The Best Way to Get from Albuquerque to the Gila National Forest

New Mexico is a beautiful state filled with exciting places to visit, but if you’ve never been to the Gila National Forest, you’re missing out. Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is one of the most unique places to stay, as you’ll get an authentic dude ranch experience while exploring the vast, untouched lands of the 3.3-million-acre Gila National Forest. Part of our property’s charm is the fact that it’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. When you pair tranquility and nature in Southwest New Mexico, you’ll get a fascinating one-of-a-kind experience. So, buckle up and make the drive from Albuquerque to the Gila National Forest for a truly unforgettable trip!

Planning a big trip can be time-consuming and overwhelming, which is why we offer the option to create a free New Mexico Itinerary for your trip! Just provide us with some information on the types of activities you’re interested in, and we’ll send you a personalized itinerary to make your planning simple.


How to Get from Albuquerque to the Gila National Forest  

Take the Best Route 

The best way to get from Albuquerque to the Gila National Forest is to hop onto I-25 South towards Truth or Consequences (locally called T or C). You’ll get off the highway on exit 89, then take NM 181 South to get on to NM 52. This route takes you towards the Black Range Mountains. You will enjoy the changing scenery from high desert to high plains to the forest as you travel the Geronimo Trail National Scenic Byway and come up into the mountains to our dude ranch.

Pro-tip: Getting from Albuquerque to the Gila National Forest can be a bit tricky if you rely on your GPS, as it can be unreliable to find Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch. Our address is in Winston, NM, but the ranch itself is more than an hour away from this location, which is why it’s important for you to print out directions from our website and bring them with you. Otherwise, you may have trouble finding the property, especially once you lose cell service, which will happen as soon as you leave I-25.

What to Bring on Your Trip 

Before embarking on your drive, be sure that you’ve packed everything you’ll need for a stay on the ranch. When you venture out to Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, you’re taking a different type of vacation, so many of the conveniences of living in a more urban area will not be available to you. This means you should be extra careful to pack all the items you will need during your stay.

What to pack: 

  • Sunscreen
  • Layered clothing
  • Riding boots
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking boots

For a more comprehensive list of what to bring with you to the ranch, take a look at our dude ranch vacation packing list.

Experience the Best of New Mexico at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

A stay at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch is a totally unique experience, as you will have the chance to escape to the forest and explore the natural landscape. You will be able to unplug from the stresses of everyday life and spend the day riding horseback, hiking through the mountains, learning about the history of the area, and swimming in the creeks. With so many incredible opportunities for exploration, you’ll quickly realize that the trip from Albuquerque to the Gila National Forest was well worth it.

If you’re ready to hit the road, check our availability and book your stay. We can’t wait to show you all the wonders of the Land of Enchantment!