In and Out of the Gila Wilderness

Within this stretch of trail we spent four days in the Gila Wilderness and within the Gila Wilderness is the Gila River.  The trail follows the Gila River as it meanders through the canyon.  The water flows south while we hike upstream.  It was never a direct route, walking with the river, but always a rewarding one.  After spending many lifetimes carving the landscape in the canyon, the water churned along with little intention. 

We walk alongside the river, across the river, sometimes even straight up the river.  At every crossing, tadpoles and fish swim around my feet as I carefully step through.  The trail was overgrown and the miles were slow, with wet shoes weighing down our feet.  One day we crossed the river 165 times, which was as mentally challenging as it was physically.

Luckily, the views were so good I did not mind too much.  The sun took a while to get over the canyon walls in the mornings but once the afternoon came around, the water was such an inviting temperature that you could easily go for a swim and cool off in the river. 

Like with every moment on trail, it was over too soon.  Constantly, we are reminded to enjoy the fleeting beauty as it slowly passes by and to live in the present.  Every day, I have to remind myself that we are still walking through New Mexico.  From the low desert, to the high desert, and all of the canyons, rivers, and rolling grasslands in between, our surroundings are ever changing. 

Today, we walked eight road miles into Pie Town to pick up a resupply box, to eat pie, and to rest.  We’ll stay at a hiker hostel tonight and head out for Grants tomorrow.  Thanks for reading!

P.S. Lack of photos due to poor Wi-Fi connection…Enjoy the words!


By the Numbers 

Silver City, N.M. ——-> Pie Town, N.M.

Miles: 179.5

Nights: eight

Snakes seen: three

Times crossed the Gila River: 243

Deer spotted: 19

Holes put in my Darn Tough socks: two


“Rise free from care before dawn, and seek adventures.”  Henry David Thoreau

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

  • Gary Stell : May 16th

    Great update! Yeah the Gila is magical! Happy Trails!


What Do You Think?