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Best trails in Gila National Forest

1,199 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Gila National Forest, New Mexico? AllTrails has 64 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 30 moderate trails in Gila National Forest ranging from 1.4 to 18.4 miles and from 4,744 to 10,101 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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.

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Map of trails in Gila National Forest
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Top trails (64)
#1 - Jordan Hot Springs Via Little Bear Canyon Trail
Gila National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(177)
Length: 13.3 mi • Est. 6 h 20 m
The hike starts out with a gradual uphill for about one hour, then one hour downhill into a canyon until you reach the fork of Little Bear Canyon and Middle Fork. From here, there are about ~15 river crossings so, waterproof shoes are essential.Show more
#2 - The Catwalk National Recreation Trail
Gila National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(112)
Length: 2 mi • Est. 1 h 3 m
Note: Part of this trail is currently closed due to construction. This is a loop trail over Whitewater Creek using bridges and catwalks. Standing between the entrance pillars with your back to the parking lot, the trailhead is ahead to the far left. There are historic signs and restrooms at the trailhead. There are also signs and distance markers along the trail, but no restrooms. Follow the paved main trail. At 0.18 miles There is a T-intersection and a bridge on the right. Take the trail to the right, cross over the bridge and turn left. At 0.36 miles you come to the first catwalk platform and another T-intersection. Go left at the T-intersection to return to the start. The trail will alternate between dirt/rock and steel catwalk.Show more
#3 - Little Bear Canyon Trail
Gila National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(58)
Length: 8 mi • Est. 4 h 4 m
#4 - Dragonfly Trail
Gila National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(148)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 31 m
There are many trails within this area. The Gila National Forest also has a nice trail information page, along with a downloadable PDF map of the area. Hike the more traveled trail to the right, and in about 200 yards the trail forks to make the well-marked 3.5 mile Dragonfly loop. There are several nice petroglyphs in the rocks halfway, indicated by an arrow on a wordless sign. Arenas Valley Road is a short loop, so it is possible to continue along it back to US 180 as you turn to Silver City.Show more
#5 - Pinon Trail and Angel Loop Trail
Gila National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(63)
Length: 3 mi • Est. 1 h 33 m
Nice hike, it's got a bunch of little trail connections too but the whole system is called Gomez Peak.Show more
#6 - Gila Loop Trail
Gila National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(28)
Length: 22.4 mi • Est. 10 h 1 m
#7 - Little Bear Canyon Middle Fork Gila Loop Trail
Gila National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(31)
Length: 10.8 mi • Est. 5 h 2 m
Hike from the west fork thru a slot canyon to the middle fork of Gila River. From the trailhead take the West Fork stock bypass trail west for 0.25 miles. Turn right on the Little Bear Canyon trail (Trail 729). At 2 miles pass the Lilly Park Trail junction. At 4 miles, intersect the Gila River Middle Fork Trail (Trail 157). Take trail 157 to the right for 6 miles and 30 river crossings. After the 30th river crossing watch for a smaller trail raising gently up to the left. This trail is right behind the visitors center and about 1.5 miles from the TJ Corral. WARNING - Little Bear Canyon can flash-flood. Stay alert if there are storms in the area. River crossings can become dangerous if flash flooding occurs. Keep alert - even if storms are not visible from your location, flooding may occur from heavy rains upstream of your location.Show more
#8 - Turkey Creek Hot Springs
Gila National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(18)
Length: 10.9 mi • Est. 4 h 46 m
#9 - Middlefork (Lightfeather) Hot Springs Trail
Gila National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(25)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 38 m
#10 - Middle Fork Gila River Trail
Gila National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(11)
Length: 11.1 mi • Est. 4 h 53 m
Showing results 1 - 10 of 64