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Beginning high in the Black Range of the Gila National Forest, the Gila River cascades its way toward the Arizona border.
A number of stretches are boatable in spring, starting with a seven-mile section from the visitor center of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument to the confluence with its east fork. The following 38 miles is replete with lush canyons, refreshing springs, wildlife and rapids. Known as the Wilderness Run, this section often has few calm spots. Side hikes are plentiful, as well. The river slows for the remaining 20 miles to Virden and the birdlife increases. Side hikes feature Indian petroglyphs.
From Mogollon Creek to FS 809, many barbed-wire fences and irrigation diversions impede travel, but the next 18 miles, known as the Middle Box, provide a wild ride through a narrow, rocky canyon. The river slows for the remaining 20 miles to Virden and the birdlife increases. Side hikes feature Indian petroglyphs.
For more information on the Gila River visit this website.
Located at the foothills of the Pinos Altos Mountains, Silver City isn’t the kind of place people just stumble onto—but it’s a destination worth seeking. With its Old West charm and high-desert location, Silver City has long been a haven for both outdoorsy and creative types. Nestled against the 3.3 million acre Gila National Forest, Silver City is truly a gateway to the wilderness. But don’t let its size and location fool you; Silver City is a quirky and fun community with much to see, do, and explore. The downtown historic district is home to more than a dozen restaurants, murals, and more than 30 galleries and artists’ studios.