Gila National Forest
Due to the Covid-19 virus, it is recommended that you periodically check with the local Forest Service for possible closures.
One of the best benefits of spending your time in one of our cabins or guesthouses at New Mexico Cabin Rentals is our proximity to many of southwest New Mexico's most interesting, unique attractions! In addition to having some of the best year-round weather in every season, New Mexico offers everything from Old West history, delicious food in a variety of restaurant venues, Ancient Native American monuments and sacred sites, uniquely beautiful natural wonders of nature, and the 3 million acre Gila National Forest! In any direction, north, south, east or west, you have interesting places to go, adventurous things to see and do - all within a few hours or day trip drive!
Being the sixth largest national forest in the United States there's 2,700,000 acres to explore! The Aldo Leopold Wilderness and Blue Range Wilderness are included within its boundaries. Impossible to ever run out of astonishing vistas! Bring your own horse - the very best 4x4 in existence. We've got self care stalls, pens and corrals with automatic water, an event sized arena and wash rack. Bring your own feed and current coggins test. Covered stalls: $10/night, per horse; pen or corral $5/night per horse.
For nearly 6,000 years, groups of nomadic people used the caves of Bear Creek at the Double E Ranch and the Gila River as shelter. Sometime around the late 1200's, members of the Mogollon Culture decided it would be a good place and to call home. For a brief 20 years, they constructed walls, built rooms, created pottery and artwork and raised children in these cliff dwellings. With no concrete explanation, the Mogollon people disappeared. Speculation about what actually happened is really unknown for certain. The Gila Cliff Dwellings is a magnificent example of Mogollon / Mimbres culture, creativity and ingenuity.
From New Mexico Cabin Rentals, the driving time to the Gila Cliff Dwellings is approximately 2 hours 10 minutes. Once on Highway 180, drive to Silver City and pick up NM 15. It's not the distance so much as it is the mountainous, curving, winding NM 15. So, leave yourself adequate time and enjoy the ride! Rule #1: don't rush! You're in New Mexico!! Rule #2: don't rush! You're in New Mexico!
From NM 15 in Silver City to Piños Altos is 18 miles. If you need supplies, food, water, pit stop -- make it here! Although you are only 37 miles from your destination, you'll begin driving the mountainous, winding road into the Cliff Dwellings and (if you do the speed limit) will still take you 1 hour 15 minutes.
A few important items to keep in mind:
It's a good idea to check with the local Forest Service office to make certain your area of interest is open for visitors, times, possible entry fee (575) 388-8201).
Whether it's to explore areas of the Gila Forest, hiking trails, hot springs, the Cliff Dwellings National Monument, Mogollon mining/ghost town, the Catwalk in Glenwood, Lake Roberts - and hundreds of other options - always remember to carry plenty of water and maybe even a lunch. NO cell phone coverage throughout most Gila Forest and Wilderness areas. It's a good idea to leave a note or tell someone where you are headed and what time you plan to return.
Our elevation begins at 4800'. Depending on your destination, increases to as high as 9,000'. Weather CAN change dramatically. It doesn't hurt to check local and area weather forecasts and plan wardrobe changes accordingly.
Fees to enter Gila Cliff Dwellings National Park: $10/day per adult; youth under 15 enter free.