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“If you like to trailride in spectacular scenery, this is it”

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Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch
Reviewed January 9, 2012

I was at Geronimo for the same week in early November as the reviewer, Slorben. It was my third guest ranch vacation in three years. When people ask what I like about guest ranch vacations, I answer that I ride for the scenery and the sense of being way out in the great, peaceful outdoors; getting to places you can't see from a car or even on foot unless you've got a lot of time and inclination for strenuous hiking. Geronimo satisfied that urge better than my previous ranches and I thought they were great at the time. We rode to high overlooks, down through narrow canyons, in mountain meadows, across warm spring-fed streams; sometimes all on one ride. Sometimes, we were on no discernable trail at all. As Slorben said, we could ride side-by-side where the terrain allowed and were free to change riding order or stretch out the line whenever we wanted. If we got too strung out, those in front would stop and wait til we bunched up again. It was more like riding with famiy and friends than a business.

My cabin was adequate, the bed comfortable. The food was very good, varied and plentiful, very plentiful. Evening and free-time entertainment was low-key, the sort I might enjoy with a group of friends; nothng fancy or extravagant; and I was free to take a book and go off by myself anytime I wanted. My gracious hosts and the wonderful staff obviously took seriously their goal of making sure all of their guests have wonderful memories to take home. All in all, a fantastic relaxing time spent way out in the beautiful back of beyond.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank viclee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 9, 2012

I stayed one week in early November 2011 on the Ranch and I enjoyed it a lot!
The ranch, surrounded by pure nature is truely a heavenly place on earth. And the Esterly family and their staff are like angels making sure that you are spending an enjoyable time.
Thank you Harry, Diana, Meris, Seth, Britany and Tishena!
Check my pictures...I actually wanted to upload more pictures because they say more than thousand words but it's limited to 10 pics.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Cateye7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2011

We stayed a week in early November at the Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch. The feeling was just like visiting some newly discovered relatives who happen to own a ranch in heavenly surroundings, with a lot of horses too. You live in your own cabin but ride together, eat together, sit at the campfire, dance, play games and more.

The ranch is owned and operated by the Esterly family: Harry, Diane and Meris. And the story about them being where they are is a good one: Harry and Diane comfortably retired, living on the profits of a sold company. Meris was in college, working as a dude ranch wrangler on the summer holidays. However comfortable life was, Harry and Diane decided to leave Maine and retirement to become western ranch owners. Amazing.

This was four years ago and the ranch is open for guests March to November. Only few at a time. Their were five guests in total the week we stayed, our family of three plus a swiss lady and an american lady. 15 guests is their high score. There are no fixed dates, Diane tries to find solutions to fit guests and give family and staff guest free days in between.

Guest rooms are in two cabins with a total o three apartments. Guests from different groups never share apartment, so we stayed in the largest and the two lone ladies in the other two. Our cabin was roomy and rustique. Wood panel, a gas stove as only heat source and a functional bathroom with shower. Room is not cleaned during your stay and you make your own bed. Snacks and coffee maker are complimentary. Welcoming and cozy – zero luxury. The roomy porch features a classic hanging sofa. Perfect for a post ride beer.

The ranch does not have a liqour license, but you are welcome to bring your own. Whatever you like to consume wherever you want.

Three very rich meals are served daily. Warm breakfast, lunch and dinner – prepared by ranch cook and handyman Seth. Food is good homecooking classic style. Again, no luxury, just good food – as much as you want. And good company from the Esterlys and the staff.

Riding is very relaxed and in absolutely spectacular surroundings. You are at 6,000 feet and above with hills, mountains, canyons, creeks, streams grass fields, woods and more. You also pass 1,000 year old cliff dwellings, rock paintings and other remains of the Mimbres culture. You are either out for a long pic-nic ride (10-4, cold lunch) or two rides with a ranch lunch in between. You are guided by Meris who knows everything about flora and fauna, tracks, droppings on the trail and more. Diane is also a great source of knowledge.

Do not expect challenging riding. You will be walking, most ot the time nose-to-tail. However you are at liberty to ride side-by-side whenever terrain is suitable. You can also change place in the line freely – good for a variety in conversation. We also did some loping on each ride. At most for five minutes in total. As an experienced rider, I just sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the scenery and company.

The horses are a variety of breeds and sizes – but the ones we had were all great. Head wrangler Meris managed to accomodate our wishes: I wanted a spirited horse, my daughter something in between and my wife a cool character. We got just that. For fun, I asked to ride the large draught horse on the last day, and that was no problem.

We had one long session in the arena, when wrangler Britany guided us through barrels, flag games and even some jumping! We had loads of fun!

Neither the Esterlys nor the staff turn in early. You will be entertained with parlour games by the table, campfire cowboy songs or dancing lessons. Amazingly this packed schedule never feels stressful, only totally relaxing.

As said before, all the staff were wonderful. But wrangler Britany Filson deserves a special mentioning. Here we have the energizer cowboy who keeps a smile on from early morning to late night. An expert in horses and riding, skilful with the guitar and at country dancing. Teaching horse show throwing or roping in spare time and taking our daughter on the 4-wheeler to feed horses. I could recommend booking a ranch stay just because of Britany being there.

All in all, we had a great time. Will we go back? Probably not. Some memories are so good they should be left undisturbed.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Slorben
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2011

Just returned from 5 days of riding at Geronimo. Been to many states; this is the BEST place to ride and stay! Family friendly people; excellent food; good stable horses; good equipment and the riding is spectacular! Wranglers there to help but not to "boss" the guests. Could not be more pleased with the accomodations, the pace and the attentiveness of this family run business. They obviously enjoy being in the hospitality business! Rooms are comfortable; scenery the finest you will experience from easy sandly trails along a running stream to strenuous hiking to "top of the world"; the canyons are magnificent to ride through. Cannot wait to go back, again and again. The Gila Wilderness has so much to see. This beats AZ, Montana and many other western states.

Room Tip: Three cabins; varied accomodations; nothing luxurious but good, comfortable,clean and a good nights...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled solo
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2  Thank Tony G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2011

One of the best (and safest) ways to see this gem of a wilderness area is on horseback and the horses here are top notch - very kind and willing. If you're not used to horseback riding, especially Western, exercise or ride a few times before going (or buy yourself a gel seatsaver!) The park is good for spotting wildlife, exploring ancient Native American remains, photography and the wilderness experience.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank TheGreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2011

My daughter and I were able to spend four days of quality time together in the great outdoors of New Mexico. The ranch opened their arms to us, providing us with good accomodations, great horses, breathtaking scenery and outstanding food. It was provided at a pace that met our needs, not too much or to little. The Ranch owners and wranglers were very friendly and accomodating and provided a wealth of knowledge of the local history, which was quite fascinating. If you like the outdoors, want to get away from it all, no cell phones, internet or television, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Butch48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 20, 2010

We had a perfect 1 week stay at Geronimo Trails. It felt like a visit with good friends who happen to live in a gorgeous place, have great horses, and want nothing more than for you to have a good time.

Highlights:

Staff: Five, including the owners Harry and Diana, their charming daughter Meris the head wrangler, Seth the chef, and Clinton, the assistant wrangler. All the staff members are welcoming, informative, with special individual talents and a great sense of humor.

Location: Wild and beautiful, Clear streams flow through green grass in deep canyons. Views to the Mogollon Mountains and the Black Range from high points like “The top of the World”. Fascinating history. Stars spread across the night sky in a shining blanket. Full access possible through arrangements with the Forest Service and Ray Fowler, the main private landowner in the area.

Food: Chef Seth raises the bar for “home-style” cooking. Feather light biscuits, delicate corn pudding, the most flavorful meatloaf imaginable and a lineup of “to die for” desserts. Meals are varied, abundant, healthful (many fruits and vegetables) and absolutely delicious.

Accommodations: clean, homey, quiet. Comfortable beds. Ample heat, hot water and electricity. 50% of the power for the ranch is generated by solar panels

Riding: Wonderful horses, sensible and willing. Opportunities to trot and lope. Ride as much or little as you wish; Twice a day or all-day picnic rides. Spectacular trips with little repetition. Excellent wranglers assure safety without being restrictive.

Other activities: Taking a dip in a pristine swimming hole warmed by hidden hot springs. Exploring 1000 year old Mimbres Indian settlements; finding pictographs and pottery shards. Picking wild canyon grapes. Singing around the campfire. Sharing stories and laughing.

Geronimo Trails offers wilderness, peace, great riding, excellent food and staff who quickly become friends. For us there were no negatives.
It is a very special place for a vacation.

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Ossicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

Address: 1 Wall Lake Rd, Winston, NM 87943-9000
Phone Number:
Location: United States > New Mexico > Sierra County > Winston
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Winston
Price Range: $125 - $190 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is a real western adventure! Horseback riding or hiking takes guests through open meadows, tall ponderosa forests, up on high hills where the views go on forever, and down into deep canyons with sheer cliffs and crystal clear streams. From the "Top of the World" guests can view the 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest, Aldo Leopold and Gila Wildernesses. Elk, mule deer, wild turkey, javelina and other wildlife abound. Pit houses, Cliff Dwellings, and Pictographs (rock art) of the earliest inhabitants, the Mimbres (750-1150 AD) to explore in the immediate vicinity. This is the land Geronimo and the Apaches roamed. Outstanding gentle and responsive horses for every ability. Comfortable, attractive accommodations, warm hospitality, relaxed atmosphere, great food. Come enjoy the peace and quiet at our small ranch! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch Hotel Winston

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