Area Status: Closed
Preliminary assessment of flood damage to the popular Catwalk National Recreation Trail has determined that major damage has occurred due to intense rainstorms in September 2013. The entire Catwalk area will remain closed indefinitely due to the inaccessibility of the area.
N.M. Highway 174 to the Catwalk is impassable due to landslides, damage to the highway.
“Decisions about reopening the facility will wait until safe vehicle access has been restored and the entire trail has been evaluated as the full extent and severity of the damage to the Catwalk is unknown at this time,” former District Ranger Pat Morrison said.
The National Weather Service indicates that very little additional rainfall is needed to trigger flooding. Despite the overall decrease in rain activity, flood advisories or warnings can still be expected.
Flood damage to the Catwalk area at this time includes:
Portions of the Civilian Conservation Corps rock stairs were damaged including the trail’s metal grillwork.
A 30 foot section of the cement bridge that crosses Whitewater Creek has been washed away.
Several landslides and rockslides have occurred along both the “universal trail” and the “old” trail
Debris including trees, branches, boulders, rocks and sediment are present in the Whitewater Picnic Area, parking area, and access road.
“I am looking forward to arriving . . . . [a]nd meeting local citizens, District permittees, and elected officials whom I will be working with in my new position as Glenwood District Ranger. For the next few weeks, current District Ranger Pat Morrison and I will work closely together to provide a smooth transition as I start my new role,” says Debbie Cress as new District ranger
Please contact the Glenwood Ranger District office for further information, 575.539.2481.
At a Glance
N.M. Highway 174 to the Catwalk is impassable due to landslides, damage to the highway and high water levels at the low water crossings. Water levels in Whitewater Canyon remain high and dangerous. Complete assessment of the Catwalk and Whitewater Picnic Area will occur when it is safe to do so and access has been restored.
The catwalk National Recreation Area is CLOSED
There is a $3.00 fee per vehicle. (This is currently being waived)
Glenwood Ranger District
Phone: (575) 539-2481
The area is approximately 5 miles from Glenwood, NM, at the end of NM Hwy 174 (Catwalk Road).
The parking area is paved and marked.