Gold and Precious Metals

CDT Part 2: Lordsburg to Silver City


You’ll hear CDT hikers talk about the small City of Lordsburg, New Mexico quite alot. It’s an iconic town stop along the CDT where most hikers pass though at least two times – once to catch the shuttle and later when the trail passes through 83 miles later. 

Not much of a city skyline, the CDT passes directly through Lordsburg and can be seen miles ahead to the south. That first trail town always hits differently!

Lordsburg is the closest city to the southern CDT terminus of Crazy Cook. There’s another terminus point near Columbus, NM that’s not as commonly trekked. Lordsburg, located along Insterstate 10, is home to a handful of hotels, motels, and restaurants. The Greyhound Bus also stops multiple times a day. Given it’s amenities, it’s the southern CDT ‘hub’ of excitement. 

Following the Bootheel section (CDT Part 1: Crazy Cook to Lordsburg), I’ll remember this railroad boomtown for the Econo Lodge Hotel with it’s welcoming staff, large hiker box, and hostel feel with hikers gathering in the lobby. There’s a McDonald’s, two local restaurants for good food, and three small grocery stores to pull together a re-supply. The Saucedo’s Super Market even stocks the CDT staple food of dried refried beans!

I’ll also remember Lordsburg as the place where I met back up with my partner, Tom – trail name Shepard, who would be joining for the Lordsburg to Silver City section after finishing his thru-hike of the Arizona Trail (huge congrats to him)!

Leaving Lordsburg 

My legs were not ready for this roadwalk after our short overnight stay.

It’s a 3 mile asphalt road walk out of town before the trail abruptly cuts under a barbed wire fence. It’s a junction that makes a hiker ask really, you sure this is it? Yup, that’s the turn.

The prickly pear were massive in the open range north of Lordsburg.

This section started real questionable. Especially after what we hikers had just left, the 10 miles of tread in open dirt pasture with meandering paths and limited signage definitely didn’t make me feel fluffy about what was next. However, what started rough turned into one of my favorite stretches of trail so far. 

Big Burro Mountains 

If I were to recommend a short section to backpack along the CDT in New Mexico, this would be it. In the Big Burro Mountains of the Gila (pronounced Hee-la) National Forest there are 21.7 miles between NM Highway 90 and Red Rock Rd., with a 15 mile extension to Saddle Rock Canyon Rd., that I thought were absolutely spectacular.

The mountains serve as reassurance that good things do lie ahead along the CDT, after the grind of the first 90 miles. 

Actual trail. Actual trees!

Our group of three, Shepard, Purple, and I, decided to continue on the CDT red line instead of taking an alternate to cut into town early through Burro Mountain Homestead. We opted for more trail miles overall and a reduced amount of road walking.

We took this section slower, hiking 74 miles over five days to let the muscles settle down and aches and pains ease away. The beauty of this region lent well to a few relaxed days. Figured we’d be cutting miles with alternates later, let’s get the full experience for the time being! 

A helpful water cache early in the Gila National Forest.

What I remember:

  • The switch from open pasture to the twists and turns of single track sandy trail. Trail, that felt like trail!
  • Trees! Actual forest!
  • Watching the patterns of harvester ants as they climb in and out of impressive anthill mounds or cross the trail in designated tight pathways.

These ant mounds line the CDT pathway through New Mexico.

And every so often you’ll step over a cute teeny line of ants crossing the trail.

  • Burro Peak with spectacular ridgeline views, feeling like the first real mountain climb at 8,023 feet in elevation.
  • At first, reliance on water cashes maintained by Trail Angels for CDT hikers. And then the glory of flowing water! Natural creeks – we couldn’t believe our eyes! What a relief after only caches, wells, or cow tanks.

It’s hard to see, but it took over 100 hiking miles to find a flowing stream!

  • The scars of recent wildfire north of the junction to Burro Homestead, a section of trail that Shepard had to go around in 2021.
  • The continued cowboy camp streak, sleeping under the stars in an open mesa field with roaming cattle and following nights near two parking areas.

#teamcowboycamp (cause I’m too lazy to set up/take down a tent)

Silver City

At 4am, on day five of the Lordsburg to Silver City section, the alarms went off for an early morning. By 4:40am we were on the move again, this time to walk 14 miles of asphalt road into Silver City. 

As a runner I tend to break road walks into race distances. This would be the first of several 14 mile road walks of the next couple of weeks – it only continues to bewilder me the difference in feeling between running and walking a half marathon. The time on feet is absolutely exexhausting. Always better to walk with friends.

The early morning wake-up was intentional to beat the worst of the morning sunshine, as daytime temperatures had been pretty high. 

I quickly fell in love with Silver City…

Along with the temps, spirits were high as we arrived in Silver City. The next day would be our first zero day of no hiked miles. Turns out, it’s hard to be upset in a community as pleasant as Silver City. Packs were dropped at the Stonehouse Inn and a hearty breakfast at Adobe Springs Cafe obtained, before wandering the endearing streets in our stinky hiker glory. 

I mean, how amazing is this town square?!


Critical Gear:

  • Reduced water capacity: going into the Bootheel I carried 4.7L in Smart Water bottle capacity. For the Burro Mountain range I never carried more than 2.7L. In Silver City I dumped one of my bottles.
  • Headlamp for those early morning roadwalks. I’d bearly used my headlamp before this as the stars and moon have been so bright at night.
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and/or sun umbrella for sun protection on asphalt.
  • Windpants (dance pants, IYKYK) for cold mornings and lightweight sun protection. 
  • A surprise to me, I’ve used my sleeping quilt straps every night as it’s been quite cold. 
Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek’s ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button

Get our latest downloads and information first. Complete the form below to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

    Input this code: captcha