[Cdt-l] Black Range / official route
Jim and_or Ginny Owen
spiriteagle99 at hotmail.com
Tue Jan 21 11:32:17 CST 2014
One consideration if you do the official Black Range route is lack of water. In 2006 a couple of hikers accidentally ended up walking the official route. Aside from a 5 gallon box of water that had been left behind by a fire crew, they found no water for 3 or 4 days. Eventually they just headed straight out to the highway, because they were so concerned about the lack of water. Since this is looking a lot like 2006 in terms of drought conditions, if not worse, it is a serious issue.
There are lots of alternates, if you look at a map. We did the West Fork from Doc Campbells up to the Black Range in 1999, and the route past Mogollan Baldy to get there. We saw some of the fire and flood damage in the Gila this past November when we did a short dayhike out of the Visitors Center. (We watched a couple of guys dig out one of the hot springs to make a much nicer pool than had been there before.) If nothing else, you can always just wade up the Gila. The water isn't deep (except in a high snow year) and in spring it isn't cold.
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