5 Common Misconceptions About the Gila National Forest

Gila National ForestWe often hear 5 common misconceptions about the Gila National Forest. Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is here to set you straight! There are many misconceptions out there about New Mexico dude ranches and what you envision when you think of a dude ranch in New Mexico. We work hard to dispel those notions and show people a world they never would have thought existed down in the Southwestern corner of New Mexico. After a stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, we often hear guests remark on how surprised they were by New Mexico and the Gila National Forest in particular. 

Gila National Forest#1: It’s Too Hot!

First, the common assumption is that New Mexico is hot and dry, especially in the summer. However, we are located at 6,500 feet elevation and enjoy very temperate weather year-round. Summer days are pleasantly dry (low humidity!) and comfortably warm, while mountain evenings are cool and crisp. The low humidity means that the evenings are brilliantly starlit. Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is open from March through November, so guests can experience our mild and sunny spring and fall days. In fact, New Mexico averages 275 days a year with sun, with the sky a deep New Mexico turquoise blue. 

#2: It’s A Flat Desert!Gila National Forest

Second, people envision New Mexico as a monotonous brown desert landscape. However, this is where the Rockies begin. If you drive on either of the two main interstates in New Mexico you would never know that there is a 3.3 million acre forest tucked away in southwestern New Mexico! The Gila National Forest is readily accessible, right outside the gates of our New Mexico guest ranch. As a guest, you will ride through deep canyons and to mountain overlooks. Of course, one of the main attractions in our area is the crystal clear, warm-spring fed streams that course through the canyons. It’s beautiful to see such lush vegetation and it’s an added bonus to be able to hop in and swim around on those warm summer days!

5 Common Misconceptions About the Gila National Forest

Gila National Forest#3: It’s a Forgotten Land!

Third, in such a serene setting, people assume that the Gila National Forest is untouched by the hands of time. However, the history of the area is vast, and it plays a key role in the history of our country. This area has a rich and fascinating history dating back thousands of years. The Mimbres people were here from 200-1150 AD and you can explore pit houses, cliff dwellings, pictographs, pottery shards, and other artifacts of their culture. As our namesake suggests, this is also Geronimo country. The famous Apache warrior lived and fought here. The mountains, canyons, and forests provided protection for Geronimo and his warriors. Many more facets of history are tucked away in the Gila National Forest and we love to show them to you!

#4: It’s Not That Big!Gila National Forest

Did you know New Mexico is the fifth largest state? The sheer size of just the Gila National Forest itself astounds people (it’s bigger than some states!) The Gila is a paradise for those seeking solitude and escape from modern society’s busy lifestyle. 85 miles from the nearest stoplight, evidence of the intrusion of modern man is virtually absent. The Gila and the Aldo Leopold Wildernesses together comprise over 750,000 acres. That is over 1,000 square miles of some of the most beautiful, unspoiled country in the world. The wilderness areas in turn are located within the Gila National Forest, which at 3.3 million acres is one of the largest tracts of public land in the country – accessible right out our back door.

Gila National Forest#5: It Can’t Be That Great, I’ve Never Heard of It!

Finally, while most of our guests arrive unaware of the Gila National Forest, they leave singing its praises. The Gila National Forest is truly a hidden gem in New Mexico. We have hosted guests from all over the world and pride ourselves on offering a uniquely tailored experience. We are a small ranch (only 4 cabins) and our main focus is on trail riding. With a relaxed and personal atmosphere, Geronimo Trail offers you the chance to explore the Gila at your own pace. Our gentle and responsive horses are good for any ability so you can enjoy the magnificent scenery from horseback.

So book your adventure today and see for yourself how the 5 common misconceptions about the Gila National Forest are simply not true!