Backpacking in Gila National Forest

QUESTION:
I’m heading out to the Gila National Forest in New Mexico for my very first backpacking adventure. I’ve been training so I can handle a bit of a challenge. Can you suggest a good 3 day hike?
Thanks,

-Laura

ANSWER:

Black Range Crest Trail, photo courtesy NPS
Black Range Crest Trail, photo courtesy NPS

I’m so excited you are going on your first backpacking adventure!

The Gila National Forest is beautiful – there are mountains, lakes, Indian ruins, and more! I haven’t been there myself, but I’ve seen plenty of pictures and videos. With 1,490 miles of trails, there are a lot of backpacking loops to choose from!

I’d suggest that you determine what type of terrain you want to be hiking in. The northeastern side of Gila consists of high mesas and rolling hills. The western and southwestern parts are high elevation mountains, with steep canyons, aspens, and ferns.

A 2-3 day hike I’ve heard is fantastic starts at the crest of the Black Range, then makes its way to Mimbres Lake. That might be a good option for you.

If you have time, take a look at trail information complied by the forest service and see if any sound like fun!

Since this is your first trip, you may want to keep mileage to the low side, so you have plenty of time for day hikes and exploring.

Have fun and be safe!

Happy trails!
Hiking Lady

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