Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Silver Creek Road-Gila National Forest

From City of Rocks, it's easy to access the southwest side of the Black Range, also known as the Mimbres Mountains. We crossed the Mimbres River and continued on the well maintained Royal John Mine Road which winds along past ranches and a few spectacular vacation homes. Eventually it crosses onto Forest Service property and shortly after there's a turn-off on the left for the county maintained Silver Creek Road. The first couple of miles are a little rough, but passable for most vehicles. We parked at the first old miners cabin and went on foot, encountering more old structures as we went. These others were a bit too elaborate to be miner's shacks. They may have been some sort of hunting lodge or perhaps a residence,but definitely of a more recent era. We continued on a side road which led to a mining area, then backtracked to the main road which winds along the hillside. It was mostly easy walking, with one steep pitch.We didn't make it to the end of road where one can connect with the Silver Creek Trail,which descends from the Sawyer's Peak trail on the crest,and the Spring Canyon Trail which begins on NM 152. Nice views,lovely weather and a few patches of snow in this desperately dry year. I'm still wanting to do a shuttle hike from Emory Pass through this intersection and out the Spring Canyon Trail to the upper Gallinas.IMPORTANT UPDATE: parts of this hike  are within the Silver Fire burn area and are most likely altered from the description

here( June,2013).

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