When Is the Best Time to Visit the Gila National Forest?

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch offers visitors an incredible setting in Southwest New Mexico. Towering Ponderosa pines, rolling mountains, blooming flowers, deep canyons and babbling creeks create a beautiful atmosphere. So, when is the best time to visit the Gila National Forest? Read on to discover our favorite seasons and activities to make the most of your adventure!

For more things to do and places to see during your trip to the Land of Enchantment, request your customized New Mexico Itinerary.

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The Best Time to Visit the Gila National Forest

For the Solo Traveler

The best time to visit the Gila National Forest for the solo adventurer is during May, September, October, and November. Small groups that are typically all adults travel here in May and throughout the fall, so it’s easy to quickly bond with other guests over shared interests in the beautiful outdoors. On average, we host about eight guests, creating a personalized experience that you won’t find at many dude ranches. Horseback riding, stargazing, and fall foliage viewing provide fantastic opportunities to make new friends in our stunning wilderness.

For more information about solo traveler experiences in Gila National Forest, check out our page outlining all of the activities and things to do during your trip!

For the Couple/Romantic Getaway Riverbend Hot Springs

Whether you’re escaping for a romantic getaway, a couples retreat, or a honeymoon, the best time to visit the Gila National Forest is in the summer. If you’re staying with us in June or July, scenic hikes through picturesque canyons with crystal-clear springs provide serene, romantic atmospheres for outdoor enthusiasts. We’ve even had a couple of proposals at the ranch! Of course, if you prefer to visit when adults typically make up the entire crowd at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, then May, September, October or November is the best time to visit! Mid to late October showcases our stunning foliage bloom, which is also a fun activity for couples.

Take advantage of our partnership with Riverbend Hot Springs in the town of Truth or Consequences. They offer a 10% discount off overnight lodging for Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch guests so that you can relax for a couple of days after your adventure in the Gila National Forest!

For the Family Reunion 

Spring Break and Summer are the times that families can get together when the kids are out of school, making these the best times to visit the Gila National Forest if you’re planning a reunion or family get-together. Mild sunny days in the spring and warm summer weather is perfect for exploring all of the hiking trails and riding through our stunning mountain wilderness on horseback. We can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests in our 4 cabins. If there are 10 or more in your group you will have our small ranch to yourselves and our undivided attention! Due to our small size, we recommend planning early and making your reservations 6-12 months in advance.

For the “Tourist”

You read all of the guide books, did all of the research, and longingly gazed at the gorgeous pictures of the Land of Enchantment for hours on end. You want that authentic New Mexico experience, and now you have the chance to visit. Whether you’re a first-timer or returning guest, the best time to visit New Mexico is during the summer. The warm weather makes it ideal for spending your days outside exploring natural wonders like White Sands National Monument or Carlsbad Caverns before returning to cooler temperatures in the mountains.

Summer festivities like the Roswell UFO Festival in July, the Santa Fe Opera concert series, the Hatch Chile Festival in August, and the Santa Fe Indian Market all offer unique and incredible experiences that are second to none in our beautiful state. There is something for everyone in the Land of Enchantment!

Must-See Attractions and Highlights During the Best Times to Visit the Gila National Forest

Spring | March, April & May

Stargazing, wildlife viewing, and hiking are some of the best things to do during the spring months. Southwest New Mexico is home to some of the darkest natural skies on the planet and spring is typically dry here, making for crystal clear night skies!. Because it is dry here in the spring, wildlife such as elk often come down to nearby Wall Lake to drink in the mornings and evenings. Enjoy a stroll down to the lake before breakfast or after dinner and you will likely be rewarded with some wonderful sightings!

Horseback Riding through Rocky Mountain Bee Plant at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, New Mexico

Summer | June, July, & August

Elk calves, swimming, and wildflowers are some of our favorite things about summer! In June, you will be treated to seeing herds of cow elk with their newborn calves. The “mewing” sound they make to each other is unlike anything you have ever experienced. Warm spring-fed creeks (no ice-cold water here!) make for perfect dips to cool off on a warm summer day! In July and August, we get a few afternoon showers and the wildflowers really start to pop with fields of Firewheel Blanket Flower, Prickly Poppy, Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, and Golden Crownbeard.

Fall | September, October, & November

The weather remains beautiful here in the fall, and you can look forward to the gentle changing of seasons. In early September, wildflowers still abound. As the fall rut begins, you will hear the unearthly cries of the bull elk bugling their mating call. In mid-October, colors begin to change with golden cottonwood trees, bright yellow-orange Gambles oak, red sage, and thicket creeper!

Discover the Beauty of Every Season at Geronimo Trail Guest RanchCowboy room with four beds

No matter what season you plan your New Mexico getaway, you can always look forward to a one-of-a-kind experience at our ranch! We are open from March through mid-November, so what are you waiting for? The season is calling, and your adventure of a lifetime awaits! 

Start planning your New Mexico getaway today by checking our availability and booking today! We look forward to welcoming you to our ranch.