Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Cherry Creek Campground- Gila National Forest
I'm going to stop writing about desert destinations until the weather cools down again. Luckily, I have a backlog of forest hikes, camping spots, and fishing creeks that I want to get on to the blog. When we first visited New Mexico, we camped at Cherry Creek in the Gila National Forest on NM15 about fifteen miles north of Silver City . We visited the Cliff Dwellings, the Catwalk. and walked around the old mining towns of Pinos Altos and Mogollon. We dined at the Buckhorn ( in Pinos Altos), and I seem to remember a very silly performance in the style of a 19th century melodrama going on while we ate. One thing that was a bit of surprise for us, coming from humid Houston, TX was the much larger temperature gradient. In Houston once the mercury starts hitting the 90's, overnight lows are typically in the 70's. We were quite cold that first morning( it was June) when it was probably in the low to mid 40's! In the daytime we cooled off sitting in the East Fork of Gila River at Grapevine Campground. Cherry Creek Campground suited us fine at the time. The nearby gorge of Cherry Creek with its sheer cliffs and spires of volcanic tuff was quite impressive to us newcomers to southwestern landscapes. Coming from Texas, where there is very little public land and most camping is done at private campgrounds or state parks, we had no concept of dispersed camping. Nowadays, I would hesitate to recommend place like Cherry Creek CG or nearby McMillan CG. They're too close to the road and to town and too,too small.