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The Gila mountains and their designated wilderness areas cover a huge amount of land. We did not even get into the vast wilderness area, we stayed on a trail outside those area, circled in light blue on the map below, bottom right corner.
The road we took was the same State Highway 15 we had taken before to go to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument last time we were here. If you follow the road up from where we parked to go for a walk in the woods, and get to that purplish area at the center of the map, that would be the location of the cliff dwellings.
Toward the left side and on the top half of the map above are some light blue circles. They point out peaks near 10,000 feet in elevation, and some are peaks seen on our horizon as we walk on trail 232. Trail 232 is shown on the next map, it is also called the Tadpole Ridge Trail and was recommended to us by the clerk at our hotel in Silver City as giving a quick introduction to the Gila Mountains. We only walk an hour into the trail, coving the length outlined in blue below:
I was impressed by the quality of this trail, annually maintained by the Forest Service, as compared to the primitive trails (rock cairn markers only) that are now becoming the standard in the Lincoln National Forest's Guadalupe Mountains Unit where I do most of my day-hikes (closer to home).
As indicated on the trail sign below, the Tadpole Ridge trail, Number 232, starts here:
We can gauge our progress with respect to the peak behind us both in terms of distance and elevation:
Speaking of progress, it is time to make some all the while enjoying the sight and fragrance of the ubiquitous pine trees!:
Of course we also need to look down and appreciate the brave and colorful flowers occasionally at our feet:
We continue this gentle and pleasant walk on the next page,
Go to Second Gila Trail 232 Page
Go to Third Gila Trail 232 Page
Go to Fourth Gila Trail 232 Page
Go to Fifth Gila Trail 232 Page
Go to Sixth Gila Trail 232 Page
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