a cookie jar filled with homemade goodies. They are furnished in Native American style or Cowboy motif. You will have a cabin to yourself – we don’t mix groups.
Our meals are taken in the dining room or outside on our picnic tables. Some of our popular dishes include steak cookout, grilled trout, pork tenderloin, tacos and enchiladas, barbecue ribs, chicken, garden fresh vegetables, soups, sandwiches and salads, New Mexican scrambled eggs, blueberry pancakes with fruit and delicious desserts! We get many compliments on our fine dining and we can satisfy any dietary needs. We don’t have a liquor license but you are welcome to bring your own.
Our New Mexico guest ranch is open March through mid-November.