Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

Excellent trail but thank the gods for AllTrails for showing me which fork to take! As others have said, the first part is poorly marked. Interesting to see the cactus and pine together.

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.

1 month ago

Awesome

All of the different trails in this area make it hard to decide which way to go. I had fun doubling back and doing loops. The area is ripe with ecology and geology. I could hit these trails 1000 times and still come away feeling enlightened.

The trail is great up to where it’s washed out. The road to the trail was also flooded with about a foot of water in two locations. We drove about 4 hours out of the way to do this hike so slightly disappointed that only half of it was possible to see. It is incredibly scenic. The government needs to upgrade the road to the trail and the portions of the trail that wash out.

Overall, great hike! Very high walls of the canyon, lots of different formations and coloring. Notes below:

- Took the Mineral Creek Road past Alma, several miles to follow after that I’m packed gravel and dirt. Easy to get through, just an FYI, but may be an issue during a rainy period.

- Small trailhead, no water or trail info unfortunately.

- You will cross water MANY times! Do yourself a favor and get water early to get it over with, in my opinion. Be careful on the rocks, many are slick or on uneven foundations. Lots of fun jumping from bank to bank at parts.

- Mile makers were tricky to determine. I saw one piece of rebar conspicuously hammered into the earth followed by two pieces and three pieces later. That may have been a marking system, wasn’t tracking my distance.

- Terrain includes loose rock, sandy shores, earthy grasslands, small boulder scrambles, and much more. I’d say this is on the more challenging side of moderate.

Even with this minor observations, still an excellent trail.

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!

This is a beautiful pocket of nature that you should take the time to check out, definitely worth the drive I made from El Paso.

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.

Gorgeous hiking but terrible markers! Come on, put up a couple trail signs or at least arrows indicating which trail is which.

I hiked this trail several times before the floods destroyed it. I haven’t been back since they rebuilt it but it is my understanding that it has been completed. The canyon and views were beautiful. Well worth the time.

Beautiful canyon with a running creek. We are 54 and made this hike October 28th. It's the perfect time of year, weather was sunny and cool. The creek was running and you will need to cross the creek numerous times. It is shallow but in certain areas the rocks are slippery.
We hiked to the mill and back which was 7 miles. The canyon and trees provide great shade and we were the only ones on the trail.
Highly recommend this hike!

on Mineral Creek Trail

7 months ago

Go there! It’s about 1 1/2 hours NW of Silver City on hwy 180. Well worth the drive. Gorgeous scenery and yesterday, Oct 14, there was lots of water in the creek. You will cross the creek many times and there are not always stepping stones, so have the right footwear, or just resolve to have damp feet. There are a few places that require crossing over smooth rock surfaces and it is slippery! If you have balance problems or are afraid of falling, beware. My husband slipped and fell into the water and banged his knee. No serious damage but it demonstrates my point. I love this trail! You can hike for many miles and I look forward to doing so on future outings. We went just three miles in and loved every bit of it (except the fall). Take a picnic lunch and sit on one of the many large flat rocks overlooking the creek.

ppvojk

Cat Walk was an amazing hike! Although the railing is broken off from time to time, there was always another path to take, keeping our eyes on the railing above. We would have made it almost all the way (only 0.5 mile left), if it hadn't been for time restraints. We took our dogs, but there was only so far that they could join us. Overall an amazing family time adventure!

4.5 mile hike on Continental Divide with the Bushwackers. Accessed via Bear Mtn Rd and returned to vehicles on Hoop de Doo Road, titled because it dips up and down a lot. September 7, 2017

Do some research about the history of this trail and area Needs a little more rebuilding but worth the effort.

hiking
9 months ago

One of the best kept secrets in New Mexico. Super fun hike in water. We'll do it again and again. Wear water shoes! Bring the kids.

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

backpacking
10 months ago

Beautiful trail! Past the lookout tower, the trail is nearly impossible to follow. Attempted to hike about a half mile past it, due to down trees, and overgrown trails, had to turn back and decided to make it a day trip (11 RT). Also I'm not sure this trail to the junction is 18.7 but more around 22 miles. After talking with the ranger, he was very skeptical that it was 4 more miles past the lookout to the McKnight Road junction, and judging by the map we reviewed, I'd agree.

It's a great hike!! Beware, if you take cat walk up, lots of bikers are headed downwards and you'll only have a few seconds to step out of the way…it's all uphill too lol
Toothpick breaks into multiple other trails and overall is a wonderful hike!

Perfect for kids and families. Bring water hiking sandals and have the kids wear swimsuits.

Tough trail backpacking. Good camp sites. Beautiful views. Well marks slot canyon with good running creek.

backpacking
11 months ago

A secluded spot with great rewards. High water and flash flooding can be an issue so be on your toes. We startled a large bull elk further up the very tight canyon and were notably scared as it charged down the canyon at us.

hiking
11 months ago

We only went a few miles in, so I can't review the entire trail, but the section we were on was very well maintained and clearly marked. It follows a small stream that was lovely. The only thing I missed was wildlife - in a review of another Gila trail I saw someone mention that the undergrowth has not grown back enough since the fire to see much wildlife - we definitely missed seeing deer, rabbits, etc but hopefully they will return in time.

hiking
Thursday, May 11, 2017

My Wife and I hiked this trail about 7 days ago and really enjoyed the views. Great inclines and plenty of locations to stop and see the vastness of this part of New Mexico. It was about 2 hours to the peak and what a clear day to see all around the area with more than 10 miles visibility.

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