Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Gila Loop Trail

HARD 11 reviews
#7 of 62 trails in

Gila Loop Trail is a 21.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pinos Altos, New Mexico that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 21.5 miles Elevation Gain: 2,604 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

running

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
3 months ago

You are going to cross the river A LOT, so come prepared. I wore sandals made from tires for that entire stretch and it definitely detracted from the experience. Good thing there was a nice hot springs to relax in after all the struggling. The canyons are amazing, though I think my favorite part of the trail was after descending from the rim, before you get to the river (if hiking clockwise), when you pass through a tranquil forested meadow area.

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
8 months ago

this Trail was amazing and had a lot of water sources and it had great views the only bad thing is it rained and it made it super muddy very hard to walk through so we had a great time my son and my dog and I.

backpacking
Sun Dec 24 2017

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.

Thu Sep 28 2017

ppvojk

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
Fri May 18 2018