Over 872 square miles of Exploring just the Gila Wilderness
Tom, you did good! The area is larger than most can appreciate. Great time to post about the area.
Gila is pronounced Hila. Like Lead, SD is Leed, figure that one out. Try Popo Agie, Wyoming... when at Lander, WY. The locals will laugh at you.
The unfortunate situation in this area is there are a number of access roads along the Wilderness boundaries, but some seasonal dry creek beds are getting eroded during the winter and rainy season. Because of these bumper draggers, we have been using Quemado, NM as our meeting area to dispersed camp sites on the North Side of the Gila Wilderness. Access is getting more difficult to the 'better' more remote areas we use to frequent with our 23 foot Safari. Now... I would have to get a close look with no trailer attached.
The ghost mining town of Mogollon main road is pretty narrow and people still living just off the road in cabins. If you towed through there... you did a very good job.
The Cat Walk seems to be closed all the time. It was washed out in 2007, as well.
The Glenwood, NM Forest Service office has great well water available at their pump. So does the Reserve, NM Forest Service office.
I like this area much better than west of Santa Fe as it is never crowded. You are lucky to be close enough to start at the mining towns of Hillsboro and Gold Dust and snoop around. For anyone with an adventurous spirit and close to this area... expect to spend several weeks a year and not even scratch the surface. The main Forest Service roads are well maintained. Getting off of the main roads get trickier as most are intended for Elk, Deer, Bear and Turkey hunters working out of tent camps in the Fall. The roads get wet and impassable with anything in tow but a flat bed.
Ask the 2015 Quemado Adventure members when we took tow vehicles into the back country, it began to drizzle forcing us to locate the tow vehicles and move out quickly. We never did get to one group of Pit Houses due to the road becoming too muddy. But sure did find an excellent Chalcedony Rosette deposit in the process of looking!