Burro Mountains, Gila National Forest – New Mexico

Description: Take a trip on a recently constructed and picturesque CDTsection in an area characterized by long distance views and a diverse array of desert-woodland transition zone flora and fauna. Trek across the landscape that inspired the pre-historic Mimbres Indians whose artistic culture flourished until about 1150 A.D. and where fierce struggles between Apaches and Buffalo soldiers marked the period from 1868 until the capture of Geronimo in 1886.

Joseph Gendron, longtime CDTA volunteer and resident of the Silver City area describes the section: “This is a highly scenic section with gentle gradients and granite outcroppings. When accessed from the Burro Peak trailhead, this section of CDT heads southeast to a crossing of the Continental Divide and a seasonal waterfall in Whitetail Canyon. The trail’s southeast exposure offers outstanding views across the Chihuahuan desert including the Big Hatchet Mountains at the southern terminus of the CDT and is best for day hikes in the fall, winter, or spring.”

Camping areas exist along the trail for backpackers and there is a primitive camping location at the Burro Peak trailhead. Be sure to stock up on water before hiking or mountain biking this section, as no water exists outside of occasional seasonal runoff over rock outcroppings.

Difficulty: Moderate

Length: 8 miles one-way, shuttle option available.

Directions: Burro Peak Trailhead: For northern access, travel approximately 21 miles from Silver City on NM 90 to the intersection of NM 90 and FR 828 on the right. Take FR 828 a short distance to the trailhead.

C-Bar Ranch Road: For southern access, travel approximately 25 miles on NM 90 until the intersection with C-Bar Ranch Road on the left. Access the trail thru a gate on the north side of the highway. The section also crosses two forest roads (The Walking X Rd., FR 861 and the Gold Gulch Rd., FR 860) that intersect with NM 90 so you can also access the Trail from these roads as well. Note that both Forest Roads are in arroyo bottoms that are sandy and soft most of time.

Maps: USGS 7.5 Quadrangles: Burro Peak, USFS: Gila National Forest – Forest Visitor Map

Other Information: Gila National Forest’s Silver City Ranger District: (575) 388-8201.