Here's a "blast from the past" hike for you. Met my hiking friend Karen, who was already in New Mexico visiting her brother, at the Water Canyon Campground between Socorro and Magdalena. In 2003 this campground was very nice, nestled in the lower part of the canyon before FR235 starts its steep climb up the mountain ending at well over 10,000 feet near the Langmuir Lightning Research Lab. The campground has since been moved and "improved," but like some so-called improvements, this was a step in the wrong direction in my opinion.
The Magdalena Crest trailhead starts near the research lab by South Baldy (10,783 feet). The hike follows the ridge of the range for about 4 miles until it ends at North Baldy Peak at 9,858 feet. Fine views prevail as you are in and out of forest cover. We started at 8 am and made it to North Baldy at 1035 am. After finishing the hike at 105 pm, we headed down the mountain and drove over to camp north of Silver City.
On Tuesday, the 17th, we hiked up to the Signal Peak Lookout north of Pinos Altos and talked to the fire watch there about conditions in the Gila. There were a number of fires burning there at the time, and since it was June before the monsoon, everyone was on alert. Ironically, we told him that so far things were quiet over in southern Arizona in the Coronado. We left there around 11 am and headed back home to Tucson, arriving about 330 pm. No smoke was evident anywhere as we got back. But watching the 5 o'clock news, it was mentioned that a new fire was being reported up near Mt. Lemmon. I looked out the front door and could see faint smoke on the mountain. Thus began the Aspen Fire, that ended up burning much of the Catalinas including the village of Summerhaven.