Catwalk Recreation Area

Area Status: Open

The Catwalk's history began with the discovery of gold and silver in the rugged Mogollon Mountains above Whitewater Canyon. In 1893, the small town of Graham (also known as Whitewater) grew around a mill, located on the west hillside near the present day location of the parking area. The mill only lasted about 10 years. In the mid-1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the Catwalk. The Catwalk bridge system washed away during a huge flooding event after the 2012 Whitewater-Baldy Fire. The bridge system was rebuilt and is now open for approximately .5 miles from the parking lot. This is a very accessible area and easily hiked by all ages. After the bridge system, the trail system has been cleared for another .5 - .75 miles. It goes across a low-water crossing, across the fiberglass bridge and through the arch. Once you go up the stairs to a small viewing area the trail can become steep. Past the "swimming hole" the trail becomes unnavigable. A series of trail reconstruction projects are scheduled to occur in summer and fall 2023 to restore trail access toward Hummingbird Saddle.

View Catwalk Recreation Area photos on Flickr


At a Glance

Current Conditions: High stream flows are common at the last low water crossing before the Catwalk parking lot. Use caution if you decide to cross and remember that flows may increase from snowmelt in the afternoon, or under the influence of monsoon rains. NM Highway 174 (Catwalk Recreation Area access road) will be reduced to one lane of traffic, with up to 30-minute delays possible from November 17, 2023 through July 2024. Road reconstruction activities will provide a roadway that is more resilient to flooding and more reliable for visitors. Review the press release and photo log for more information.
Operational Hours: Dawn to dusk. This is a day-use area only.
Reservations: None needed
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site, Accessible, Picnic tables, Toilets, Parking
Fees: There is a $5 per vehicle fee.
Permit Info: None needed.
Open Season: year-round
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Spring and Fall
  • Dogs must be on a leash at all times in all developed recreation sites. Please pack out your dog's solid waste.
  • No drinking water available. Hydrate well and bring extra water and sunscreen.
  • Recommend wearing closed-toe shoes.
  • Watch out for rattlesnakes and other wildlife.
  • If the trash receptacles are full, pack out your trash.
Closest Towns: Glenwood, NM
Restroom: Vault Toilets
Information Center: Glenwood Ranger District
Phone: (575) 539-2481

General Information


The area is approximately 5 miles from Glenwood, NM, at the end of NM Hwy 174 (Catwalk Road). Note: NM Hwy 174 is under construction beginning the week of November 17, 2023 through July 2024. Traffic is reduced to one lane with possible 30-minute delays.


The parking area is paved and marked.


Video demonstration of wheel chair use at Catwalk National Recreation Area. Visitor provided video used with permission.


River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:

Whitewater Creek at the Catwalk near Glenwood, New Mexico is a good place to begin your quest for a gila trout for many reasons - the main one being that you should be able to catch a fish there. Fishing at the Catwalk does not require a long hike to access good fishing holes. You will have to get down to the water, and in colder weather, that may mean you should wear a pair of waders or identify a way to fish without wetting your feet. In warmer weather, you can just wade into the stream and walk to the better spots for gila trout.

The fish are there! and whatever your fishing gear, style, or experience level, you will have a decent chance of catching something. Some nice-sized gila trout have been caught at the Catwalk. Barbless hooks and Catch-and-Release are recommended.

All fishing regulations are established by New Mexico Game & Fish:
Whitewater Creek, from Catwalk parking area upstream to its headwaters, including all tributaries, is designated by the State of New Mexico Game & Fish as a Special Trout Water "Xmas Chile Water", limiting the daily bag limit to two trout. Trout taken from Special Trout Waters are cumulative across designated waters ("All fishing in Special Trout Waters must stop when the daily bag limit for that water has been taken. Anglers may not continue to fish another Special Trout Water with a similar or lower bag limit, but may continue if another Special Trout Water has a higher bag limit, or if fishing in Regular Trout Waters.") Any legal tackle is allowed. A Gila Trout Permit (free of charge) is required from New Mexico Game & Fish. Learn more about New Mexico Special Trout Waters at Special-Trout-Waters.pdf (

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

The Catwalk National Recreation Trail comprises the first .5 miles of trail #207. This should take between 1 and 1.5 hours for a round trip. The first 0.5 miles is universal design trail with ADA accessibility. If you chose the loop back on the side of the trail that is part of the original CCC built system, it is not ADA accessible. 


Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

The Catwalk National Recreation Trail #207 becomes a forest trail that leads into the Gila Wilderness.


Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate


Recreation areas with activity Picnicking:

Several great picnic sites under Arizona Sycamore trees by a stream

Status: Open
Hours of Operation: dawn to dusk
Difficulty Level: Easy


Parking: Paved area

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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