Mule Shoe Ranch Agave
Palmer Agaves in a rainbow. Beginning of the monsoon season.
Muleshoe Ranch, Galiuro Mountains
In the movie Tombstone — the 1993 version starring Val Kilmer — Charlton Heston plays Henry Hooker, a wealthy rancher who gives refuge to Doc Holliday while Wyatt Earp rides off for an epic showdown with Johnny Ringo. In real life, Henry Hooker was a wealthy rancher who bought a chunk of land originally homesteaded by Glendy King. King was a pioneer, and also an entrepreneur of sorts. His most notorious vision was to open a spa on his land in the early 1880s, which he did. As unlikely as a spa in the middle of nowhere in the days of Geronimo might sound, the property included a natural hot spring, which was enough to draw people in. However, as in all good Westerns, King was eventually gunned down, and his homestead fell into the hands of Henry Hooker. Years later, it was obtained by The Nature Conservancy.
Today, Hookers Hot Springs are still enjoyed by guests who make their way to the Conservancy's Muleshoe Ranch, and the surrounding area is great for day hikers. In addition to an incredible amount of wildlife — deer, squirrels, coatimundis, javelinas, foxes, coyotes, six species of hummingbirds, seven species of owls, and 14 species of hawks and eagles — the preserve protects seven permanently flowing streams, and the combined 12 miles of running water provides some of the best remaining aquatic habitat in the Southwest. The easiest way to experience this lush habitat is along the Bass Canyon-Hot Springs Loop.