[Cdt-l] Gila concerns

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Wed Apr 30 14:09:07 CDT 2008

I don't think the fords on the lower Gila will be the main problem 
(unless there is some spring flooding), it's the fact that the trail 
between the fords hasn't been maintained in a while, and might be hard 
to find/follow (though, the canyon is really easy to follow... just 
follow the river!). That said, the trail was never in very good shape, 
so I'm not sure it'll be much worse than it ever was.

As for the upper Gila (i.e. middle fork / west fork) - that's a whole 
different thing. The trail "was" a lot nicer, used quite a lot, and 
maintained. It's hard to say what damage might have occurred in the past 
winter however. Just keep in mind that advice you'll get - even from 
local park rangers - won't always be accurate. What they might consider 
"unpassable", could be "no problem" to a seasoned hiker. They tend to be 
overly conservative on these things. This is always a problem - because 
if the trail is truly "unpassable", it's hard to know based on what you 
get from rangers.

Also, whatever report you get from this year's hikers won't be a 
comparison vs. what the trail used to be like... You might get a report 
like - there were "tons of ford, had a problem following the trail, what 
a mess"... but that could just be that the hiker in question wasn't 
mentally prepared or didn't navigate very well. Or, it could be totally 
accurate. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should take all 
advice on trail conditions with a grain of salt, and consider the source 
- do you know them? what experience do they have? what agenda might they 
have? might they be exaggerating difficult conditions like many 
storytellers do? what other information have they provided & how 
accurate was that?...


joseph beals wrote:
> I plan to try the fords.  if they are absolutely awful
> I will backtrack to find the road the east and use
> that to get to Doc's. Near the star on the southern J.
> Ley map NM 35 if you follow Sapillo Creek east it
> takes you the road, you can see the road near the top
> of this same map.  Hopefully someone will correct me
> if this is a bad idea.  I will be out there soon after
> you,   -Joe
> --- "lwgear at juno.com" <lwgear at juno.com> wrote:
>> Thanks for all the good advice regarding the
>> mythical Gila Hot Springs PO vs. the tangible
>> benefits of Doc's. Now another question regarding
>> that region--I've heard rumors that the Gila River
>> area is a mess due to major flooding this past
>> winter. Is that true? If so, are hikers totally
>> bypassing it or is it only the lower 1/2 that's a
>> nightmare? Or is it really not any worse than any
>> other year?
>> Leaving for NM in 2 days!
>> later-lynne
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