Gila Hot Springs is a secluded place where you can ride on the back of a horse into the mountains.
At the ranch, I enjoyed the natural hot springs pool, which was unexpectedly clean.
Doc Campbell's Post is the last gas station in the mountains on the way to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument in New Mexico.
It is a general store opened in 1963 by Doc Campbell, who was instrumental in having the dwellings of the indigenous Mogollon people established as a National Monument.
On the other side of I- 15 is Gila Hot Springs Ranch, which Doc purchased in 1940 and is still maintained by his relatives.
As the name suggests, this facility is a ranch, but it is more commonly known as an RV park.
The registration was located right after I entered the unpaved road.
The janitor lived in the nearest RV car from here.
The RV sites were set up as parallel parking on both sides of a driveway that ran parallel to the highway.
The rows of magnificent trees looked spectacular.
I asked him if it was possible to take a walk-in, but he answered it was not.
The price was $13.50 for a tenting (as of this writing), so I was surprised at how cheap it was.
Even though I was not planning to stay overnight, I paid for one night and decided to use the facilities.
I found a picnic space under a large pavilion.
This red building is an apartment for rent.
This red building was an apartment for rent.
There were three units in total, and they had kitchens.
At the back of the property was a ranch.
Horses, mules, and other livestock were kept there, and you can rent them.
Even today, riding on the backs of livestock seems to be a convenient way to penetrate the deep wilderness of the Gila National Forest.
I was told that I should have my tent near the bath house, so here I was.
Simple hot jacuzzi
Each RV site has its own hot water supply, but if you are staying in a tent and want to use it, the bath house is the only place to go.
I unlocked the first door with the code I was given when I checked in.
Two clean shower rooms on the left.
There was a second door behind them.
This was the natural hot springs jacuzzi, available for private use on a first-come, first-served basis.
The courtyard was surrounded by bricks on all sides and had a single tiled pool.
It was a minimalist space with only the equipment for the jacuzzi that could be operated freely.
The pool was initially covered with a blue tarp, which I rolled up with a roller attached to the end.
The water temp was 108 degrees F.
Hot water flowing in from the bottom of the pool and being discharged near the surface.
The nearby Gila Hot Springs Campground uses thermal water that is free-flowing at 140 degrees F.
Compared to that, this one might have some water added.
As a hot spring enthusiast, I had the impression that it was not interesting enough.
However, it would be valuable to be able to soak in a clean natural hot spring pool in this secluded location.