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ben wood
(benwood)

Locale: flatlands of MO
NM Gila thru hike on 02/09/2009 20:53:41 MST Print View

i am planning on a week long thru hike of the Gila the first week of June. so far i'm thinking leaving the visitor center, heading up the west fork to turkey feather mountain trail, then to the crest trail, to hummingbird saddle, then down through whitewater creek and out at the catwalk.

does anyone have any thoughts or ideas about this? this will be my first hike of this distance and first thru-hike. this far i have only been on overnights or 3 day trips.

my biggest question at this point is if i will lose alot of time crossing the west fork? should i chose a trail that doesn't follow a river upstream, such as the granite peak trail?

any advice or thoughts would be welcome.
thanks-

Brett Tucker
(blister-free) - F

Locale: Puertecito ruins
Re: NM Gila thru hike on 02/09/2009 21:34:06 MST Print View

You'll "lose time" on the 60+ fords, but they're worth it, as the West Fork of the Gila is a beautiful canyon. (The alternatives tend to be quite dry and not nearly as scenic.)

Cliff Dwellings to the Catwalk is a classic walk and is one of the more popular extended backpacking routes in Gila Country. I'm sure the rangers at the Wilderness and Glenwood ranger districts can give you some additional pointers and a modicum of info on current trail conditions.

You could also consider leaving the West Fork at Trail 152 and taking this trail over Mogollon Baldy. There, join Crest Trail 182 to Holt-Apache Trail 181 to South Fork Whitewater Creek Trail to Whitewater Trail to the Catwalk. South Fork Whitewater is, by and large, far more scenic than the main fork of Whitewater. As an added bonus, you would avoid the many additional fords of the main fork between Hummingbird Saddle and the Catwalk.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Gila on 02/09/2009 21:58:00 MST Print View

I really want to do the Catwalk. I just wish it wasn't 8 hours to Silver City from here. And that my brother in law didn't live there.

ben wood
(benwood)

Locale: flatlands of MO
181 on 02/10/2009 15:23:25 MST Print View

Brett

how is the water availabilty on 181? i like that idea, i have been through some of whitewater creek and would like to consider another option. my only concern would be water. i see a few springs on my map, but i don't know if the flow year round. i would like to not have to carry more than a gallon at a time.

thanks for your insight

ben wood
(benwood)

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: NM Gila thru hike on 02/16/2009 12:21:50 MST Print View

bump