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Bonanza Bill Trail #23
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mini location map2021-04-09
10 by photographer avatarAugustWest
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Bonanza Bill Trail #23Alpine, NM
Alpine, NM
Hiking11.46 Miles 1,859 AEG
Hiking11.46 Miles   4 Hrs   51 Mns   2.57 mph
1,859 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
1st trip
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Day 1 of our Alpine adventure. Started my day at 8 AM at the Alpine Forest Service office. The office is closed because of COVID, but the super helpful ranger opened the door for me and sold me a copy of a Blue Range Primitive Area map. Immediately inside the entryway is a map and list of trails that the Forest Service has worked on in 2020. I have posted an image of this list in my photoset. The impression I get is that they are working very hard on improving recreational access. Our experience today 100% reflects this as we are very early in the hiking season and every trail and road we traversed was clear and well maintained. According to ranger, the Forest Service relies on the feedback of those hiking and backpacking these trails to help determine the allocation of resources. I plan on sending my feedback to the district when I am back in the valley.

We arrived at the Bonanza Bill trailhead at 10 AM or so for our interstate hike. I will probably never do a through hike, but traveling between New Mexico and Arizona in a single day at least allows my kids to say their dad did an 'interstate' hike :)
We drove in on Blue River Road to Pueblo Park Rd. Pueblo Park has been recently cleared as evidenced by the log rounds stacked nicely on the side of the road.

Bonanza Bill and Tige Rim have both been impacted by the relatively recent fires. Nonetheless, the pine and juniper forest is highly resilient and about 80-90% of the forest remains intact and highly enjoyable. Fortunately, the areas that are total burned out are mostly up at the high point of Tige Rim. This affords some of the most incredible views of the Mogollon Mts and the Gila Wilderness.

Route finding was pretty easy even through the heavily burned areas. While the day started in the 60's, things heated up to the low 80's by the mid-afternoon. We didn't see anyone all day except one car on Blue River Road. Going out we made our way back to Alpine on Red Hill Rd. to 191. This was a rougher road, but with expansive views. We did see something significant burning way off to the South :pout:

The sign in register at the trailhead showed us as the 5th party hiking from Bonanza Bill trailhead since late March. Before that the last sign in was October. Perhaps, the most interesting part of the day was the 8x11 trail map of the Blue Range. When I showed Abby the tiny little corner that we had just hiked relative to the incredible enormity of the area, we were both dumbfounded. The Blue Range together with the Gila and Aldo Leopold wildernesses constitutes one of the wildest and most beautiful areas in the United States. Can't wait to see what Abby will let us do tomorrow!
Wildflower seed in the sand and wind
May the four winds blow you home again

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