Monday, September 26, 2011

Noonday Canyon,Gila National Forest

The Rabb Park Trail starts in swale along the crest a short ways west of Lower Gallinas Campground.There is an old road on the north side that steeply drops from NM152 and areas to park adjacent to it. If it's wet at all, better to park at a small pullout a little ways west along the highway. The trail starts immediately to the left down a rocky stream course and then disappears completely, which led us on a circuitous route back up the hill, down some arroyos and through a fence where we finally found the trail again. We discovered on our return that the trail only disappears briefly and had we persevered initially we would have quickly found it again as it exits the stream bed.The trail crosses Noonday Canyon which usually has precious little water but when we visited back in July 'O8, it was a whitewater torrent. We found a relatively calm spot to cross and then continued along the road on the other side. A short distance further there is a sign showing the Rabb Park Trail taking off to the left(west). We started up this steep,rocky path and quickly realized it was already too hot for this particular excursion. When I encountered a couple of free roaming hounds as I scouted out just how much more climbing this trail was going to do( a lot) the deal was sealed. We headed back down to the road and decided to take a more leisurely hike. We walked along that same road as it follows Noonday Canyon to the north. It eventually dead ends( or at least appears to) at an old cabin,which still may be getting some use.We didn't investigate the cabin and its environs too closely,because we weren't exactly sure as to the property status. We instead called it a day and headed back,just before the rains came. I was grateful for our change in plans:it would have been tough negotiating the Rabb Park trail once it was wet. That hike will have to wait for a cooler,dryer day.IMPORTANT UPDATE: Parts of this hike are within the Silver Fire burn area(June, 2013).

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