[Cdt-l] Black Range resupply

Jim and_or Ginny Owen spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 2 15:42:42 CST 2012

Doug:  The CDTS and J. Ley routes follow the rivers in the Gila.  The official route avoids the main branches of the Gila and follows the ridge north around the Gila drainages.   Disadvantages to Black Range route:  1) much farther between resupplies (the CDTS route passes right by Doc Campbells store, which has food to buy, as well as a B&B that was hiker friendly and accepted maildrops in 2006), 2) much farther between water sources (In 2006 the Black Range was completely dry in the spring.  Two hikers who accidentally took it found 5 gallons of water left by a fire crew as their only water source for several days.  That obviously can't be counted on.)  3) Misses the beautiful oasis of the Gila river routes.  4) Misses the cliff dwellings and the hot springs.   Advantage - 1) when it's cold, avoiding the numerous water crossings of the river routes can be a good option. 2) There is usually some water along the Black Range route in the autumn, since rainy season is late summer.  3) Beautiful views.  4) Very remote with few if any other hikers.   In 1999, the bit of the Black Range that we followed had a lot of bad blowdowns due to fires.  I don't know whether the trail is now better marked and maintained than it was then.  
I really enjoyed the Gila, both NOBO and SOBO.  It felt like such an oasis in the middle of the desert.  It is very beautiful, with hoodoos and other rock formations.  There was wildlife (wolves howling) that we didn't expect in NM.  The constant river crossings were good prep for later hikes in Utah and very different from anything else on the CDT.  On one of our hikes we visited the Cliff Dwellings, on the other we visited the Hot Springs.  Both were great.   Someday, I'd like to hike the Black Range route, just to see what it's like, but I would only do it in the autumn, not on a NOBO hike due to the lack of water problem.   Ginny > From: doug-sue at centurylink.net
> To: len5742 at gmail.com
> Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2012 10:54:30 -0700
> CC: cdt-l at backcountry.net
> Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Black Range resupply
> And what is the advantage to this route over the Gila River route, if any
> advantage?
> And is this closer to the CDTS route?  I need to start getting into some
> serious map study soon.
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