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Wilderness Volunteers

Gilita Creek Trail, Gila National Forest, NM (Sep 12th - Sep 18th 2021)

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The Gila National Forest has spectacular scenery ranging from high cool mountains with aspen and douglas fir to warm semi-arid lowlands with juniper, oak and cactus. It is one of the more remote and least developed National Forests in the southwest. Covering 3.3 million acres of publicly owned forest and range land, the Forest is the sixth largest National Forest in the continental United States. It boasts a rich history of the Mogollon and Apache people, Spaniards, Mexicans, ranchers, prospectors and miners. Mangas Coloradas, Geronimo, Victorio, and Aldo Leopold (conservationist, ecologist and author of the Sand County Almanac) are but a few of the personalities from the past that have left their mark in the Gila. Colorful names like Raw Meat Canyon, Tepee Canyon and Grave Canyon tell the tales of the past.

Our continuing service project will focus on deferred trail maintenance on the Gilita Creek Trail. Our volunteer crew will spend the week completing trail work tasks, retreading the trail, brushing, lopping, and crosscut work. We'll establish a dispersed camp either at Willow Creek campground or at Dipping Vat/Snowflake area. Volunteers should be prepared for daily work hiking commutes of ~2.5-miles one way. On the day off you can hike and explore the nearby area, go fishing, view wildlife, photography, or simply relax in this beautiful part of Gila National Forest.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.

Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This project is rated as a strenuous project and features a vegetarian menu with optional meat ingredients on many meals.

Check out more photos from previous Gila National Forest, Continental Divide Trail projects in our gallery.


Sep 12th - Sep 18th 2021

Service Project

trail maintenance, trail work, retreading, brushing, lopping, crosscut work

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Free Days

Day hiking, photography, wildflower/wildlife viewing, relaxing, fishing.


Car and tent camping

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : Digging, bending, hauling, shoveling. 5 mile daily RT hikes to project with ~500' elevation gain.


Don Meaders
Bill Wood

Equipment List