Tuesday ยท July 11, 2023
Gila National Forest: Top Horse Trails | July 2023
Author: Admin

The Gila National Forest, located in southwestern New Mexico, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, including horseback riders. With its vast landscape, diverse terrain, and breathtaking views, the forest offers numerous trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. Here are the top horse trails in the Gila National Forest that are worth exploring.


1. Middle Fork Gila River Trail:

One of the premier horse trails in the Gila National Forest is the Middle Fork Gila River Trail. This 24-mile trail takes riders through lush meadows, towering ponderosa pines, and stunning wilderness. Along the way, you'll also pass by hot springs, rock formations, and the historic Gila Cliff Dwellings. The trail can be a multi-day adventure, with camping spots available to spend the night.


2. Mogollon Box Rim Trail:

For those seeking a more challenging trail, the Mogollon Box Rim Trail fits the bill. This 15-mile loop takes riders to the rim of Mogollon Box, offering breathtaking views of the rugged canyon walls and the Gila River below. The trail is known for its steep and rocky sections, which will require experienced riders and surefooted horses. However, the rewards of the stunning vistas make it all worthwhile.


3. Cherry Creek Loop Trail:

The Cherry Creek Loop Trail is another popular horse trail in the Gila National Forest. Stretching for 14 miles, this loop trail offers riders a diverse landscape to explore. From open meadows to narrow canyons and breathtaking overlooks, the Cherry Creek Loop Trail has it all. Riders will also have the chance to camp near the creek and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of the forest.


4. Grapevine Campground Trail:

Ideal for a day ride, the Grapevine Campground Trail takes riders on a 23-mile loop through varied terrain. This trail offers stunning views of the Gila River Valley, meadows filled with wildflowers, and the surrounding mountains. Along the way, riders may spot wildlife such as deer, elk, or even a black bear. Grapevine Campground Trail is suitable for riders of all levels, making it a great option for families or beginners.


5. TJ Corral Trail:

Located near Silver City, the TJ Corral Trail provides riders with a unique equestrian experience. This 10-mile trail meanders through the foothills of the Gila National Forest, offering panoramic views of Silver City and the surrounding countryside. You'll ride through desert-like landscapes dotted with prickly pear cacti, junipers, and yucca plants. The trail also features several historical ranching sites, adding to its charm.


Before setting off on any of these trails, it's essential to plan ahead and be prepared. Ensure you have proper riding gear, including a comfortable saddle, suitable horse shoes, and adequate water and food supplies. Additionally, always check weather conditions and trail regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.


Whether you're an experienced rider or a beginner, the Gila National Forest offers a multitude of horse trails to suit every preference. From challenging loops to serene landscapes, these top horse trails provide an unforgettable equestrian adventure amidst the natural beauty of southwestern New Mexico. So saddle up, explore the Gila National Forest, and take in the splendor that awaits on these incredible horse trails.