Have an Adventure. Visit great cities and countries far away. It’s important to travel. However, I often think, that exploring one’s own back yard is a lost art form.
Recently, I had a great pleasure of doing just that. I adventured into the Gila National Forrest in Southern New Mexico. The desert’s beauty sometimes gets lost in the heat and muted colors. For those that dare to see beyond that, a desert is truly an enchanting place. Filled with wildlife, hidden treasures, and miles of mountains, valleys, and places waiting to be explored. The Gila is the 6th largest national forest in the US. Housing the Gila cliff dwellings, 3 hot springs, a range of desert terrain and many hidden oases. Entwining vast landscape of the forest is the Gila River. The river crosses at three pinnacle points; the west fork, the middle fork, and the east fork. All of which boast wonderful hiking, water activities and more.
For my visit into the forest, I had my heart set on exploring the middle fork of the Gila. Near the middle fork, there is Light Feather Hot Springs. Unfortunately, when I ventured to middle fork, the water was high from recent rains. Making the multiple river crossings needed to get there to treacherous. However, if you enjoy hiking, or simply love a nature excursion, the journey is a must. The hike to the middle fork, is a 1.4-mile journey, depending on where you start and is rated at a medium difficulty. (It can be very difficult if you wander in without enough water. It’s essential to stay hydrated).
If you have never been to New Mexico, one thing you will discover is our skies are unlike any other. During the day, the skies are the clearest blue. In the evening they reveal our sunsets of golden oranges and burning reds. Hiking in the midst of the Gila, you will find that the combination of old volcanic activity is very striking against those clear blue skies, which are made even more magical at night. Sleeping under the stars is an unbelievable experience, especially when you are able to do so, camping along the middle fork of the Gila River. (I must admit is on my bucket list).
Now, if you are reading this, and thinking one large river doesn’t get you enough of a water fix, then I highly encourage you to visit Robert’s Lake. This lake is primarily used for fishing. However, you are allowed to Kayak. Since this lake, isn’t exceptionally large and hosts calm waters it’s wonderful for beginners. The scenery is lovely as well. For those of you that enjoy snapping everything in your path. Sitting in the middle of Robert’s Lake in a Kayak is one view you will fall in love with.
No matter, how you choose to adventure, New Mexico, offers endless possibilities. I wish you all wonderful new discoveries and many memories.