Geronimo Trail


October 7th 2006


Southwestern New Mexico into southeastern Arizona, over the Peloncillo Mountains







After spending a week on a trip in extreme southwestern New Mexico, weather blew in and prompted me to head out. I decided to drive the Geronimo Trail over the Peloncillo Mountains on my way back to Phoenix.

This north-south oriented mountain range is about as rural as you can get in the USA. They extend south into Mexico and join the Sierra Madre Occidental. The last American Indian to surrender to the United States was the great Apache leader, Geronimo, in 1886 in the Peloncillo Mountains.

Nowadays, a few large ranches are found on either side of the range and besides some cattle, some fencing, and a few dirt roads, this range is basically wilderness. It serves as a wildlife corridor for many large species, including the elusive jaguar. The northernmost extent of this neotropical species' range is in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Fourth generation rancher, Warner Glenn, photographed a jaguar in the wild for the first time in the Unites States in 1996 in the Peloncillos. His harrowing account of the lion hunt that found a jaguar was chronicled in his book, Eyes of Fire,Encounter with a Borderlands Jaguar.

There is just so much history in this area and I've always wanted to explore here. Sadly, today was just a day-drive over the range in inclement weather. I snapped a few pictures of the rugged landscape and stopped and read a few historical markers. This little drive just wet my appetite. I plan to do some backpacking in this area next year, maybe finding my own wild jaguar.



On the Arizona side I found a gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) crossing the road. They are really cool lizards.


I made my way to Douglas, then on up to Phoenix. I'm looking forward to taking a real trip to explore the Peloncillos soon. :)


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