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Little Creek Trail #161, NM

Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3 of 5 
no permit
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 8.34 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,000 feet
Elevation Gain 891 feet
Accumulated Gain 891 feet
Avg Time One Way 4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 11.31
Interest Seasonal Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes
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Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
15  2019-09-20
Gila Wilderness Loop
8  2010-06-09 BrettVet
author avatar Guides 15
Routes 40
Photos 335
Trips 48 map ( 525 miles )
Age 72 Male Gender
Location Tucson, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:32am - 7:05pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2021 Johnson Fire251.4 mi**
🔥 2020 Good Fire18.1k
🔥 2017 Straw Fire9.4k
🔥 2012 Whitewater-baldy Complex 297.8k
🔥 2011 Miller Fire88.8k
🔥 2003 Turnbo Fire18.9k
🔥 2003 Dry Lake Complex Fire65.1k
🔥 1995 Granite Fire487.93
🔥 1993 Straw Fire39.4k
🔥 1987 Sycamore Fire9.4k
🔥 1985 Bloodgood Fire2.4k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
**possible voids inflate figure

Heart of the Gila
by BrettVet

The Little Creek Trail is an easy way to get into the heart of the Gila Wilderness without lots of creek crossings or mountain climbing. It follows a wide canyon with a gradual elevation change that ends at Little Spring. Little spring is a year round water source and has a great flat campsite. The advantages of this route are that it gives you lots of options for loop backpacks and day hikes. The most popular one is to continue on the little creek trail up over the Diablo mountains to McKenna park to white cabin on the west fork then down the west fork. Granite peak up and back is a day hike from the spring. Shorter loops of varying distances are an option via the ring canyon trail. Several cross over trail intersect it from the little spring trail. Water is an issue on the ring canyon trail. The trail begins at Woody's corral campground, which is the first campground on the left as you go west from the Gila cliff dwellings visitor center. A stop at The visitor center is a great place to start this hike because they do not get large volumes of traffic and the Back country ranger "Mike" (575-536-9461) is a wealth of information as far as water sources and trail conditions. The Miller spring trail (160) leaves the south east corner of the campground, crosses a small drainage and immediately takes a hard left uphill. There is about 400 ft of elevation change in the first 3 miles of the hike with long switchbacks and views back towards the visitor center. Basically what you are doing is crossing from one drainage to the next due south. At the three mile mark you intersect the Ring canyon trail which follows the ridgeline to McKenna park. Continue on the Miller Spring Trail straight for a mile downhill to intersect Little Creek and the Little Creek Trail. Go right on the Little Spring Trail 10 miles to little Spring. The best time to do this hike is in the spring because Little Creek with have water here from the high elevation snow melt. It always goes underground about 2 miles upstream the returns 2 miles later. In the fall it will be dry all the way too little spring. The trail follows this wide grassy ponderosa filled valley and there are two cutover trails to the ring canyon trail , the EE canyon trail at one mile and the ring canyon cutover trail at about 4 miles. The Little Creek Trail sometimes splits into two trails only to rejoin a few miles later. Just stay in the valley and you will not get lost. At about 10 miles from the trailhead the valley will narrow and some sheer walls will crowd in on you. Then it will open up through a burned area and after 14 miles you will arrive at a great flat campsite with a rock fireplace.

The springs are just up the stream due north of the campsite in the stream bed and another spring is located about a hundred yards up the Granite mountain trail. You will see the pipe on the trail and what looks like a discarded piece of metal on the trail. These are fairly reliable sources of water.

Trails intersect here go to McKenna park, which is a tough climb through a burned area with lots of dead fall. Granite peak trail with fantastic views of the whole Gila. Turkey creek trail that goes deeper into the Gila. Cienaga trail that goes to Mogollon creek. Little creek provides lots of access to the deeper regions of the Gila Wilderness. We camped here and did day hikes to Granite Peak and Turkey Creek then to McKenna park.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2010-08-04 BrettVet
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One-Way Notice
This hike is listed as One-Way.

When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
Directions to trail: Drive to Lordsburg, NM on Interstate Hwy 10. Turn north on NM Hwy 90 and drive to Silver City, 45 miles to the northeast. Follow NM Hwy 15 to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument - the 43 miles of twisting mountain roads will take about 90 minutes to drive. Follow signs to the campgrounds, parking at the Woody's Corral. There are horse facilities here. Camping nearby is free and quite nice.
page created by BrettVet on Aug 04 2010 7:51 pm
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
prehydrate & stay hydrated

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