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Weekend Backpacking trip to Skunk Johnson Cabin Gila Wilderness

Please check out Wayland's Stewart Lake trip first. It is a beautiful lake and a definite must see in the Pecos. I don't typically allow beginner's on Gila trips but please email me first. Some trails like this may not be steep with tons of elevation gain but they are rugged and wild. There are hardly any people and lots of wildlife. Not to mention its size if someone were to get lost.

This hike is in the lower elevation of the Gila which should make it a little warmer. The Gila is cut with deep canyons which this hike will explore. The end result will be a cabin site dating back to the 1930's. We will camp near the cabin and creek. There is an old apple orchard there as well. Bears frequent the orchard so we will practice safe food storage and keep dogs close to camp. This should be a good one and a nice intro to the Gila for those that have never been.


Please Note: Anyone attending our trips must have a signed Waiver & Release form on file with us.  This waiver covers all trips and activities for 2011, so you only need to sign it once. If you have not already signed this form it can be downloaded from our "Files" section and turned in to the organizer when you arrive for the trip.

If you RSVP Yes for this trip please plan on attending. Please read our RSVP Policy located in our "About" section.

The deadline for changing a "Yes" RSVP to a "No" RSVP is September 2, 2011

Trip Dates: September 30 (Friday evening) thru October 2 (Sunday hike out)

Drive Time to Campground on Thursday Evening: 4.5 hours from ABQ

Campground Location:Sheridan Corral Trailhead. Camping in Gila is free.

Directions to Campground/Trailhead: Take I-25 South to Socorro. In Socorro go on Highway 60 West. Drive to the community of Datil. Turn south (left) on State route 12 Until you come to the town of reserve. Be careful on this part of the drive. The two times I have driven this route I have spotted at least 50 elk and deer on the side of the road. From Reserve go South on Highway 180 to Glenwood. Go further on 180 for 8 miles and turn left (east) on forest road 146. It should be signed for hiking trail 181. Drive 4 miles to the trailhead.

Any car can make this road.

Trip Rating:  Moderate

Trail Length: 5.3 miles Saturday, 5.3 miles Sunday (10.6 miles total) *With MANY options for day hikes

Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet

Elevation Range: About 6,500 ft to 7,500 ft

Expected Temps: At base camp, highs upper 70's and lows upper 30's to low 40's

Dogs Allowed, must be controlled near cabins.

Notice: Disregard the info/map directions link as it is incorrect!

Contact Derrick with any questions

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great trip! It was a great introduction to the Gila. Its in my blood now. This was also my first trip with NM Backpackers. Derrick is a very good leader. He is very knowledgeable and prepared.

    October 3, 2011

  • Derrick

    Well aside from the trash at the cabin and the lack of apples. It was a great trip. Can't beat lows in the fifties in October. The gila will always be awesome.

    October 2, 2011

  • Michael T.

    I might get in on this one but won't know for sure until tomorrow. I just spent a few days in the Pecos last week. This sounds like a good opprotunity to see some different terain. I am also in Albuquerque may have some extra room in my car as well.

    September 28, 2011

  • Derrick

    Sure Dave. I live in Rio Rancho. We could either meet somewhere off I-25 or I can give you my address and you can meet me here so you have a safe place to park your car. I wanted to be out of Albuquerque no later than 3 but would prefer 2. I was gonna drive my beater car since it is good on gas so space might be a bit of an issue if you dont mind!

    September 26, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hey Derrick. I am from Santa Fe. Is there a chance of carpooling or meeting up with you in abq? Haven't been to Gila yet.

    September 26, 2011

  • Katie

    Yes 4 of us from Tucson- Deborah and I are getting excited about APPLES! There might be a teeny bit of fall color as well!

    September 26, 2011

  • Derrick

    There are four people going from the tuscon backpackers and one maybe going up with me.

    September 25, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just curious if anyone else is going on this trip Derrick?

    September 25, 2011

  • Derrick

    So apparently the Sheridan Corral Trailhead has a few good places to camp but the there are better places a quarter mile before reaching the trailhead at the stock tanks. That is probably where we will camp friday night.

    September 20, 2011

  • Derrick

    This trip is also cross posted with the Tuscon group

    September 19, 2011

2 went

  • Derrick
    Deathbed, Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member

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