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Whitewater Baldy
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mini location map2015-05-20
24 by photographer avatarGrimey
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Whitewater BaldySouthwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar May 20 2015
Hiking10.86 Miles 2,028 AEG
Hiking10.86 Miles   2 Hrs   34 Mns   4.23 mph
2,028 ft AEG
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On a whim decided to head over to NM to check out the Gila NF. Ran/hiked this trail in the "original" Wilderness, the Gila. Overall a very enjoyable hike for someone looking to get away from people. I did not go up to the top of the Whitewater bald itself because there was a lot of snow patches near the top making movement slow, and also because I came upon some fresh-ish cougar scat and decided to turn around lest I become a hungry cat's lunch. Actually I was heading up on the trail beyond Hummingbird Saddle, which circles around the peak but doesn't go up top - my mistake, I wouldn't have gotten to the top even had I kept going.

The area of this trail was burned quite extensively since the last triplogs were posted. This from the nearly 300,000 acre Whitewater-Baldy fire of 2012. Some new growth of aspens (6ft - 8ft or so, small) are beginning to grow, and there are patches of still living pines. I would say 80-90% of the trail encompasses burned area. The upside, if you could call it that, is that you have decent views in all directions for much of the trail, and on a cold morning like today you get some sun exposure to warm you.

The trail itself is in really decent shape, there has been a lot of maintenance on it. The ranger in Glenwood made it sound like it was in bad shape with fallen trees and such, and the sign at the trailhead also warns that the trail is not maintained and may be diffcult to find. Nothing could be further from the truth - the trail has had extensive maintenance done, logs cut and signs replaced, etc and is in very good shape. No trouble finding the trail at all.

Oddly with all the treefall I couldn't find any of the plane wreckage. I though it would be well exposed... :?
Fire Burn Area & Recovery
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Wildflowers Observation Light
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90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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