Explore the most popular trails in Aldo Leopold Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I had an awesome time on this trail. I hiked it by myself and saw absolutely no other soul the whole time. Great views, especially at the top, the entire way. There’s a cabin at the top you can stay in which I thought was pretty cool. I did the whole hike in 3hrs and 28mim. One thing is i clocked it at a total of 10.29miles, I stayed on the trail the whole time, and the elevation gain was only 1,900ft. Start in the morning while it’s cool for sure! Will hike this again for sure.

3 months ago

Was a very great hike in. Very lush and green.

Awesome trail with beautiful views of surrounding area . Only made it about halfway due to a late start in the day. Will do again!

Great day hike. Our GPS put us at 10.5 miles. Great view, very nice fire watchman at the lookout. Nice trail for taking your dog. Would like to go back and spend the night.

I was 90 minutes into the hike when I came across a cinnamon bear! The bear was in a tree 20 feet from me, and he scampered down and hid in the brush. I stood still for three minutes or so. I wasn’t sure if it was a bear or a cougar, and I was reluctant to turn around because it was a good hike, but I decided discretion was better than valor and I returned to the trailhead. Nice hiking except for the bear (or mountain lion).

off trail
7 months ago

Every chance to hike in the Gila is precious but today's hike was extra special. I had planned a different hike, but when the graven road started to get dicey I pulled off at the first trailhead I saw, which was Rocky Canyon. My guidebook mentioned an interesting, off-trail hike following the stream bed to an area with a lot of caves and alcoves adjacent to the stream, so I decided to start with that. I explored this area and then headed further down the canyon. At this point, the canyon widens and the walls climb about 500 feet above the stream on either side. I was enjoying a leisurely per-amble down the stream bed when a cave on the north side of the canyon caught my eye. I thought about sticking with the easy walk along the river, but my curiosity got the better of me. I thought the cave probably hadn't been explored in some time, since it's not on a trail, its a steep climb above the river bed, and even the maintained trails in the area don't get much foot traffic. It was the right decision. On my scramble up the canyon wall, I found a pottery shard appearing to belong to the Mimbres Culture. When I reached the cave, I found two additional shards and a large piece of a bowl. I continued walking below the ridge line, scanning the ground for pottery shards. Suddenly, I heard a great commotion. I looked up and yelled out in surprise -- I had startled a large black bear, and it had scrambled up a tree. I regained my bearings (no pun intended) and took a couple steps back to admire the impressive creature. Then I took some video. The bear was obviously nervous having me there, and made a sound that seemed to be panting. I made a detour, and the bear scrambled down the tree and ran down towards the stream. I came upon some interesting rock sculptures, waterfalls, and slot canyons thereafter. On the way out, I stopped and had a nice chat with two Canadians who are biking the Continental Divide Trail through August. Saw a herd of about 15 elk on the drive out. Wilderness is special. You can't plan for these type of experiences. No amount of money will allow you to recreate them. You just have to get out and explore.

Sat Sep 29 2018

Nice hike with great photo opportunities Trail is in great condition and the grade is good for all ages , you will get some elevation with this hike

Super fun hike. My friend got elevation sickness towards the end. The rangers up at the public use cabin were very friendly and helpful. The cabin has a wood burning oven that's great for cooking and keeping warm overnight. Fire towers great for pics.

Really fun, but like one of the other commenters, I got altitude sickness. I recommend bringing some Peptobismol pills.

We took Black Range Crest trail 79 to Hillsboro Peak (10,000ft) which was 5 miles 1900ft of elevation gain , one way. We did this as a day hike which took us 5 hours and the dogs ran free off leash. What a wonderful trail with magnificent views despite burn forest due to the Silver Fire of 2013. The trail that runs off-camber either to the east or west of the central ridge. The incline is gradual. You keep walking on either side of the mountain range and crossing over saddles. This offers a different perspective of the range each time you cross over a saddle. About 3/4 of the trail is on the burnt part of the forest and is very exposed but the trail is well maintained. On the final approach to Hillsboro Peak, the last 1 mile or so offers plenty of tree cover. At the top of the peak is a fire tower which allows you to see the entire Black Range and you can see the Organ Mountains and Franklins in a distance. There is also a ranger residence, a pit toilet, and a one-room log cabin on the summit. The cabin is for overnight public use on a first-come basis. The Ranger was very nice who took us up the fire tower and pointed out the terrain surround the Peak. We didn’t see a soul on our approach to the peak. As we were coming down, we ran into a party of four that plan on spending the night on the peak. And as we approached the parking lot, a few families that were just exploring the trails by Emory Pass. All the parties we ran into had their dogs off leash and everyone was very friendly. Besides that, the rest of the hike was very secluded and quiet. There is another Black Range Crest Trail which intersects Trail 79 to the McKnight and Reed Peaks about 40 miles away. So this would be a great weeklong backpacking adventure, bagging a few peaks along the way. The Gila Forest and Aldo Leopold Wilderness is about 20 degrees cooler than El Paso and makes for a great getaway from the EP heat.

Well maintained. Does travel mostly through a old burn scar, so be careful if it’s windy.

Thu Aug 03 2017

only didn't get 5 stars because it's almost 2 miles to the river, crossing a canyon. super hike once you get to the river.

Tue Jun 13 2017

There is no trail in lower element of the loop in the canyon. It is a very picturesque box-slot for much of the way. However even a small storm upstream will be fatal if you are caught there. Be very careful attempting this part of the trail.

on Mimbres River Trail

Sun May 31 2015

We did an overnight hike along the Mimbres River during the Memorial Day weekend. During the first 2.5 miles, we were worried about the seemingly lack of a water source. Once we reached the sandy portion, however, we were relieved to see that the river wasn't dried up after all. Also note, the river is more of a stream and you have to cross it several times so be sure to douse your boots with water repellent before you hit this trail. If you're camping out at the fork, be aware that this is a wilderness home to bears, mountain lions and bobcats. The only wildlife we encountered were a group of incredibly noisy turkeys in the middle of the night. Overall, this was a nice little trip.

5 months ago

Wed Oct 04 2017

Fri Jul 28 2017