CDT: US 90 to the Co-op Mine

February 6, 2022

We've been slowly hiking nearby sections of the Continental Divide Trail, which passes right through Silver City. One Sunday morning we got a wild hair after breakfast to hike another chunk. We chose a section south from US 90 to the Co-op Mine, which we thought would be just a nice Sunday afternoon stroll.

Dennis with CDT sign on an alligator juniper

The trail meandered gently through a lovely piñon, juniper and scrub oak forest and across a series of sandy washes where patches of snow exhaled cool, damp air.

panorma from the top of the ridge

Then it surprised us by climbing to an open granite ridge with stupefying views of the Cooke's Range, the Black Range and beyond.

me climbing to the top of the quartz mountain

But the icing on the cake was a final scamper to the top of a small mountain whose summit was capped with the purest white quartz. I've read that the village of "White Signal" was named for these quartz-topped peaks.

me having coffee on top of the mountain

Enjoying a cup of our new favorite winter hiking beverage — a mixture of piñon chocolate coffee, hot water and a little cocoa powder.

huge chunk of quartz

A huge chunk of quartz, shot with veins of scintillating mica.

panorama from the top of the quartz mountain

Panorama from the summit of the quartz mountain. From here we could see all the way to Deming and beyond, to the shimmering Animas Playa and the snow-shrouded Chiricahuas. A fantastic hike close to home, 8.4 miles and 700' gain/loss.