hiking

views

dog friendly

walking

nature trips

birding

wild flowers

wildlife

forest

river

kid friendly

camping

trail running

backpacking

dogs on leash

hot springs

The Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico covers 3.3 million acres. The Forest multiple wilderness areas including the Gila Wilderness which was the first officially designated wilderness in the United States of America, in addition to Aldo Leopold Wilderness and the Blue Range Wilderness. Visitors to the Gila National Forest are met with the stunning Mogollon Mountains, deep canyons, and forests of ponderosa pine and juniper woodlands. Popular activities include hiking, horseback riding, soaking in hot springs, viewing the historic gila cliff dwellings, and wildlife viewing. Within the forest you will have chances to see bald eagles, black bear, bighorn sheep, and peregrine falcons.

I took this trail with my girlfriend and it was a little bit sketchy getting there because you have to drive over river four times and I have a little four-door Honda. Regardless we made it and upon hiking in I couldn’t help but notice for the first 3 miles I felt like I was looking at the same photograph over and over. We probably would’ve continued except for the fact that the grass that grows along the trail loves to send little fox tails into your shoes which makes your feet feel like they’re being attacked by thousands of ants. I’m used to hiking some really beautiful trails in the San Gabriel Mountains in California so when I hiked this one the degree of difficulty was not there and the redundancy of the terrain was too much to bear. We turned around at 3 miles because we were bored out of our heads and our feet were on fire from the stupid stickers in our shoes. Without a doubt I will not be back to this trail.

I definitely would not rate this an easy trail..... moderate would be more accurate. I didn’t see any hot spring pools constructed in the river but if you dig around with your feet you can find some nice warm water. Stunning views overlooking the canyon.

hiking
19 days ago

This is a fun, short hike (easy). Right now, part of the trail is closed for repairs. This is a fantastic family hike!

You will have to cross the river several times, approximately 20, in winter the water is very cold.

Excellent canyon trail for day hikes and overnight backpacking. Very Narrow canyon in places with many water crossings. Be aware of weather conditions as a flash flood could be disastrous if caught in the narrows. We did a 2 nighter in late October 2018 and there was plenty of water for the first 4 miles we hiked. Seemed alot longer because of all the river crossings. Some great camps along the way and old mining ruins to explore too. Saw deer walking up the river, bear scat along the way and had a mountain lion make itself heard very near our camp on the first night. Great backpacking trip.

Nice

great day hike

Great trail, no see wildlife but lots of tracks, hikers camp at Gila river intersection is excellent. Beautiful area

great maintained trail, beautiful trees, a nice outing for most people to enjoy

Aside from the piece of shit yelling "LINDA" for an hour strait, it was pretty cool. Next time you lose someone dude, GO LOOK FOR THEM. You pretty much ruined the serenity of this spot for everyone. Expect to see a lot of people on this trail during the weekend. Hot springs are more warm than hot.

Beautiful canyon and creek. Spectacular views!! We saw javalinas and frogs. Hiked to where Gold Rush trail intersects. Had a great time playing in the waterfalls and photographing the amazing views.

Should be considered a moderate hike. Beautiful canyon. Never did find the hot springs, no pools, river was warm though. Beautiful dragonfly’s everywhere.

hiking
2 months ago

My daughter chose this trail for my friend from New Zealand and us today. We started late and it was very sunny and hot the first 3 miles. The end of the trail was lunch and some wading in The Gila.. Absolutely fantastic scenery and an easier hike back as it is mostly downhill.

Great Hike went in at 1:30pm was hot the 1st 2 miles in with no shade, then once you get past the 2 mile marker it gets better. Stayed overnight at the springs and hiked out in the AM. No snakes but did see fresh cougar tracks.

watch out for rattlesnakes, they are out there, be careful.....my fourth time out here, and its the first time we saw one , happy trails

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike in April , great scenery with the rock cliffs , we did see a mountain goat high above looking down at us . Pretty good grade coming back up out of the canyon . Will probably do this one again during cooler months

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike !!! This may be a burn scar but it’s beautiful in its own way. Lots of vegetation taking over with tons wildflowers and berries . Bushes with thorns are overtaking the trail though .
A few blowdowns to cross early on then clear to the summit . Nice manageable grade all the way. We saw a Bear that was 1/4 mile away and it took off after noticing us , must of been feeding on all of those berries. We did this hike in early July

on Dragonfly Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike for all ages , better during cooler months or overcast days because of lack of shade

hiking
2 months ago

Nice little loop hike , we went to the right at the loop so we would be going downhill thru the chasm . Nice photo opportunities with the rock formations
Lots of birds and wildflowers when we went in early September

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes , did this in mid June and we did see a Bear , it stood on its back legs to get a better look at us , but it gently meander off after seeing us . Great views with lots of wildflowers and hummingbirds

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike in early June and saw quite a few day hikers along the trail .
Probably better during cooler months due to lack of shade in sections

hiking
2 months ago

We did this hike in mid August not as shuttle but halfway in and out one week then from the other end the next week halfway in and out . Easy terrain for all ages

hiking
2 months ago

Did this hike in early September with a party of four and only saw one other hiker
This trail has a steady uphill grade to the summit with picnic table and a park type grill near fire lookout tower

Early September 2018. Great hike! We started at 2pm and got to the Hot Springs around 5:45pm after taking a few of breaks. The hike starts out with a gradual uphill for about 1 hr, then 1hr downhill into a canyon until you reach the fork of Little Bear Canyon and Middle Fork. No water in the first twi hours. Though the hard copy map shows to not cross Middle Fork yet, it seems like that trail hasn’t been used in a while, cross it and just follow it, all the way around. It then took us almost 2 hours to reach the hot springs. The only hard thing was that we didn’t know how far we were going and even though it’s all flat, you are slowed down the river crossings. Once we got there all the good flat camp spots were taken, but we found a good one nested up in the river bank, so we camp here. Went into the hot springs in the morning (very nice in the beginning, then they were warm) and then took off. We got lucky, no storms while we were there, though you could see them creeping nearby. It seems as if these thunderstorms are unpredictable. We did get stuck in a hail storm the night before but this was 30-40min out from the Visitor’s Center on highway 15. The Middle Fork water was fine, we brought aquamira drops and used them a few times. The water was clear. Note that water is used upstream. No signs of bears, cougars, nor wolves. Only birds, squirrels, and lots of frogs. Would definitely come back to do more than one night. Have fun!

excellent trail.

Absolutely stunning. Worth the river crossings and feels good after hiking for a bit. Pack hiking shoes and then sandals along with poles to help with the cross.

I loved it!

Great family hike! Got a little more adventurous where the trail has been washed out, but the views and landscape make it worth it! We will definitely be back!

It’s an interesting hike because you’re going through a diverse scenery on your way to the springs. However be warned, you will be wading through the Gila river multiple times, at least knee deep

hiking
3 months ago

This is my favorite trail in the Gilas. The trail starts out pretty exposed but once you get into the canyon there is plenty of shade. The slot canyon portion is super cool and the creek crossings were small enough to stay dry. We had our dogs off leash and we barely saw anyone until we reached the Gila River. The dogs had a blast at the river which had plenty of water. That river crossing is very significant and you will get your boots wet. We did this hike as a day hike and an out and back. The Gila River has plenty of camping opportunities and we would like to come back for an overnight trip, taking the Middle Fork trail back.

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