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Signal Peak Trail #742 - 4 members in 10 triplogs have rated this an average 4 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Nov 15 2020
AugustWest
avatar

 Photos 451
 Triplogs 88

47 male
 Joined Mar 16 2019
 Phoenix
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2020
AugustWest
Hiking11.49 Miles 3,138 AEG
Hiking11.49 Miles   5 Hrs   29 Mns   2.57 mph
3,138 ft AEG   1 Hour   1 Min Break
 
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Started the day at my campsite on the Gila River at the Gila Hot Springs. It was in the high teens and my goal at 6:30 AM was to get my camp broke down and into the sun as quickly as possible.

The Signal Peak Trailhead starts off of SR 15 about 10 miles North of Pinos Altos. The trail goes up to the lookout in 2.5 miles, crisscrossing the mountain in moderately steep switchbacks. The forest on the northern, ascending face is predominantly pine, with some fir and oak mixed in.

The lookout was locked at the final flight of stairs and the views were just ok from the summit of Signal Peak. I was tired from lack of sleep, the cold morning and lack of coffee, but imagined that I had enough gas in the tank to make it to the junction of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Along the way I met a Silver City local who was clearing deadfall from a smaller, fire damaged section of the trail. I inquired about any loop options, but according to him everything would have me walking on SR 15 for miles.

I continued on to the Continental Divide Trail. The forest throughout this entire trail system is incredibly pleasant to walk through with sunny, open glades, intermixed with darker portions of deeper fir forests on North facing slopes.

The trail volunteer was the only person I saw all day until the very last mile when I ran into 3 other day hikers. The weather was perfect, the trails were very well maintained and the Gila National Forest is an incredible area that I will be exploring in greater depth on future trips.
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Wildflower seed in the sand and wind
May the four winds blow you home again
Oct 18 2020
CannondaleKid
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 Guides 43
 Routes 141
 Photos 21,934
 Triplogs 2,261

71 male
 Joined May 04 2004
 Mesa, AZ
Signal Peak Trail to Black Peak, NM 
Signal Peak Trail to Black Peak, NM
 
Hiking avatar Oct 18 2020
CannondaleKid
Hiking8.60 Miles 3,026 AEG
Hiking8.60 Miles   5 Hrs   47 Mns   1.55 mph
3,026 ft AEG      14 Mns Break18 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners partners
trixiec
2020 New Mexico trip Hike #6 - Signal Peak Trail to Black Peak
(Includes a short out-and-back on the Continental Divide Trail Mile 189.5 to 189.3

Today would be a bit different because we would be hiking with my grand-nephew Evan. He is from California but is a freshman at Southwestern New Mexico University in Silver City. We had last hiked with him when he came for a visit in 2014, when he hoped to encounter a Western Diamondback. No luck on the rattlers but he took solace in Gila Monster and Desert Tortoise encounters instead.
(Long story very short, 4 years ago Evan was bitten by a rattler on the hand, spending two days in the hospital.)

Anyway, after we picked Evan up at SWNMU Centennial Hall it was but a short 15 mile trip up NM 15 to the Signal Peak trailhead, where the temp was still under 60°. Once on the trail we had but a few hundred feet before beginning the steep ascent to Signal Peak. While there were a few spots with switchbacks to make things easier, for the most part it was a steep climb up some 2150' in two miles so we were ready for a break at the summit.

But with 2+ miles yet to hike across the ridge to reach Black Peak we took a few quick photos and continued on. While I had a mapped track across the ridge, it was where the trail was previous to the last fire and by now it was non-existent. So, we simply followed the Forest Road until reaching a nice new trail along the contour, which lead all the way south until intersecting with the Continental Divide Trail. From there we followed the CDT eastward a quarter-mile to what was labeled a "Viewpoint" on Tracey's Guthooks app. With a few trees blocking the view it really wasn't that special, but with a little effort I got a photo across to where we turned around on our CDT/Twin Sisters hike yesterday.

Ok, time to bag Black Peak/Black Benchmark. My track to the summit showed a scramble up the SE slope, which we did, albeit each on our own chosen route, but I was the lucky one, managing to find a game trail all the way up. Another summit with little for scenic views but we checked out the communication site as well as an old shed and a few odds & ends.

We took about 5 minutes for a short lunch break before heading back. Lucky us... we saw a faint trail heading down to the northeast so we hopped on it and soon reconnected with the trail we had come out on. Cool! A much easier and shorter route to the summit... not that we'll ever return.

Almost back to the Signal Peak summit Tracey spotted a few white-tailed deer and we spent another 5 minutes watching and hoping for a good photo op but with only one ear showing in my only photo it was only worthy of deletion.

Now just a short jaunt on the forest road to Signal summit, another 4 minute break and we were heading back down. Near the bottom we missed a turn (ok, so I was leading) and figured it was easier to continue than to return to the trail. Besides, it WAS a game trail we were on, the only problem being it did not lead directly back to the trailhead. But just one small gully to cross and we had but a hundred yards along the road back to the car.

This hike would bring the most AEG of all of the hikes on our trip. Thankfully my hip only let me know I was abusing it a few times and they were of short enough duration neither Tracey nor Evan was the wiser to my discomfort. But again, the elation of hiking with like-minded folk, the scenery, the wildlife and the beautiful weather, it was all worth it.
Fauna
Fauna
Ladybug beetle
Named place
Named place
Black Peak
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CannondaleKid
Jul 21 2020
Pivo
avatar

 Guides 2
 Routes 431
 Photos 4,630
 Triplogs 3,607

65 male
 Joined Mar 01 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 21 2020
Pivo
Hiking5.20 Miles 1,739 AEG
Hiking5.20 Miles   2 Hrs   32 Mns   2.28 mph
1,739 ft AEG      15 Mns Break20 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
aztrailblazzer
Quick workout hike, while we we talking with the lookout on duty, the other towers reported yet another fire.
Culture
Culture
Fire Lookout Structures
Named place
Named place
Signal Peak
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Apr 09 2018
rwstorm
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 125
 Photos 20,504
 Triplogs 933

73 male
 Joined Feb 28 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Apr 09 2018
rwstorm
Hiking4.75 Miles 1,733 AEG
Hiking4.75 Miles   4 Hrs   54 Mns   1.53 mph
1,733 ft AEG   1 Hour   48 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Second trip to Silver City in three weeks. Last time I had hoped to get some hiking in, but it was windy, chilly and threatening rain, so just hung around town. This time things were fine, so I wanted to do this hike again (last in 2009). Seemed harder and longer, but I am older, out of condition, and not motivated anymore. Nevertheless, it was fun. The first thing I wanted to do is see if the flamingos were still at the lookout. When I made it to the peak they were nowhere to be seen. The tower was manned, and after awhile the fellow invited me up. Of course, the first thing I asked him was, " What happened to the flamingos?" He said, "Don't worry, they will be back." We had thought their presence there was due to a woman's touch, but that turns out not to be so. One of the male lookouts assigned there is responsible for them (as well as the flower boxes that are hung on the railing of the ladder steps to the cab. That fellow was not on duty, and when he is away he takes those with him. Why? Turns out the some of his fellow Forest Service workers don't like them, so he takes them with him for safe keeping. :lol: Indeed, the fellow on duty said that if he put them in the storage shed up there, he would burn them :o Anyway, we had a nice long conversation, and I asked him if Philip Conners was still a lookout over at Hillsboro Peak, and he said yes. (I picked up Philip's latest book, "All the Wrong Places" at Gila Hike and Bike in Silver City last trip).

I thanked him for inviting me up, then made my way back down the mountain. On my way back to town I passed through Pinos Altos and saw that the well known Buckhorn Saloon and Opera House was open and stopped in for a beer and look around. I had not been in there in about 20 years, so that was fun. :D
Culture
Culture
Fire Lookout Structures
Named place
Named place
Signal Peak
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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May 25 2017
Nightstalker
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 Routes 96
 Photos 5,947
 Triplogs 1,014

53 male
 Joined Apr 25 2011
 Goodyear, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar May 25 2017
Nightstalker
Hiking5.06 Miles 1,689 AEG
Hiking5.06 Miles   2 Hrs   32 Mns   2.34 mph
1,689 ft AEG      22 Mns Break8 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was one of the hikes recommended to me at the Gila National Forest visitor center and, to my surprise, already on HAZ! Thanks for the GPS track PrestonSands! Only 30 minutes to the trail head from the KOA I got my start on the trail just after sunrise and at a brisk 43 degrees. I wasn't cold long after starting up the hill. Trail is well signed and easy to follow. The bottom half of the trail mostly follows an old service road and turns into sweet single track after the bench. Made it to the tower before 8am with no signs of a ranger. Took some pictures and made my way back down the hill. I was surprised to pass a group of 4 and then a couple on their way up. Parking at the trail head is limited to about 4 or 5 cars, but there is more space just up the 15.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
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Jul 06 2013
cindyl
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 Routes 7
 Photos 2,650
 Triplogs 225

49 female
 Joined May 15 2009
 Phoenix, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 06 2013
cindyl
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
1,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
southpawaz
after the rest of the week in the lincoln national forest, we headed back toward home via the gila, and a nice hike up to an active tower. we camped at poison ivy campground, oops - i meant mcmillan campground, just down the road with absolutely no camp-mates. cherry creek was pretty desolate as well. do the people in new mexico just not want to camp on a holiday weekend? and with only stage 1 fire restrictions in place, campfires in campground metal fire rings were allowed (but not easy, due to the damp conditions). very nice weekend outside of silver city! oh - and a post-hike meal at jalisco's could not be missed!
Named place
Named place
Signal Peak
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
can you believe it wasn't until around two miles in that we saw any flowers whatsoever? (flowers posted in this set are from the campground)
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There are just two switchbacks left. And another half-mile to the destination...
Jun 08 2013
Pivo
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 Guides 2
 Routes 431
 Photos 4,630
 Triplogs 3,607

65 male
 Joined Mar 01 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2013
Pivo
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
1,700 ft AEG25 LBS Pack
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Floridasunshine
MyRudy
Late afternoon hike just to get a bit of work after driving to Silver City for the weekend.
Fauna
Fauna
Dog
Culture
Culture
Fire Lookout Structures
Named place
Named place
Signal Peak
_____________________
Jun 08 2013
MyRudy
avatar

 Photos 3
 Triplogs 106

22 male
 Joined Apr 23 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jun 08 2013
MyRudy
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
1,700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
Floridasunshine
Pivo
_____________________
Jul 02 2012
southpawaz
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 Routes 22
 Photos 276
 Triplogs 94

58 male
 Joined Mar 18 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Jul 02 2012
southpawaz
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles
1,700 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After camping with friends in the Chiricahuas for a couple nights, I rounded out the long holiday weekend with a swing into NM. I visited to the Gila Cliff Dwellings yesterday, then drove back out and set up camp in the Cherry Creek Campground just down the road from the trailhead. With camp so close, I was able to get on the trail first thing in the morning, but almost burned myself out on the steep ascent to start before reining my legs in to a more appropriate pace. I enjoyed the walk through the forest, and reached the summit and tower just as the lookout drove up, returning from his weekend off. He said he needed some time to prepare before he'd be available for a visit, so I decided to continue on and walked the Divide Trail over to Black Peak and back, which was a very nice ridgeline walk although Black Peak didn't offer much in the way of views with so many trees on it.

I returned to the Lookout Tower and had a very nice visit with the lookout, who has had this tower for a long time and made the place his own with some gardening touches including a flock of pink flamingos in the yard behind his trailer. Usually when I'm in a tower I can pick out some of the landmark peaks in the distance, but this far from home I had no clue and when he offered to point some out I said, "Don't bother." After a while the radio chatter picked up and he had a phone call so I left him to do his work and made my way down the hill.
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Nov 03 2008
PrestonSands
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 Guides 169
 Routes 148
 Photos 5,629
 Triplogs 1,542

44 male
 Joined Apr 12 2004
 Oro Valley, AZ
Signal Peak Trail #742Southwest, NM
Southwest, NM
Hiking avatar Nov 03 2008
PrestonSands
Hiking5.00 Miles 1,700 AEG
Hiking5.00 Miles   2 Hrs   23 Mns   2.10 mph
1,700 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My employer sent me to Siver City for a short training session, and I ended up with a free afternoon. :-k Nearby Signal Peak looked like peak bagging fun. It delivered that along with sweet views, huge ponderosas, and nice autumn weather. Had a great hike in a pleasant forest untouched by fire. On the way home, I swung into the old western town of Pinos Altos to check out some of the historic structures. A few locals gave me a look that seemed to say "Who's that weirdo with a tripod?". Driving home on AZ/NM highway 78 that night, I broke out the big camera and did a few star shots. Great trip!!!
Culture
Culture
Fire Lookout Structures
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
_____________________
"As soon as I can I’m sneaking back in them mountains..." -Johnny Paycheck
1 archive
average hiking speed 2.06 mph

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.

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