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Hiking in Wilderness Areas

The Gila National Forest has hundreds of miles of trails for hikers. From a smooth path through the deep forest to a challenging ascent of the headwaters of the Gila River, opportunities abound for most experience levels.

Safety Information

Creek along West Fork Trail 151There is no cell coverage in any of the three wilderness areas. The best way to prevent mishaps is to adequately prepare for your trip.

  • Travel with a companion. Leave a copy of your itinerary with a responsible person. Include such details as the make, year, and license plate of your vehicle and when you plan to return.
  • Be in good physical condition. Set a comfortable pace as you hike. Remember that the Gila National Forest ranges in elevation from 4,200 to 10,900 feet. The Gila is a diversity of rugged mountains, deep canyons, meadows, and semi-desert country.
  • Think about your footing while traveling near cliffs. Trees and bushes can't always be trusted to hold you.
  • Wear appropriate clothing for trail conditions and season.
  • Check your equipment. Keep your equipment in good working order. Inspect it before your trip.
  • Be weather wise. Keep an eye on current and predicted weather conditions.
  • Learn basic first aid so that you know how to identify and treat injuries and illnesses. Carry a first aid kit with you.
  • Make camp before dark.
  • Alcohol and cliffs don't mix!
  • Think before you drink! No matter how clean or pure stream water looks, it's likely to contain water-borne parasites and microorganisms. Pack your water in, or purify.

Current Conditions and Map

This information is provided to the Gila National Forest by one of our partners, GilaTrailsInfo.org.

Download the trail conditions and map

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities