Seven Reasons Why You Need to Explore New Mexico’s Best-Kept Secret

Are you on the hunt for a hidden gem in Southwest New Mexico? If so, you’ve found it! The Gila National Forest is, without a doubt, New Mexico’s best-kept secret! The remarkable area spans 3.3 million acres and is best known for its rich history, fantastic diversity of flora and fauna, and breathtaking 360-degree views. In 1924 the Gila Wilderness, located within the Gila National Forest, became the first established wilderness area in the United States. It’s no wonder that this incredible Forest has become southwest New Mexico’s main attraction, and Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch offers the best way to explore it. Our expert wranglers and well-trained horses provide a fun and exciting way to experience the wonder of the Gila. For the ultimate adventure in the Gila National Forest, request a free Custom Itinerary and find out everything Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch has to offer!

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Discover New Mexico’s Best-Kept Secret in the Gila National Forest  

Magnificent Mountain and Canyon Scenery  

About 30 miles away from the ranch, the Mogollon Mountain range runs through the Gila. Its highest peaks, Mogollon Baldy and Whitewater Bald, are nearly 11,000-feet high! About 10 miles away from the ranch sits Black Mountain at an elevation of 9,303ft on the edge of the Gila Wilderness. Gaze upon all these peaks and more from atop your horse as our guided tour takes you on our “Top of the World” trail ride and then down into deep canyons with sheer cliffs and along waterways all of which make the Gila, New Mexico’s best-kept secret!

Mountain Views at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico          Horseback Riding through Canyons at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico

Not a Desert! 

Swimming in the Gila National Forest, New Mexico at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

Although you may not believe it, the Gila National Forest is home to three rivers! The San Francisco, Gila, and Mimbres Rivers are the primary water sources for wildlife in the area. During our daily excursions, we often cross various warm-spring fed creeks that feed into the East Fork of the Gila River. In several places, there are even some swimming holes deep enough to jump into on a warm day, which occurs regularly in the spring, summer, and fall! If you’ve got a fishing pole, you can catch small bass, catfish, and even the rare Gila or Apache trout! While riding along these creeks, you will travel through some of the most spectacular canyons you have ever seen, with up to 500-foot cliffs rising above you! 

Alluring Night Skies  

If you’ve always wanted to see the Milky Way Galaxy, this is your chance! At nightfall, you’ll discover one of the ranch’s best perks. All you have to do is look up! Grab a blanket, lie on one of our chaise lounge chairs, and enjoy the fantastic light show dancing above you. With some of the darkest night skies in the country and minimal light pollution, stargazing in the Gila will reveal objects in the night sky you’ve probably never seen before.

Rich History  

There are thousands of years of history in the Gila, from the Mogollon and Apache Indians to miners, mountain men, homesteaders, and ranchers. Learn about our namesake Geronimo, the famous Apache warrior. Then, view 1000-year-old cliff dwellings and pictographs from the Mimbres Culture. Even gaze upon the remains of one of the only tin mining operations in the United States. With so much land and so much history, there is much to learn in the Gila National Forest!

Peaceful Location  

The Gila is pristine and completely undeveloped. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, our ranch is located 85 miles from the nearest stoplight and operates off the grid. We generate our own electricity using solar power and pump our water from a delicious spring fed aquifer right underground. If you are looking for a Digital Detox, the Gila National Forest is the place for you!  

One-of-a-kind Flora and Fauna  

Elk, mule deer, javelina, black bear, eagles, and coyote are just a few of the animals you can observe on a trail ride. Nothing slows down time more than quietly viewing a herd of 50 or more elk at the nearby watering hole. The plant life in the area is just as diverse, with forests of cottonwoods, ponderosa pine, oak and juniper, and multitudes of wildflowers in every color.  

Gorgeous Weather  

With over 280 sunny days a year and moderate temperatures year-round, there’s no bad time to visit! We are located at an elevation of 6,500 feet, causing temperatures to swing from 30-50 degrees in one day! Warm, sunny days are perfect for horseback riding, and cool, crisp nights are ideal for gathering ‘round the campfire and getting a peaceful night’s sleep!

Ready to Experience the Gila National Forest?  

Stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch for a trip so incredible you’ll never forget it! Our authentic and personal ranch offers everything you need for a family, friend, couple, or solo getaway that is fun, unique, adventurous, and revitalizing. While you’re here, you will enjoy horseback riding, homestyle-meals, cozy cabins, bonfires, stargazing, and much more! 

If you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime, check our availability and book your stay today!