Lyons & Campbell Ranch Headquarters

” If you’re looking for a place to be able to relax and enjoy a unique and memorable stay this is the place for you. The gate house has everything you need, spacious and very nice. There’s an 1800s Saloon that is a lot of fun to hang out at along with the pool and hot tub. Great spot to get to some incredible hikes too.”

The Lyons & Campbell Ranch Headquarters is a massive adobe hacienda constructed by Spanish soldiers in 1811. It was occupied by the Spanish, Mexicans, native Chihene N’da Apaches, and then by French and American Trappers. In the 1850s, the property briefly served as a U.S. Army depot. Ultimately, it became the headquarters for the legendary million-acre Lyons & Campbell Ranch and Cattle Empire in the 1890’s. Today, the property is an art and cultural oasis in the remote, beautiful Gila River Valley. It is a New Mexico cultural (1971) and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places (1978), with 501(c)3 since 1984.

Inn at the Lyons & Campbell Ranch

There are two apartments available. RV and camping sites are also available. Please contact them for details. Stock up on groceries in Silver City (or elsewhere) on your way to the ranch. There are no grocery stores nearby.


The Gatehouse
Sleeps 2+. Studio with king size bed and couch.

The Gatehouse

Fully renovated studio apartment with king size bed and luxurious marble bathroom

  • Sleeps 2+. Studio with king size bed and couch
  • Private marble bathroom with jacuzzi tub
  • Air conditioning
  • Full kitchen
  • Satellite TV
  • WiFi
  • Private entrance and parking area
  • Dogs allowed​ (Newfoundlands on premise)
  • The L.C. Ranch is NOT child proofed. Please do not let your children explore or wander around unsupervised. There is farm equipment, tools, construction/restoration projects underway and the swimming pool.


Bedroom in the Gatehouse.

The Bunkhouse

Newly added multi-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms

  • Sleeps 7. One bedroom with a King bed, one bedroom with a Queen and one twin,  and a queen sized couch pullout in the living room.
  • Two private bathrooms
  • Air conditioning
  • Full kitchen
  • Satellite TV
  • WiFi
  • Private entrance and parking area
  • Dogs allowed (Newfoundlands rule, not drool!)​
  • The L.C. Ranch is NOT child proofed. Please do not let your children explore or wander around unsupervised. There is farm equipment, tools, construction/restoration projects underway and the swimming pool.


Bedroom in the Bunkhouse
Bedroom in the Bunkhouse.


WiFi available in common areas

Swimming pool (May – September)

Lanai with wood-fired pizza cover, refrigerator, BBQ grill, sink, music, misters and games

Wood-fired hot tub available upon request (March – November, weather permitting)

Commercial kitchen available

Washer and dryer available on site

Historic Tour included with your stay

Saloon bar (BYOB) and pool table

Gallery bar (BYOB)

Access to croquet and horse shoes

Movie Nights in the Theater with the BIG Screen and BIG Sound!

Pool at Lyons-Campbell Ranch headquartersLyons & Campbell Ranch History

The Lyons Campbell Ranch Headquarters is rich in history dating back to 1810 when two detachments of Spanish soldiers were sent to the Gila Valley to establish a “Rancho del Paz” or “Ranch of Peace” to keep the hard-won peace with the Gileno, or Chihene Nda Apaches. This was not a Spanish land grant, but a Spanish Hacienda del Rey, a “House of the King”. They constructed a grand, walled, traditional U-shaped hacienda made from more than 100 Ponderosa pine vigas, 20,000 adobes, axe-hewn lintels, and a hand dug, rock lined 30 foot well. Everything survived other than the perimeter wall.

The 1800s were chaotic in this part of New Mexico. First, Mexico declared their Independence from Spain in the 1820s, which ignited hostilities with the resident Apaches, then the U.S. decided they wanted the land along the Rio Grande, declaring war on Mexico in 1846. Records retrieved from the Chihene’ Nda (Gileno) Apache tribe indicate there were four Apache families living at the “Rancho de la Gila” at the time. In fact, the area remained exclusively Apache territory until prospectors discovered gold in Pinos Altos in the 1860’s and the U.S. Army established Fort West in Gila in 1863. However, even with forts and settlements, the area remained hazardous until Geronimo surrendered in 1886.

Heart and Home For a Cattle Empire

Tom Lyons
Tom Lyons, cattle baron.

Tom Lyons and his partner, Angus Campbell, launched their ranching operation in the 1880s. Angus died in 1892 and Tom married Angus’ wife, Ida Campbell. They remodeled the 12-room hacienda, converting it into a large, adobe mansion, with almost 60-rooms, a mercantile, saloon, jail, post office (1905-1950), bunkhouse, blacksmith, barns, and stables. Essentially, they set up a town, much of which remains today.

Tom and Ida entertained lavishly at the headquarters and at “Lyons Lodge” in the upper Gila, two days up river by horse and wagon. The ranch was a large operation, with offices and interests spanning the globe. The cattle company was incorporated in New Jersey, with head offices in New York City, and sales outlets in California,. They raised investment capital from affluent investors on the East Coast and in England. With over one million acres, Lyons & Campbell Ranch became one of the largest ranches in the west, shipping over 30,000 head of cattle to market annually from herds of 100,000.

In total, the ranch employed up to 75 cowboys, with 100 Mexican families to farm the irrigated fields. There were over 400 riding horses and 7 trail crews with their own chuck wagons. Crews rotated back to headquarters every couple of weeks for supplies and a few days off to get laundry done, sleep in the bunkhouse, have a few drinks (or more) in the saloon, or attend one of the frequent barn dances. Lyons’ tried to anticipate the needs of his staff to keep them from straying, from the Catholic church he built for his farmers to the jail he built for wayward cowboys. The jail was also used to house criminals being transported to Silver City from Catron County and the mining town of Mogollon, a day’s ride north.

Preserving Lyons & Campbell Ranch Heritage & History

In 1917 Tom Lyons was murdered in El Paso by a hired assassin, becoming another one of New Mexico’s unsolved murders. After Lyon’s death, Ida and her daughter Isabel moved to Silver City. The ranch was broken apart, sold and re-sold numerous times. Each time it got smaller, with the historic structures deteriorating over the decades. During the great depression, a commune set up on the ranch. 50 families developed a small farm and ranching operation, using the ice factory to refrigerate their meat and produce. However, they moved on as well and the property continued to change hands until the Ocheltree family found it in 1961. It was uninhabitable at that point; however, the family was determined to restore it, starting with the frontier hacienda.

Arturo Ocheltree was a retired Grand Opera singer and avid antique collector. He and Bonnie began the arduous task of rebuilding and refurnishing the old ranch house with period art and antique furniture appropriate to the high style and era. Sixty years and four generations later, the Ocheltree family continues to look after and live in this historic treasure.

The large rock and frame building that housed the ice factory and store, built in the 1920’s, is now the Theater and Gallery.

Lyons & Campbell Ranch Headquarters

P.O. Box 202
Gila, New Mexico, 88038
(575) 535-2825


Historic tours cover all facets of the ranch, everything from the Saloon, the Jail, to Main House, Theater and Gallery. The cost is $15 per person. Tours are booked by appointment only. Please call us at (575) 535-2825.

Fun Day Trips

  • Mogollon | Silver Mining, “almost” ghost town, with about 15 full-time residents.
  • Catwalk | Great walk on a suspended bridge through the slot canyon created by Whitewater Creek.
the catwalk recreation area
The Catwalk Trail is suspended above Whitewater Creek, near the former milling town of Graham that served the nearby mining communities.

Outdoor Recreation Paradise

At 4,500 ft elevation, the valley is an oasis in the southwest and sits just below the headwaters of the Gila River and the southern tip of the Rocky Mountain range.

Gila Wilderness

The Gila National Forest includes three wilderness areas, more wilderness than any other National Forest in the Southwest. The Gila Wilderness, the world’s first designated wilderness, was created on June 3, 1924 at the at the behest of conservation pioneer Aldo Leopold. The Aldo Leopold Wilderness lies to the east.

The wilderness areas encompass a vast, road-less realm in the Black, Mogollon, Diablo, and Blue mountain ranges, with grassland foothills to juniper and ponderosa pine forests. Mountain meadows, aspen glades, and spruce forests border on narrow, rock-walled canyons which in some places plunge to depths of more than a thousand feet.

Hiking & Horseback Riding in the Gila

Hiking in the Gila is a joy as the wilderness offers complete seclusion from motor vehicles and even bicycles. Take a trip to the Turkey Creek Hot Springs (5 miles) and enjoy a soak in the numerous natural hot springs, the largest pool has a natural water slide.

Hunting in the Gila

The Gila River is an oasis in southwest New Mexico, at 4,000 feet, the Gila Valley sits at the tip of the Rocky Mountain range and attracts a wide variety of game animals including:

Big Game
Big Horn Sheep
Mule Deer
Whitetail Deer
Pronghorn Antelope
Black Bear

Mallard Duck
Sandhill Crane

Small Game
Gambels Quail



Numerous hunting guides and outfitters are available in the area. If you are bringing a group or your own guide, L.C. Ranch can provide accommodations for your party. They also have facilities to process game, with large commercial refrigeration and equipment, meat grinder, and a heated work space.

Gila river
The Gila River is the last free-flowing river in New Mexico.


Many species of fish are found in rivers and streams along the Gila River. Brown trout, rainbow trout, catfish and bass are all plentiful in this area. Bill Evans Lake is nearby, stocked with rainbow trout. It is also the location of the state record large-mouth bass.

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