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“A Once in A Lifetime Vacation”

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Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch
Reviewed April 27, 2008

Three hours from the nearest town sits this wonderful, family owned ranch in the middle of towering ponderosas. Our family of five was quickly taken away from our suburban life to that of the wilderness. We rode horseback to the top of the canyon and through the wilderness, found pieces of ancient Indian pottery and pictographs, watched galloping elk, ate delicious family-style meals, played cards, listened to the stories of the wild west and enjoyed the hospitality of all. A terrific family experience! Tabitha and Dan entertained us all with their horsemanship, stories, games and photography. Meris welcomed us with her warmth before we even arrived. Diana and Harry led us on a great archeological tour not to mention the Harry's drumming and Diana's art work. Laurie cooked delicious meals and Gary shared stories. There's not a better way to see the Gila National Wilderness or southwest New Mexico.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with family
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Thank ilovetravelboston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 - 96 of 96 reviews

Reviewed October 19, 2007

Now that we've been to Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, we can attest that their website was very informative and accurate, so scour that site as you plan your vacation.

My sister and I loved every bit of this experience, although we understood what we were in for: This is a small family-run ranch, and not a luxury resort. There was no pool or sauna and being off-the-electrical-grid, you are requested to watch your electricity usage. There is no cell-phone service or access to the internet. These sound like disadvantages, but you really get a mental vacation by being so inaccessible, and instead immersed in nature and face-to-face interaction.

The accomodations were very comfortable (loved our very clean cabin, warmed by a gas stove and comfy decor, stocked with fresh cookies and an assortment of teas), the meals fantastic, the hospitality very genuine and the riding tame but superb. The current wranglers have personally built up the herd and are very protective of their safety, so there is no trotting or cantering on the rocky/hilly trails, which could be treacherous even with very experienced riders. Although we didn't partake, we could have done barrel racing in the ring.

Petting the dogs, the miniature horses and donkeys, and conversing on the porch were the activities of choice in-between meals and riding. The campfire and gaping at the night sky were the last activities before falling into bed each night.

Scenery was just gorgeous. We saw indian ruins, old homesteads, red-tailed hawks, cattle, cacti, flowers and rock formations, and rode on top of ridges, between canyon walls, and through streams.

As long as you understand the limitations of the long drive in from "civilization", and the lack of certain amenities, this is a wonderful ranch for a true vacation.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with family
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1  Thank KatiesPal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2007

We loved the Geronimo Trail Ranch. The Massies were excellent hosts, lodging was right on for a guest ranch, and the horses were well-taken care of and well-prepared for the rough terrain that rookie riders took on during our stay there. Our kids, 19, 16, and 11 got along great at this very quaint ranch. It's not a resort. You go if you love the wilderness and have spirit of adventure. We had never traveled to the southwest and loved the going from the desert over the Continental Divide into the Southern Rockies with the huge Ponderosa Pines and the great vistas. This place is off the beaten path. You actually travel on a dirt "highway" to this special place where there is no cell reception and electricity is generated by the sun and by a generator. This doesn't mean it isn't comfortable and you have all you need. It hard to expain but it is just what we were looking for--a ranch without the rodeos and the made-up fun. We had fun together and really enjoyed learning about the Apache Indians and the tin miners that once called this beautiful wilderness home.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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Thank yogadea03
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Griswold, IA
Reviewed October 17, 2005

Last August I took my family on a riding vacation to the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. My wife and had had both ridden a little and our two children (Boy age 10 and Girl age 12) have had lessons off and on for the past two years. We were looking for a real Western adventure and a chance to expose the children to the beauty of nature.

We flew into Albuquerque and it was a two hour drive to Truth or Consequences and then another two hours of mountain driving to the ranch. Although the road was slow going, we enjoyed spectacular views of mountains and canyons. We even spotted a massive bull elk in one of the valleys.

We arrived at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch at about 4:30 in the afternoon and were warmly greeted by the owners, John & Linda Massie and the wranglers, Dan & Tabitha Holland. We were escorted to our cabin which was very roomy and comfortable. It was decorated with a western motif including steel cowboy art, branding irons and southwest bedspreads. The kids made short work of some delicious homemade cookies in the cookie jar, I sat on the covered porch while my wife unpacked and settled in to our home away from home for a week.

The kids were anxious to meet the horses so Dan & Tabitha took them down to the corrals and introduced them to their mounts for the week. Adam got a pretty bay gelding called Morgan and Sara would be riding a sweet little appaloosa mare named Shortcake. Everyone helped feed the horses their hay and we petted the miniature horses (not even knee high!) Before we knew it, the dinner bell rang and we all marched up the dining hall. We gorged ourselves on grilled steak with baked potatoes and salad, when we thought we could eat no more Linda brought out cherry cobbler with ice cream. This was to be the first of many fantastic meals which included salmon with mango salsa, baked pork chops, enchiladas and rice with a colorful and tasty array of desserts and sweets. We never went hungry and the kids were always accommodated if they preferred something different.

The next morning, we saddled up and rode through some of the most amazing and untouched country I have ever seen! Our horses were steady and trustworthy and handled the rough terrain like pros. The history associated with the area made the riding even more fun. The wranglers were very knowledgeable and pointed out various plants and trees and had great stories. We rode past an old homestead where outlaws had killed the owner and eventually lost the property in a card game. Then, we made our way up a steep canyon and had an incredible view of the Gila River and the border of Old Mexico. My wife was a little nervous about making our decent into the canyon but her horse, Rio, never faltered and we were soon at the bottom. We were all amazed that we had managed to tackle the ride and we smiled and laughed as well looked up to where we had ridden for the past two hours.

From there, we followed the river another 20 minutes or so where we tied up the horses and enjoyed a picnic lunch of chips and sandwiches with cookies. Soon, we remounted and followed the river another 2 hours home. The scenery was unbelievable! The walls of the canyon stretched up 200-300 above us and we splashed through the river many times along the trail. It was fun to think about riding over the same territory as Billy the Kid and Geronimo.

The rest of the week was followed by more of the same, we were able to ride as little or as much as we wanted. Also, we decided when we wanted to ride or hike or eat. It was a very nice departure from a tourist type guest ranch where everything is scheduled and planned for you. We rode over all kinds of different landscapes including flat green mesas, high on top of the mountains, following the river in the canyons and through fields of wildflowers. One day, we all enjoyed a treasure hunt where we followed a map and had to solve riddles until we came to a real Native American dwelling where a “treasure” of gold coins, bandannas and other goodies awaited us. The kids had a great time! Besides the riding and hiking, we enjoyed playing cards and sitting around the campfire. Dan taught Adam & Sara how to twirl a lariat rope and rope a “cow“. We also had a mock rodeo where we played games and competed on horseback.

One of my favorite parts of our stay was our hike to the Native American dwellings. We all climbed in and out of the homes built into rock walls. We could see where their fires once burned and were amazed by the writings and pictures on the walls. We found pieces of black and white Mimbrenos pottery . The whole experience gave all of us a new appreciation for the history of the Native Americans.

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is truly a very special place. I cannot say enough about the hospitality of the owners and wranglers. We came strangers and left as friends. For one week we were able to escape the reality of our day to day lives. We no longer cared what time or what day it was. We were simply able to enjoy each other and the hospitality of our hosts. We felt like real Western cowboys and the kids did not want to leave. I am sure we will come back and I would highly recommend the ranch to anyone who wants to create a special memory with their family or friends.

7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2015
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  • Stayed: April 2015, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank maribell p
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
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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