“A rough ascent over Gila singletrack with stunning scenery and a nice descent into LS Mesa.
— Christopher Bare
Snowpack during the winter may significantly hinder your ability to ride this section of the Continental Divide.
To access this proposed section of the Continental Divide Trail, take the Divide Access Trail
trail from one of the trails starting at Little Walnut or Gomez Peak parking areas until you meet the Continental Divide Trail - Section 7
. Take this trail south, until you reach a green Forest Service gate known as Doug's Gate, named after a local contractor who was crucial in the construction of this proposed section of the Continental Divide Trail.
Go through the gate and follow the trail up towards Bear Mountain. The trail will involve some moderate climbing and a few great vistas, followed by a descent down to Walnut Creek Road. Follow the trail as it crosses the road and then runs roughly parallel from the road until the trail passes through a small and rocky canyon at the base of Bear Mountain.
From here, you can expect a rigorous climb over Bear Mountain. Be careful as there are some technical sections and occasional fallen trees that can make the trail hazardous. After you summit the north side of Bear Mountain, you'll generally head downhill until the trail abruptly ends on Bear Mountain Road in LS mesa.
There are tentative plans to continue construction of the Continental Divide Trail from here towards the Burro Mountains; however, you only have two return options. The first option is to simply ride the Proposed CDT: Doug's Gate to LS Mesa trail back the way you came or alternatively, you can ride Bear Mountain Road back to Silver City and then take Little Walnut Road back to where you parked at either the Gomez Peak trailhead or the Little Walnut trailhead.