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Sunflower Mesa - GET #18, NM

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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 9.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,298 feet
Elevation Gain -1,449 feet
Accumulated Gain 74 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 9.95
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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Post the 1st photoset!
Author blisterfree
author avatar Guides 24
Routes 37
Photos 5
Trips 0 map ( 0 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location lithosphere
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Sun  5:28am - 7:17pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

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GET Segment 18 overview

Along with Segment 19, this short segment offers a convenient link between the backcountry of Arizona's Blue Range and the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. US 180 serves as a natural dividing line between these segments, and at 4900 feet is also the lowest point along the eastbound GET until the Rio Grande valley some 250 miles away. (Long-distance hikers heading westbound will commonly encounter lower elevations in Arizona.) The 2-lane highway offers access to the village of Alma, directly along our route, and also somewhat larger Glenwood a few miles to the south.

Sunflower Mesa is one of several broad, sloping plateaus that descend eastward from the Arizona border toward the valley of the San Francisco River near Alma. The landscape is quintessential New Mexico - wide open, with far-flung mountain vistas, and an austerity that invites contemplation. The GET in this segment follows graded Forest Service roads, offering easy walking and straightforward navigation. Besides the occasional rancher or hunter driving by, you're likely to have these roads to yourself. The mesa is prime range land, though most of the developed water sources are earthen stock ponds, unreliable, generally unpotable, and few are visible within range of the route anyhow. Plan to fill your bottles at the end of the segment, in Alma or perhaps from the river. The one ford of the San Francisco along FR 106 is across a generally modest creek, and in many years the river here runs dry by autumn.

A detailed, mile-by-mile description of this segment is available in the official GET guidebook. See

This segment of the GET forms part of a longer trip option between resupply locations, as described below:

GET Segments 15 - 18, Morenci to Alma & Glenwood

The jumbled ridges of Arizona's Blue Range unfold northward and the GET contours along their slopes, following foot trail flanked by live oak and manzanita, interspersed with shady conifers and secluded groves of maple alive with color in autumn. Views eastward extend to the Mogollon Mountains along our route in New Mexico, and to the nearer canyon system of the Blue River, toward which we now descend. Fording this small river in a remote setting, the wildness of the scene before us is truly written in the sands at creekside, where Merriam's turkey, black bear, and mountain lion leave telltale trace of their passage. Foot trail resumes en route toward prominent Maple Peak (8000'), from which a vantage of the Blue Range Primitive Area unfolds toward the Mogollon Rim. Descending to reach the Arizona/New Mexico boundary, the GET joins forest roads and heads east through classic New Mexican juniper-grassland toward the small ranching community of Alma, 4 miles north of more tourist-oriented Glenwood.

Check out the Official Route.

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2013-09-02 blisterfree

    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
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    FR 712 at Trail 307 Trailhead:
    4.5 miles north of Glenwood NM, just south of where the highway crosses Mineral Creek in Alma, (at signed Mile 46) turn west off US 180 onto a graded dirt road. The road crosses the San Francisco River - often shallow or dry here, otherwise requiring a high-clearance vehicle. (An alternate bridged crossing via County Route 004 is accessed by going south on US 180 for 1.2 mi.) Keep left at the first junction after the river, then right at the next junction, here joining County Route 004. In 2.4 mi. from US 180, keep straight at a t-junction with a road at left. In about 6 mi. from US 180, past a power transmission line, turn right (onto FR 712, which may require 4WD when wet). A sign here says "Sunflower Mesa." Continue 3.8 mi. to the AZ/NM boundary at a fenceline. Primitive parking is available on either side of the fence near the signed trailhead for Charlie Moore Trail #307. Please note: These driving directions follow the route of the GET for its entirety in this segment.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Sep 01 2013 7:28 pm
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