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Buds Hole
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mini location map2011-04-16
32 by photographer avatarRedRoxx44
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Buds HoleSouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Backpack avatar Apr 16 2011
Backpack13.60 Miles 1,600 AEG
Backpack13.60 Miles2 Days         
1,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Shortest backpack I've done I think. Just a quick weekender to exploring more of the Gila wilderness. It's a lengthy dirt road drive in through large ranches in the foothills. The best way is out of the tiny town of Cliff, then take the Sacaton Road to the turn off for the TH which goes through the Shelley ranch. The trail takes off in low desert grass lands, very dry looking right now. It's rocky and rollercoasters through some washes before ascending steadily to a saddle through a drift fence in high desert scrub. It traverses and you start to get views of white rock faces, hoodoos, and some high peaks, Mogollon Baldy among them. A beautiful small pine flat right before the trail splits would make stellar dry camping. At the divide the rain creek trail comes up to meet the Mogollon Creek trail. It's very steep and brushy at the start, a downhill knee killer. It moderates but still plunges toward Mogollon Creek. At the bottom, in the pines, it crosses and continues on toward the West Fork and or to the Rain Creek TH. Good camping is at the crossing, but for solitude travel downstream a bit to some benches with good level camping and shade. Bud Hole is a section where the West Fork and main Fork of Mogollon Creek come together in a deepening canyon guarded by rocky cliffs.
I arrived well before noon, set up my small camp, read some to avoid the high noon sun, then went downstream to explore. Those with moderate scrambling skills and no aversion to getting wet can make nice progress down and past the "hole". It is very scenic with balancing rocks in the streambed and small cascades. The hole itself has a slide waterfall and some deep pools in a short narrow section. To get safely around the hole you must go around a short cliff face on the right LDC and push through some brush. The first place you are not cliffed out is a five foot scramble down then a vertical drop through a notch. Do not do this. Mount a fractured rock --be careful here some exposure--and go around the nose of a jutting prow of rock. Now you will see a much safer scramble down where the West Fork Creek comes in. On the return you must be able to do an easy mantle of several feet, so weak upper body people beware.
Downsteam is also nice, more of a boulder hop, and some narrowing as the stream entrenches. Allow plenty of time to explore and return the way you came. I also hiked upstream from my camp in the evening and had some nice photo ops. Next day woke up to owl and turkey calls, packed up and hiked out, the uphill not too bad as it is shaded from the morning sun. I saw two small groups of backpackers but no one down at the hole.
Would like to combine this with a longer loop someday.
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