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  1. #1

    Default CDT #2 - Lordsburg, NM to Gila Wilderness West Fork

    I snipped the below from my FB trip post: Last Friday I set out on CDT Trip #2. The start was hot, just as I had left it a year earlier however after 15 miles of arid hot desert the terrain changed and I was in the hills with juniper trees and winding trail. On day 2 I made some friends that I would walk the rest of the week with. Once hiking with the group we were graced with the best trail magic Iíve ever experienced. Tie and Solo out of Silver City, NM went above and beyond with shuttles, trailhead lunches and break stations, and a great 2 night stay at their place, all for 6 hikers! After leaving Silver City, NM we entered the Gila Wilderness and traveled along the Gila River for probably 100 river crossings, most knee to waist high, snowmelt off the mountains moving briskly by. We were lucky enough to run into the Gila Hermit Doug, who has lived in a small cabin in the Gila for over 25 years, and his friend Brother Paskel visiting from a monastery in El Paso, TX. At 125 miles my trip was complete just a few miles north of Doc Campbells Trading Post. I was eager to go further but with the next state road being 85 miles north, I just didnít have the time to continue. Next trip I will not have limitations on end of trip logistics as there are many roads once out of the Gila Wilderness, I will shoot for 165 miles next year. I am now 210 miles into my CDT section hike experience. Until next time New Mexico, Adios.

    Trail Miles: 5,125.9
    AT Map 1: Completed 13-21'
    Sheltowee Trace: Completed 20-23'
    Pinhoti Trail: Completed 23-24'
    GSMNP900: 134.7(16.8%)
    Foothills Trail: 47.9
    AT Map 2: 279.4
    CDT: 210.9
    BMT: 52.7

  2. #2


    Glad you enjoyed it. I hiked through there at the very end of November last year, finishing the trail in December. I, unfortunately, had some rain while hiking through the Gila and ended up on the high route for part of it. I definitely want to go back though. When you return next year, I recommend spending an hour or two at the Cliff Dwelling Ruins; just be aware of their operating hours as visiting outside of them isn't allowed. I camped at the campground 0.25mi down the road and in the morning, I had the place all to myself except for their guide at the main dwelling who was happy to talk about everything. Back over at the Gila visitor center, the ranger manning the desk was planning on hiking the PCT this year, so I spent time talking about that trail.

    Once you exit the Gila River, you are often on dirt roads till you get to where the official route through the Black Mountains rejoins the Gila Alternate. Afterwards, I think it was actual trail, more often than not, till you get to the next highway, where you get try to get a ride into Reserve. North of there is more trail than not, depending on what route you chose. Due to the time of year, I didn't see very many vehicles, though a few cows. I didn't think the scenery north of the Gila was bad, but I also was hiking in cool weather. Hiking in the heat probably will give a different impression.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Golden CO


    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    ...After leaving Silver City, NM we entered the Gila Wilderness and traveled along the Gila River for probably 100 river crossings, most knee to waist high, snowmelt off the mountains moving briskly by....
    My Gila hike, in May 2005, had 55 crossings. I put a pebble in my pocket at each one to keep count, and it was good ballast. It was as deep as my navel in spots. My partner came up with a book title, "Hiking the Gila," by Dickie Duncan.

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