Gila Wilderness Guide



“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” –John Muir



The land in southwestern New Mexico is remarkably rich and diverse. It is blessed with magnificent vistas to see, incredible drives, a multitude of outdoor adventure opportunities, and ample resources utilized by ranchers and miners as well. This rich legacy includes the Gila National Forest, Gila Wilderness, BLM land, numerous state parks and historic sites.


Come hiking in Grant County! You’ll marvel at this unique country. Shear volcanic cliffs tower above river corridors. Pinnacles of rock rise from the mountainsides like dragons teeth. Hidden springs provide a focal point for wildlife and the activities of ancient peoples and frontier miners. Grasslands and pinon/juniper woodlands skirt the mountains. Pine and aspen forests grace the peaks. Blue mountains blend into blue skies on the horizon. Read more about hiking in Grant County.


Today there are three main areas where climbing takes place. Cherry Creek, north of Pinos Altos, Saddle Rock west of Silver City, and the Cobre Mountains to the east, reaching from the Kneeling Nun in the north and to the City of Rocks State Park in the south. There are also a number of lesser known, more esoteric areas scattered through the region. And probably many more awaiting discovery. Read more about climbing in Grant County.


Camping opportunities abound in southwestern New Mexico, both on public land and in private campgrounds. Tremendous camping opportunities can be found on public lands throughout New Mexico. These include developed campgrounds–some simpler, and some with many creature comforts–and primitive, dispersed camping opportunities, which can be found in a wide variety of backcountry environments — from the wide open high plains and deserts of southern New Mexico to the alpine mountains of northern New Mexico. Read more about camping in Grant County.


Joe Saenz – Horseback Outfitter & Guide:  Join Joe Saenz, an amazing Apache guide on an interpretive horseback trip through the Gila, exploring ancient Native American sites and
abundant wildlife.

Joe Kenneally – Backcountry Guide: Joe Kenneally knows the Gila Wilderness like few others and will pack you into the heart of it in authentic but stylish ‘mountain man’ backcountry style.

Leah Gray Jones–Gila Wilderness Ventures: Here is a horseback trip packed with fun for everyone, from the novice to the accomplished rider. Join Leah Gray Jones for the best adventure you’ll ever have!

Gila Backcountry Services: Jack and Jamie Crockett keep their headquarter at Gila Hot Springs, surrounded by the wilderness. Friendly, professional, experienced guides and sturdy pack animals can help maximize your time and enjoyment during your visit to the Gila.

Gila Hot Springs Ranch: Family owned and operated since 1940, we offer many options that will allow you to explore the Gila Wilderness and are committed to making sure that you have an unforgettable experience. All skill levels welcome.

Gila Wilderness Expeditions: Offering an opportunity for you to to combine your love of nature with your passion for horses! On this horseback wilderness adventure your trails are made, not followed!

Great West Trail provides full service Base Camps for Southwest New Mexico back-country travelers – in the best tradition of American-style outfitting. Our company was developed by expert backpackers and guides who have lived in New Mexico for many years.