Gila National Forest to expand Whitewater Creek Trail closure for rock scaling

Release Date: Oct 31, 2022

Contact(s): Maribeth Pecotte

SILVER CITY, New Mexico, October 31, 2022 – On Tuesday, November 1, the Glenwood Ranger District of the Gila National Forest will begin rock scaling work on hazardous, overhanging rock along the Whitewater Creek Trail (#207.1). The rock scaling work will remove an unstable rock overhang above a popular swimming hole to reduce threats to public safety

An existing closure area will be enlarged to protect public safety for the duration of the work, which is expected to last approximately two weeks (Closure Order 03-06-04-22-008). The restricted area encompasses the entire Whitewater Creek drainage, beginning 0.12 miles upstream of the suspended metal catwalk, and extending 0.71 miles upstream to the Whitewater Creek intersection with Gold Dust Trail (#41).

“Once completed, this will project allow us to lift the entire closure area, opening approximately 2.5 additional miles of the Whitewater Creek Trail,” said Erick Stemmerman, Glenwood District Ranger. “It restores public access from the Catwalk to the Gold Dust Trail, Powerhouse Trail (#810), the South Fork Whitewater Trail (#212) and the Gila Wilderness boundary.”

The Catwalk Recreation Area and Catwalk Trail (#207) will remain open. Signs will be posted warning visitors of falling rock hazards, and staff will be present onsite at the upper end of Catwalk to answer questions and redirect visitors away from the closure. Whitewater Creek is still flowing much higher than normal for this time of year, following a wet monsoon season and frequent, heavy October rains. High clearance vehicles are recommended for access to the recreation area.