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Gila Wilderness:
Nearby Attractions

Gila

Lake Roberts Recreation Area

25 miles to the southeast is a peaceful, 71-acre reservoir with national forest campgrounds which are superior to most basic campgrounds. There are two campgrounds and several picnic areas, with a grocery store in the tiny village of Lake Roberts. About a half-hour drive to the Gila Wilderness visitor center, these campgrounds provide a pleasant place to stay while taking day hikes in the wilderness, and visiting the cliff dwellings. The lake is perfect for canoeing.

Whitewater Canyon Catwalk

The Gila National Forest extends to the Arizona border, west of the Mogollon Range. This western forest area is an historic area: first, the home of Apache communities, and then the scene of several large gold strikes in the 1800s. There were many outlaws in these forests during the gold period, gravitating from nearby Tombstone and other rowdy mining towns. This is the location of the Catwalk National Recreation Trail, located in Whitewater Canyon near the town of Graham. This area of the national forest is accessed via U.S. Highway 180, leading north from Silver City. It can also be reached—from the northeast—via Bursum Road (State Route 159). The site is five miles west of Glenwood and U.S. 180.

The gold produced in the Whitewater Canyon area could not be milled near the mines because of the narrow canyon. Water for the town and the mill had to be provided by a 4-inch pipeline running three miles up the canyon. Construction was completed in 1893. The present-day catwalk follows the route of the pipeline. The mill closed in 1913 and the pipeline and catwalk lay dormant until the Depression, when the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the catwalk as a recreational attraction. What was the work camp for the CCC workers is now the Glenwood Community Park. The wooden catwalk finished in 1936 was replaced by a metal catwalk in 1961.

The nature trail and suspended metal pathway provide an exhilarating walk through three miles of the canyon and the ponderosa pine forest. Many people visit the canyon each year, picnicking at the Whitewater Picnic Grounds. This attraction provides a good reason to visit the Glenwood district, including San Francisco Gorge, southwest of Glenwood.

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Gila Wilderness Pages:

Introduction

Enjoying the Wilderness


Geology


Hiking


Mogollon, Pueblo & Apache


Nearby Attractions


About the Wilderness Area


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