Best Gila Wilderness Hikes

Bob Roberts
• Tuesday, 01 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Looking for a great trail in Gila National Forest, New Mexico? There are 33 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.

gila wilderness trail nm fork hiking middle backpacking
(Source: www.youtube.com)


The Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico covers 3.3 million acres. Visitors to the Gila National Forest are met with the stunning Mongolian 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.

Gila National Forest Length: 15.2 mi • Est. 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.

Gila National Forest Length: 2.0 mi • Est. Note: As of December 2020, part of this trail is currently closed due to construction.

It was recently reconstructed after much of the catwalk was destroyed by flooding so the first 0.5 miles is considered ADA accessible on the park website, but beyond that it is not considered wheelchair or stroller friendly as there are some stone and wood stairs in the trail. Gila National Forest Length: 8.0 mi • Est.

gila forest springs national jordan cliff dwellings spring mexico arizona hikes history southern backpackers area megaliths entirely border states united
(Source: backpackers.com)

Dragonfly Trail Gila National Forest Length: 3.4 mi • Est. The Gila National Forest also has a nice trail information page, along with a downloadable PDF map of the area.

There are several nice petroglyph 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.

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.

Mineral Creek also provides opportunities to view the historical mining town of Mooney, Coneys Tomb, and a number of mining operations along the trail and great flora. Gila National Forest Length: 3.0 mi • Est.

Nice hike, it's got a bunch of little trail connections too, but the whole system is called Gomez Peak. Gila National Forest Length: 10.9 mi • Est.

wilderness gila
(Source: wilderness50challenge.wordpress.com)

Goes up into the high desert then connects to the old military trail. Illinoisking03 2 months, 2 weeks ago Beautiful in early November.

Great metal boardwalk and amazing deep canyon with colorful rocks and perfect sized stream. Hawman 4 months, 2 weeks ago This trail takes you to the top of Jake’s Peek at the crest of the Burro Mountains.

By the way, the trail crosses the river 50+ times (not exaggerating) so your shoes will get wet. The trail going up and down the mountain is mostly hard packed soil with some rocky sections.

There are caves WAY up in the cliff faces, and a few have trails leading to them. No rain, but each day, late afternoon, a great breeze blew down the canyon.

Richard 1 year, 8 months ago GilaWilderness NM. All with the Gila River forks flowing through it and creeks and springs.

gila wilderness national forest section near west
(Source: adamhaydock.blogspot.com)

Saw mule deer, snakes but there are black bears and cougars too. Explore the most popular backpacking 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.

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.

Mongolian Creek Gila National Forest Length: 18.0 mi • Est. Holt Apache Trail Gila National Forest Length: 18.3 mi • Est.

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