Continental Divide Trail – Day 11
May 12, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 15.0/ 217.7
I was a little slow to get around this morning. I was not looking forward to the water crossings again today. Once I was up and moving it wasn’t too bad though.
There were 9 water crossings from my campsite to the Hwy 15 bridge where I would leave the river. The deepest just reached the bottom of my shorts. The trails between the crossings seems to be getting better as the trail progresses. One trail even climbed to the top of a cliff and provided some fantastic views.
I reached the highway in about 3 hours and road walked a little over a mile to Doc Campbells Outpost. When I arrived at 10:15 I was surprised to find they didn’t open until 12:00 noon. I took the time to charge my battery pack and fill up my water bottles. I posted the last 2 day’s updates to my social media accounts and had a few minutes to eat before they opened.
I picked up my pre-ordered food resupply and repacked for the hike on the table under the porch. I picked up a couple of extra things and started on the road walk to Gila Cliff Dwellings about 12:30. The paved road was hot and I took the opportunity to stop and cool off under some trees.
When I reached the Gila Cliff Dwellings they let me store my pack behind their building while I walked around the dwellings. They were pretty cool and well preserved. I was able to walk up into them and get lots of good pictures. I ate a snack in their picnic area before getting back on the road to the trail.
The road was still hot but was less than a mile to the trailhead. The trail I took back to the river included about 3 miles of the Gila River High Route. The trail was hot and exposed. I was glad when I reached the Little Bear Canyon trail and began descending toward the river.
This trail ended up being really nice as it wound its way down through a narrow canyon with high walls on both sides. It opened up to a really nice camping area and the Middle Fork of the Gila River.
I selected a campsite, set up camp, and cooked dinner as the sun began setting behind the high rock walls.