My wife, Becky, and I are the owners of Casitas de Gila Guesthouses and Art Gallery, located on Bear Creek, about four miles up Hooker Loop road into the mountains from the small community of Gila, on the western side of the Gila Wilderness, in Southwest New Mexico.
Through our Gila Nature Blog, we hope to share our personal experiences with the amazing and inspiring natural environment of the Gila Country where we live, and especially our experiences around the Casitas, with the many people who have stayed at Casitas de Gila Guesthouses or who may one day in the future be a guest here.
Casitas de Gila Guesthouses and Art Gallery opened its doors in June of 1999. In October 1998, when we first saw the place that would become Casitas de Gila, not only were there no buildings, there was no road, no power, no water, no nothing! Just raw land. Nevertheless, we knew immediately that this was exactly the place we had been looking for to create our lodging business: an area surrounded by nature and offering immediate access to the unique natural environment of the Gila Wilderness area.
The property had everything we wanted: running water in the form of year-round Bear Creek; a large flat area overlooking the creek that was perfect for the guesthouses; a secluded and quiet location, enclosed by small hills and mountains and bordering 640 acres of State land to ensure long-term privacy; and close-up views of beautiful mountains and cliffs across the canyon from the future site of the Casitas, as well as distant views of the magnificent Gila Wilderness and high mountains in the Gila National Forest just five miles to the north.
While it was love at first sight for us, we did not realize at the time exactly how unique this spot along Bear Creek really was. As the years went by and we travelled throughout the area, we came to understand how fortunate and blessed we are to have found and purchased this special piece of land. We have found nothing like it anywhere in Southwestern New Mexico.
We started out with 72 acres. Gradually over the years, as adjacent land became available, we purchased several additional parcels to preserve our view and privacy. Today the Casitas take in 265 acres of diverse habitat and topography, including three-quarters of a mile of Bear Creek and mountain land on the other side of Bear Creek that borders 640 acres of State land on three sides. All of the land remains in its natural state, with the exception of the land immediately surrounding the Casitas, our home, and the nature trails we have created so that our Casita guests can easily experience the beauty and solitude of our land.
Becky and I have worked hard over the years to create this special retreat for people who seek the solitude and inspiration of Nature. What we now refer to as the Casitas Nature Preserve is home to an abundant and diverse community of plants, birds and animals representative of the Gila area.
Our hope is that our blog will serve as an interesting and educational site for our past and future guests, as well as for others who share our fascination with the unique natural world of the Gila Country.