Hiking The Granny Mountain
The 21st most popular hiking trail in New Mexico.
Monday 1 August 2016 03:58 GMT
North of Silver City, the Granny Mountain Trail (#160) is a 23 mile hiking route with elevations ranging from 5,240 feet to 7,640. This is a challenging trail into rugged country of a remote section of the Gila River. The first segment from TJ Corral to Miller Springs, about 14 miles, is moderate. It can be linked with the Miller Springs Trail 159, Turkey Creek Trail 155, and Little Creek Trail 160 to form a 4-day loop. The second segment of Trail 160 from Miller Springs over Granny Mountain to the Gila River, about 9 miles, is difficult. The trail acends a long ridgeline up to Granny Mountain then decends steeply down the south side to the Gila River. There are outstanding views of the rugged wilderness canyon country through which the Gila River flows. The trail ends at the Gila River where the options are to go up or down river on Trail 724. The decent from Granny Mountain to the Gila River has no water and is very hot in summer.
To reach the trailhead from Silver City, follow NM 15 north from Silver City to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The 160 trail head is at TJ Corral about one mile before the entry station to the cliff dwellings. The travel time is 1 hour, 45 min.
The 160 trail head at TJ Corral has chemical toilets, corrals, and plenty of parking for hikers and horse trailers. There is limited water on this trail. Water can be found where the trail crosses the lower end of Little Creek, at a small spring at Miller Creek Cabin, and at the Gila River. There is a stock tank at Little Turkey Park and Miller Spring Cabin from which water can be filtered if needed.
On the topos the segment of Trail 160 from TJ Corral to Miller Springs is also called the Miller Spring Trail. The entire trail is known as the Granny Mountain Trail. This open ponderosa, pinyon/juniper country is good habitat for deer, javalina, and bear. The cabin at Miller Springs isn t open to the public.
The south slopes on the decent into the Gila River are brushy with spectaular views and volcanic cliff formations. This is excellent country for Golden Eagles. The Gila River is excellent fishing and bird and wildlife habitat. In summer Black Hawks nest along the river. There have also been rare sighting of Coatimundi.
Overall, Granny Mountain is the 21st most popular hiking trail of all 39 hikes in New Mexico. Several of the better hiking trails are nearby Granny Mountain including Continental Divide Trail - Bookan Forest, Black Canyon Trail, Black Range Crest Trail, Sawmill Wagon Road Recreation Trail, Turkey Creek Trail, West Fork Trail, Fort Bayard Big Juniper Tree Trail, .