West Fork Gila River

October 31, 2023

Ken at the trailhead

The West Fork Gila just might be the perfect fall hike. A cold start is the price you pay for maximum color, but it's totally worth it. Note the beavers are back, and they are BUSY!! The first 1/4 mile is basically flooded.

Gila Hikers

Gila Hikers, L to R: Marlin, Ken, Natalie, Kim and Dennis.

grave marker

Grudging Grave. According to Findagrave.com: "The Grudging brothers, Henry (Hank), William (Willie), and Charley, built a cabin on the West Fork of the Gila River (Silver City, NM) in 1885. They were known to be cattle rustlers, although they made similar claims against the Wood family, who had a homestead over the mountain on Iron Creek. In 1893, William allegedly ambushed and killed 15-year-old Charley Wood and Francisco Diaz, who were bringing in supplies from Mogollon. In retaliation, Tom Wood killed William Grudgings but was found not guilty upon surrendering to Silver City authorities in 1896. William was buried by his brothers near the Grudgings cabin, which stood for many years. His headstone inscription, which reads: William Grudgings, 'Waylaid and Murdered By Tom Wood, October 8, 1893, Age 37 Years 8 Months'."

beaver dam

One of the many very impressive beaver dams on the West Fork.

red cliffs and cottonwoods

Classic Gila.

colorful leaves

Fall color, about as good as it gets in this part of the world.

Kim and Ken

Kim and Ken.

cliff dwelling and cave

Cliff dwelling next to a large cave.

cliff dwelling

Cliff dwelling on the West Fork.

hikers crossing river

Only one river to cross, but so many times!

flooded trail

This is the "trail"!

chewed up tree stump

This is the reason!

Fall, by the West Fork Gila River and George Winston.