Gila National Forest, NM
With Hot Springs
May 21 - May 28, 2017 -- $1300 ★★★
There is a vast wilderness in the middle of an imaginary triangle formed by Phoenix, Albuquerque and El Paso known as
the Gila Wilderness within the
Gila National Forest.
It is a remote, immense desert of stunning beauty, so much so that part of it
was named for Aldo Leopold who designated it for protection.
Besides hiking in the wilderenss, our journey will include the ancient Pueblo
Gila Cliff Dwellings
that date back over 700 years. Plus we'll soak in the remote and natural Jordan Hot Springs, tucked in a cubby hole
above the Middle Fork of the Gila River.
Our trek will run out of El Paso, TX. We'll leave early and shuttle up to Gila Wilderness (4+ hours).
When we arrive, we will warm up with a visit to the Ancient Cliff Dwellings before we begin backpacking.
We'll set out towards the West Fork of the Gila and spend the next few days hiking up the West Fork
towards a place called Hells Hole. Fortunately, we'll be near water the entire time.
We then have a long climb up onto a plateau before visiting an abandoned homestead called
Prior Cabin. We spend the next night at an incredible wilderness area called "The Meadows".
Then we head down the canyon via the Middle Fork of the Gila River, crossing the river many, many times before
taking our relaxing soak in the hot springs and hiking out through magnificent high-walled Bear Canyon the final day.
We will be visiting this geologic wonderland just as spring warms the Southwest high desert.
It's prime time to visit, so why not join us to see this wonderful, remote destination?
Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Spring is an ideal time to hike in
Gila Wilderness. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 70s & 80s
and nighttime temperatures in the 30s & 40s, though it may reach the 90s during the day and freezing at night.
Here are the
historical weather averages.
Expect sunny, fair weather, but be prepared for frigid nights because of the arid climate and radiational cooling.
2nd guide TBD
$1300 per person double occupancy.
Here, double occupancy means that you will share a
room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for
transportation to and from El Paso International Airport (ELP),
personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.
Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of
trail meals, ground transportation to/from El Paso, National Forest permits, insurance,
satellite phone and awesome guides.
On Friday, we will be crossing the Middle Fork of the Gila all day long. We may have to walk through the
river 50 times or more. The water temperature may be very cold and the water may be almost waist deep in places.
You will need sturdy water shoes for this trip.
Although the elevation and incline of the trails are often moderate, there will be a few steep uphill climbs
and downhill descents. However, the real difficulty is the countless water crossings that we'll encounter as
we walk down the canyon -- both the West and Middle Forks of the Gila River.
We will be wearing sturdy water shoes, but they offer little ankle support so make sure to bring trekking poles.
Plus the water may be quite cold.
The upside is that we get to carry less water. Normally desert trips require us to carry
as much as 2+ gallons of water (at 8 pounds per gallon). Here, we will not only be able
to carry less water, we will be at much less risk of dehydration and heat exhaustion,
even though we'll often be exposed to the hot desert sun.
Civil Rights Compliance
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from
discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases
apply to all programs.)
To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building,
1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal
opportunity provider and employer.
This institution is operated under special use permit with the Gila National Forest.
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