New Meetup: Extended Weekend Backpacking trip to Jordan Hot Springs (Gila NF)

From: Bob F
Sent on: Friday, November 12, 2010 9:11 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for The New Mexico Backpackers Meetup Group!

What: Extended Weekend Backpacking trip to Jordan Hot Springs (Gila NF)

When: Thursday, November 25,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Gila Wilderness
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061

Jordan Hot Springs

If you have more time and a yen for a serious hike, a visit to Jordan Hot Springs should be on your Southern New Mexico itinerary. A trip to Jordan Hot Springs is an all-day hike, starting early and ending late, or an overnight backpacking trip. But once you're there, you'll be glad you made the effort to visit these springs.

More accurately called warm springs, these springs offer a pleasant soaking opportunity far from civilization. Tucked into a little cubby hole above the Middle Fork, Jordan Hot Springs must be one of the most beautiful spots in the Gila.

Jordan Hot Springs is extremely popular with backpackers and horsepackers, especially during college spring break times and holidays. Check with the Forest Service for "leave no trace" camping guidelines. Please be especially conscientious if you choose to visit these springs.

Jordan Springs Trip Summary

Nearby City: Silver City
Length: 12 total miles
Elevation Gain: 700 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate/Difficult
Duration: Overnight backpack
Season: Best May through November
Trailhead Elevation: 5,600 feet
Top Elevation: 6,300 feet
Local Contacts: Gila National Forest, Gila Wilderness Area
Local Maps: USGS Little Turkey Park, Gila Hot Springs, Woodland Park; Forest Service Gila Wilderness map
Topo Map: Jordan Hot Springs Topographic Map
Guide Book: Hiking New Mexico's Gila Wilderness Guide Book
Driving Directions: See below

The drive to the Gila Wilderness visitor's center takes approximately 5 hours from Albuquerque.

Getting to Jordan Hot Springs is straightforward. Start at the Visitors' Center and continue past the Middle Fork Springs. Jordan Hot Springs is located about 8 miles upstream from the Visitors' Center. Be prepared to get your feet wet; there are about 50 river crossings on this route. Do not try this route when the river is high, usually in early spring or during the summer rainy season.

We will hike to Jordan Hot Springs from TJ's Corral for the six mile hike on Saturday. Drive to TJ's (on Highway 15, turn left toward the Cliff Dwellings instead of the Visitors' Center) and take Trail 729 (we will all drive to TJ's Corral together on Saturday morning). The trail climbs gradually to the junction with the Meadows Trail (Trail 164) and then descends into Little Bear Canyon.

For a special treat walk through this narrow canyon in late summer or early fall, when it is filled with beautiful, rare wildflowers. Do not enter the canyon during flash flood weather, however. Cross the Middle Fork and head upstream, crossing the river 15 times in all and traveling about 2 miles. The springs are on the northeast side of the canyon, just beyond and above a wet area.


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 2010, so you only have 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.

Thursday- Optional- Drive to Silver City and stay at an area hotel or campground.

Directions & Schedule

November 25 (optional) thru November 28 (hike out and drive home)

Friday- Everyone meet at the Scorpion Campground at 1 pm. From Albuquerque, take I-25 south to Exit 63 (just past Truth or Consequences). Turn west onto NM 152, and continue on 51 miles. Turn north onto NM 35 and continue on 27 miles. Right/north again on to NM 15 for 17 miles. You will see the sign for the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitor Center- turn left just after the Visitor Center sign to stay on NM 15 to the Scorpion Campgrounds. Look for our camp and Meetup sign. There are a number of terrific day hikes/ side trips for Friday afternoon, including a visit to the Cliff Dwellings or the Middle Fork Hot Springs. Car camp Friday night.

Saturday- Move vehicles to TJ Corral and backpack Trail 729 Little Bear Canyon, approximately 6 miles. Expect numerous water crossings. Camp at Jordan Hot Springs.

Sunday- Hike back out to TJ Corral.

If conditions are too extreme for the hike up Little Bear Canyon (heavy rain, heavy snow, or unseasonably cold temperatures), there are year-round easy rated day hikes in the area that could be substituted to avoid cancelling the trip. Please be prepared for cold temperatures and winter camping conditions, numerous river/creek crossings, to treat your drinking water and pack out your trash. That said, this is rated as an easy to moderate trip depending on who you ask. And whether or not you book the extra night at a hotel : )

Contact Dusty with any questions!

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