Explore the most popular wild flowers trails in Gila National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
7 days ago

Easy to find. A sign off Hwy 180 directs you to Arenas Valley Road. This road is paved for mile or so. When the pavement ends, you can see the parking lot for the trailhead. A generous lot for hikers/bikers & a separate lot for horses. Loved this trail! Scenic with mountains & desert. Easy trail until you start following the creek, then a little rocky. The petroglyphs were cool. Climb the trail into the rocks to see the dragonfly.

backpacking
14 days ago

Trail is washed out at several points, the detour around the worst of which is pictured here. Vistas are excellent on the descent to Whitewater.

hiking
1 month ago

This trail was severely burned in 93 which actually means that it receives almost no traffic and has incomprable views for quite a lot of it because the panoramic vista is unobscured. The trail was a little tough to follow at times but not too bad and I didn’t see another soul while I was on it, which was quite a treat considering how trafficked a lot of that area is.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this route to Black Peak with my husband and dog on Saturday 3/31. From NM 15, turn at the sign for the Arrastra Site. Up the narrow, rocky road, there is space for a few vehicles to park. You can catch the CDT right from that parking area. There are a few ups and downs. It is not technical at all; most of the challenge comes from the length. The trail is easy to follow overall. The only confusing spot was at the turnoff from the access road at about 2.5 miles. It was not marked, but we used the Alltrails app to check. We clocked the mileage at 7.6 to the peak, for a total of 15.2. This trail recording ends short of the peak. Follow the sign for Signal Peak and turn left at a rock cairn for an easy trail to the summit. It took us 3:30 to go up and 2:40 to come back down. There weren't really views most of the way or at the top, except where you can see through areas of the forest that have been burned. We only saw one trail runner and one mountain biker the entire hike.

This is a beautiful loop through many ecosystems. But towards the river it’s impossible to stay on / find the trail. Some ranger yelled at us for “trespassing” on the monument, as if we wanted to be bushwhacking!

birding
3 months ago

Very good trail for a beginner, well marked and well maintained.

fantastic little hike especially if you don't mind getting a little wet. I'll definitely be back!

backpacking
4 months ago

I recommended working this trail clockwise because the significant climb/drop in the northwest corner may not have water at the top. I personally began at the Cliff Dwellings heading west on trail #151. Be sure to top off water before climbing north on trail #28. The view from the top of the northwest corner was breath taking. I camped the first night on the trail at the base of the switchbacks before crossing the river.

The second day I walked along the Middle Fork for eight miles within the cliff faces which rose hundreds of feet on both sides. Just like other reviews warned I crossed the river so many times I lost count (twenty? twenty-five? I dunno). Because of this I wore my river crossing sandals all day and trekking poles helped greatly. In the beginning I had trouble in the Meadows (near the intersection of trails #157 and #53) due to an overgrowth of vegetation. I followed one trail I presumed was man-made through tall grass into what I eventually believed was a bear den. It looked like a vegetation-made igloo filled with beautiful yellow flowers, freshly eaten animal bones, and bear scat nearby. No photos unfortunately as I did not want to become the next set of bones. After backing out I walked through the river for a time upon losing the trail to get away from the den. Thankfully I did not actually run into any bears face-to-face though signs of their presence were around. I later learned flooding took out many of the cairns causing frequent loss of the trail among the river rock however it almost always paralleled the river. About half way through the second day I passed the the Jordan Hot Springs which was a neat place to stop and rest. There were numerous camps sites across the river from the springs so please minimize your impact if visiting here.

Day three started as I entered the Little Bear (slot) Canyon southbound on trail #729. I hammock camped in an area previously used by others to save time but was extremely disappointed in the amount of trash left behind near Little Bear Canyon's intersection with the Middle-Fork river. The walk back to the starting point was fairly easy but the shade from the cliffs and trees disappeared by this point. Be sure to take a water purifier as I was advised by a Park Ranger that the rivers have Giaradia in them. In all, this was a beautiful hike which I will do again though losing the trail throughout the second day was frustrating.

did this recently although turned around at 3m in cuz baby wasn't gonna tolerate. took the dog and he really enjoyed the snow! we were just in boots and got to the base of the twin sisters area

When they say "hike a portion" they really mean "a portion."
The view from signal peak lookout is breathtaking, however to get there you're actually hiking an access road, which is really challenging because of the incline through a giant section of burned forest.
I'm a junkie for mileage so I enjoyed it, very challenging from the bottom up, even if it is only an access road. 1.5 liters of water was perfect.

We hiked from Emory Pass to Sawyers Peak with no problems. There are a few dead falls over the trail, but nothing to stop us. Only one we had to go under, the rest we stepped over. The trail is still very usable and is marked with blazes and white diamond reflectors on the switchbacks. The grass and thorny brush have grown up and one must pay attention to follow the trail, but I have been on far worse and harder to follow.
Sad about the fire and blackened trees. However, as with most things in life there are upsides. The views are spectacular. The view from Sawyers Peak is 270 degrees of panorama. Only the western view is somewhat blocked by trees. I was last up there in 2012 before the fire and it has changed, but the views are to die for.

Definitely one of the best hikes! Amazing scenery and pretty easy trails. The water has all temperatures and is perfect. We are definitely going back!

We went during the fall and the leaves on the trees near the stream were breath taking. It takes a little while to get out to that area but its peaceful and we didn’t run in to any other hikers even though there were around five other vehicles parked at the trail head when we arrived. I think if the sun had been out partially the hike would have been more vibrant and interesting. We hiked on a cloudy overcast day in the morning. We did see some deer. I might go hike it again in the summer so maybe we can see some dragon flies.

A wonderful long day hike with at least three different feels. The first three miles feel like desert hiking in Texas (and represent almost all the climbing of the entire hike), the next section down the slot canyon has its own feel and the final six miles involves wet traversing of the Gila River. We wore our hiking boots straight through the river section. The water was chilly but not unpleasant. Hiking poles were a huge plus for the crossings. Picking up the river crossings and identifying the trail is difficult at times. A good rule of thumb when crossing: once across the river go to the far canyon wall to pick up the trail. The road section at the end of the hike felt longer than a mile on weary legs. A fun and interesting hike.

backpacking
7 months ago

This trail is not maintained. Recent fires and new vegetation has made finding the trail almost impossible once you get 3 or so miles in (when the trail turns to the north). I made it almost to the ridge top (N33 19 36.3 W108 47 51.8) before turning back. No water along the way. But, the views up there were pretty neat. Also, the drive to the trail head is a bit rough near the end. I think the trail on the east side of the mountain is even worse.

on Dragonfly Trail

7 months ago

Beautiful easy trail.

ppvojk

A must do!

hiking
8 months ago

For me this hike took 1:40 minutes. I met a couple on trail and woman w/2 dogs, one on leash, another off. I have been on this trail twice before but never completed the loop because I did not know what to expect. With Alltrails I know now what to expect on a trail.

My favorite hike in the area. Big reward for the effort

Would be a 5 but you will need a high profile vehicle, also a longer drive down dirt roads. No one there on Labor Day. VERY nice

Nice hike very pretty area next to cliff dwelling a lot of flowers at this time of year will return

My favorite hike in the area. The canyon of the Middle Fork is beautiful and impressive, the wading/river crossings are fun. Little Bear Canyon is fun too, the hike out of the canyon is okay. From TJ Corral to the TH of the Middle Fork you can try to follow the river instead of using the road.

hiking
9 months ago

Very nice parcial shade nice petroglyphs

Nice short trail in arroyo there is water but no hot springs

backpacking
10 months ago

We set out to hike the West Fork Trail to iron creek lake, then return on the Meadows trail back to the start. When we got to the Ranger station at the park we saw on the map that the trail had only been cleared to Hell's Hole after the fire. So we shortened our expectations. When we set out the trail looked great, easy to follow, cairns and signs aplenty, water nearby. Then after about a mile the trail basically disappeared. We had topos and we knew the trail didn't leave the river for any length for a long way, so we trudged on. Finally we realized that the trail and the river were the same. If we tried to leave the river we almost always ended up back tracking to the river and wading in again. We made it to Graves Canyon, about 3 miles in before we decided to camp for the night then reverse course back to the park. It was spectacularly gorgeous, and the only signs of humanity we saw were a lost compass (score!), a hair scrunchy and some spit out gum (really?). But it was grueling. I had my fishing shoes in my pack which worked ok. I came back with several blisters. But my wife only had her boots and a pair of flip flops. She was determined to find a way back without wading, but finally had to concede and just walk in wet boots.

horseback riding
10 months ago

You need to be in good shape to hike this trail as it's about a 3,000' climb outgoing. We have recently (June 2017) managed to clear this trail for horseback riding and pack animals. However, there are a large amount of leaners over the trail and they will be coming down and blocking the trail for the next decade. Don't go in without a saw.
The 225 trail is washed out and not usable. It disappears in the first switchbacks.

trail running
11 months ago

Flat well maintained trail network. You can extend the loop by starting left at fork: Cervis Corral to twin sisters then dragonfly. About 6 miles ( I didn't take gps).

We couldn't get more than a 1/4 mile down this trail. It was not cleared at all and we quickly lost the path. Additionally, it starts out very steep which would be fine except there's still a heavy layer of ash on the ground which made it very slippery. Pity because the surroundings are beautiful, but the trail itself needs maintenance.

mountain biking
11 months ago

Beautiful ride! A bit more moderate on about 30% of the trail.

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