West Fork Trail Horseback Riding

The 9th most popular equestrian trail in New Mexico.

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North of Silver City, the West Fork Trail (#151) is a 33 mile horseback riding route from the Gila Cliff Dwellings to Willow Creek with elevations ranging from 5,700 feet to 8,300. The trail follows the spectacular West Fork of the Gila River to near its source then completes a traverse of the Gila Wilderness. This is one of the hallmark trails of the Gila Wilderness. It follows the West Fork of the Gila River through a beautiful, deep, winding canyon with spectacular volcanic cliff formations. There are many river crossing per mile and boots that can be worn for wading are recommended. Many trails can be connected to cross the Gila Wilderness but #151 is one of only two trails that completely traverses the wilderness. The southern trail head is at the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the northern trail head is at Willow Creek. The trails that connect with #151 can be linked to make several very interesting loops through the interior of the wilderness. These loops provide opportunities for extended pack trips in quiet solitude and a wonderful variety of scenic canyon, mesa, and mountain terrain.

Trail 151 has a trailhead at the south and north boundaries of the wilderness. The southern trail head is at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument 1.5 miles from the Visitor Center. Follow NM 15 north from Silver City to the Monument. The travel time is 1 hour, 45 min.

The second trail head is at Willow Creek on the north wilderness boundary. It may not be accessible in the early spring if forest roads are closed due to snow. From the town of Reserve follow Forest Road 141 then 28 to Willow Creek. Travel time about 1hour, 45 min. From the town of Glenwood follow NM 159 to Willow Creek. This road is not recommended for horse trailers. Travel time about 1 hour, 30 min. Check with the Reserve or Glenwood Ranger Districts for more information.

Overall, West Fork Trail is the 9th most popular horse trail of all 22 horseback rides in New Mexico. Several of the better horse trails are nearby West Fork Trail including Granny Mountain Trail, Sawmill Wagon Road NRT, Black Canyon Trail, Black Range Crest Trail, Turkey Creek Trail and Fort Bayard Big Juniper Tree Trail.

Best West Fork Trail Horseback Riding Review | Silver City, New Mexico

Gila River In The Gila National Forest (NM)

Best West Fork Trail Horseback Riding Review | Silver City, New Mexico

Gila River In The Gila National Forest (NM)


Local Contact(s):  Gila National Forest (575) 536-9461; Silver City CoC (800) 548-9378; NM Tourism (800) SEENEWM; Gila Hike & Bike, Silver City (575) 388-3222.

Recommended Map:  "Trail Map For Telluride, Silverton, Ouray" from Trails Illustrated

Best Season:  Mar. - Oct.

Average Difficulty:  Moderate

Base Camp:  NFS Scorpion Campgrounds

Luxury Loding:  Wilderness Lodge (505) 536-9749

Breakfast Restaurant:  Diannes, Silver City

Reference Source:  click here http://www.fs.usda.gov/r3/

Article Source:   Best West Fork Trail Horseback Riding Review https://www.trailsource.com/?type=HORSE&id=14315

GPS:  33.2296, -108.2655

Date Published:  12/25/2015

Date Updated:  6/27/2018

ID:  14315

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