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Aldo Leopold Wilderness?
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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Aldo Leopold Wilderness? on 04/01/2011 17:18:13 MDT Print View

I was planning on doing the Gila Wilderness or White Mountain Wilderness in mid April but than someone told me he liked the Aldo Leopold Widlerness even better. He said it was even less crowded than the Gila and more scenic. Anyone here been there? I'd be curious how it compares to the Gila and if theres a particular area I should check out.

Mark Olah

Locale: New Mexico
Aldo Leopold on 04/03/2011 00:25:48 MDT Print View

The Aldo is a great place. The wilderness area basically follows the Black range N-S. Other than the Emory Pass area, usage is very light, and almost non-existent on some of the side routes. There are first-come-first-serve cabins on top of hillsboro and reeds peaks (possibly Mcknight too, although I haven't been there myself). In the past decade, many wildfires have burnt large sections of the forest, and a lot of trails have significant downed timber and are now overgrown and difficult to follow. These sections will often slow your progress to a crawl. Some of the more difficult sections were Upper Circle-Seven canyon, the CDT between Diamond and Reeds peaks and the spud patch ridge trail. I know there has been some work done on the CDT recently so conditions could be better now, but count on unexcpected delays when you inevitably end up in a 4-mile stretch of blowdown. The section from Emory Pass to the Board Gate saddle was mainly clear last time I was there, and a great stretch of trail with easy trailhead access.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Thanks Mark another question on 04/03/2011 09:17:47 MDT Print View

Thanks Mark its hard to get good info on this area so the help is very much appreciated. I'm kind of in the mood for mountains so heres my very tenative plan.
1. Start at the south end of the wilderness whatever I do because of driving times etc.
2. Probably I'll start on the CDT and follow the crest of the Black Mtns. up to the area of Circle Seven Creek and Diamond creek (my topo program shows an open topped mtn. there that I'm assuming has good views) than loop back on using some of the trails through the canyons. Sounds like I need to invest in some really good topo maps.

I have another question or two if you don't mind.
1. At this time of year what would you expect conditions to be like up high as far as temperature and snow.
2. What are the canyons like are they as scenic (and rugged) as the ones over in the Gild widlerness? Any rivers you would be nervious fording solo at this time of year (if I go it'll be mid April).

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Aldo Leopold water on 04/03/2011 11:42:48 MDT Print View

Just to add:

If trying to stay on the Crest trail, pay attention to the water. As summer approaches (and seems to have come early this year), the water is often lower in the range, thereby requiring a number of side trips for refllls in May/June.

Once monsoon season hits (usually around July 4), the issue can be too much water. Heavy monsoon rains are not guaranteed, however.

Edited by hknewman on 04/03/2011 11:43:35 MDT.