Explore the most popular trails near Datil with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


nature trips


dog friendly


wild flowers


Datil, New Mexico Map

great day hike

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.

I loved it!

2 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.

Lovely trail along the Gila River. Definitely a trail we’ll be coming back to.

We came in from deep upriver on another trail. On day 3 we slept where Little bear and West fork meet. The site was perfect, zero other humans for us at least. On last day we picked up and went in to little bear creek to head back to the parked car. One guy I was with said it was like some Jurassic Park shtuff... it was beautiful in there. I would totally do this again. So glad we didn’t stay on the river, the creek was so darned worth it. We did see our first people the morning out though. After 3 days of nobody but bears and Tarantula Hawks, we saw 8 people on this shirt section alone. So we must have gotten lucky having nobody at the springs or any other part of the adventure. Definitely worth it. Would not rate this any higher than moderate.

This is one of my favorite trails in the gila, box canyon and absolutely beautiful when you hit the forks. My favorite place on earth!

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

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

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!

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.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Beautiful campground, very clean. Woke up early and wanted to stretch my legs before continuing with my motorcycle trip and found this trail. Gorgeous easy hike, waked it at sunrise. Great way to start the day!

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

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

More easy then moderate. Don't miss the pictographs. Very well preserved

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Wonderful route, glorious views

Friday, August 05, 2016

Trail is easy, 2 water crossings. Needs rebuilding pretty regularly. fully adjustable temperature

One of the most amazing trails ever! Very awesome!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Nice hike! Wound up going to Jordan Springs for 2 nights. Plenty of water and scenery. Went in October mid week. Hardly anyone there.

Did this hike Oct 13,15.....very scenic, not a lot of people on the trail, the hike was worth it's weight in platinum. ....camped by Jordan hot springs, paradise on earth, water from river was so good, tasted better than Evian, I wanna do this trip in winter, who's down?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Very enjoyable short walk, watch out for the buzz worms (rattlesnakes) saw two on this short walk.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Pretty walk. The grave Site is a little hard
to find, at a trail junction head toward Hells
Hole, cross the river and look for the
second rock caren, the grave is up about 70 yards to the left.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

One of the coolest places to hike through to the middle fork of the Gila River. Trailhead starts at the TJ Corral campsite just down the road from the Cliff Dwellings visitor center. I was surprised to see a campsite situated right near the river after hiking through the slot canyon. Amazing views around every corner, even after the washout from flooding. I highly recommend camping there and also hiking north along the fork to the Jordan Hot Springs. The entire area is a natural wonder.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Many improvements have been made to the trail and campgrounds. Visitor center now has a self interpretive history of the Magdalena cattle trail and drives. VC also has WiFi and staffed with a campground host. More improvements are in the near future. Campground rates are a good bargain at $5.00 a night.

Great hike traversing multiple types of terrain, high desert to river valley, as many as 10 river crossings we brought extra shoes to change into but after about the 3rd one we just stayed in the boots. It is honestly one of the best hikes I have ever done can't wait until my kid is old enough to enjoy it with me.
As a note we parked the car at the end of the trail so we could be done with walking after the hike.... Just a thought.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I've stopped here several times on the way to Arizona from Texas. A nice BLM campground is here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's a short hike from the campground at the trailhead to a small cliff dwelling. You can go in the dwelling (I took a nap). I was there right after the big fire in 2011. The trail area was only lightly burned, so I imaging it is back to the green condition shown in the photos; it is easy enough, with only a few steep parts. I only went as far as the cliff dwelling, however, the trail continues up the canyon.

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