A blog about exploring the natural areas of New Mexico focusing on but not limited to Dona Ana, Luna, Otero, Sierra, Grant, Lincoln,Socorro and Catron counties.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Grandview Trail-FT 146, Gila National Forest
I had hiked down this trail, which starts off at a saddle about two miles in on the Sawyer Peak trail(FT 79), with my wife several years ago. The first thing we noticed was the abundant bear feces all along the trail. Upon my return last Saturday, let me say that the observation still holds- and then some. If you're out on this trail too late in afternoon, or too early in the morning,you will most likely see a bear. This trail only goes down and fairly steeply at that,so it was an entirely uphill trudge on the way back. There are two lovely clearings along the way. The first, a short ways in, is where I ate my lunch. There was an iced over spring nearby which my desert dwelling dog didn't know what to make of. The forest here is mostly Douglas fir and pine, with few oaks here and there. The second clearing, which is right before the stream plunges through some limestone cliffs, is where the trail seemed to end. I followed a sketchy path( probably not human created) up the hill on the south side of the stream to no avail. No blazes, cairns- nothing other than a steep hillside with lots of downfall, although I did catch a glimpse of a cave that intrigued me.On the north side( south facing) it was juniper and scrub, but views all the way to the Kneeling Nun and the Santa Rita Mine. A bit of water was seeping out in the stream here,but it would be great to come back in the spring to see these waterfalls and cascades, that tumble down the mountain at this juncture, in action. I had planned to hike all the way to the Silver Creek Road(FR 523), which is less than a mile away from this point,but the only way to do it that I could see would be to work my way carefully down the stream course-not knowing if there were some sheer drop-off that would end my progress anyway.I started thinking about that bear crap, and decided I wanted to make my return while the sun was still reasonably high- so I headed back.There was a nice patch of aspens visible from FT 79. On the drive back down the mountain, the maples in South Percha Canyon appeared to be only slightly past peak color. It seems the last few years that the autumn display is more than week later than when I first moved here.IMPORTANT NOTE: This trail was ground zero in the Silver Fire(June, 2013).( The fire was named for Silver Creek which this trail follows). It may be closed or no longer visible. Many hazards exist.