Gila Wilderness

In the saddle through Gila Wilderness

Tucked in New Mexico’s northwestern corner, Gila Wilderness is one of USA’s biggest and, yes, the wildest adventures. Gila is rugged, dotted with rolling hills and mountains and riddled with turquoise forest lakes. And yet, at the same time while you are wandering here, you will encounter even more natural wonders, such as semi-deserted plains or deep canyons. In terms of diversity of the landscape Gila Wilderness has almost no competition. However, if after reading all above you’re already packing for your trip here, bear in mind one: Gila IS wild – reaching this fabulous area requires some serious hiking or…horse riding. As a strictly hiking guys, we are not too enthusiastic when it comes to jumping on horse’s back, but… riding a horse in Gila is an adventure about which even we couldn’t get excited enough.

Living in a saddle

Surrounded by Mogollon Mountains – still one of the most pristine mountain ranges in the country – hilly landscapes of Gila make prefect area for horse riding tours. The whole area is so remote that until today there is no motorized-vehicle access to most of its highlight. So it is simply perfect for horse traveling. What is so special about Gila horseback tours is the way they are organized. People who are your guides are way more than just tour operators. Most of them l has lived with horses since early childhood and feel those animals like no-one else. If you are keen on cross-culture meetings, you might want to join a horse tour led by descendants of Apache Native Americans, who will teach you how to ride the and communicate with horse using their ancestors wisdom. During the tour you’ll get the opportunity to camp under the starlit sky at the elevation on 6000 ft and to meet the local wildlife in its natural habitat.
hike gila wilderness new maxico adventure

Face-to-face with wildlife

Once you’ll enter the wilderness’ trails with your horse, prepare for wildlife face-to-face meetings: you’ll highly probable to encounter elks, deer and perhaps even – mountain lion sneaking its prey far in the distance. Sitting comfortably in your saddle, you will cross the mountain streams and ride through deep valleys. Your horse will ride miles of narrow trails, sometimes only one-horse-wide to get you to most spectacular viewpoints. Remember – he’s doing the major job here, so make sure he and other animals will get enough food and rest through the journey.

Gila Wilderness horseback riding can be one of the world’s few remaining adventures that bring people and the animal together. So, if you are ready to enter the wild with backpack on your back and saddle below your ekhm..butt, this will be the most unforgettable experience!

Article by: Antonina Małowiecka
Top photo by: Gila National Forest / flickr.com
Second photo by: dedhed1950 / flickr.com

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