This section of the Continental Divide Trail starts in Silver City and ends at a juncture with Hwy 15, north of Pinos Altos. Beginning from the north side of the city, the trail gradually ascends, running parallel to the base of the Silver City Range to the west. After approximately 3.5 miles, the trail heads west toward Bear Mountain, along Bear Mountain Road. Getting deeper and higher among the foothills, the trail turns to the north, leaving Bear Mountain Road.
This portion of the Continental Divide Trail is associated with over 100 meters of elevation gain in less than two miles. There are several steep sections of climbing, and you'll need to bring extra water during the warmer months due to the isolated nature of this trail. From the intersection with Walnut Creek Road (858), the trail is mostly singletrack with a few rough and technical sections.
For the most part, the next six miles continue without any long, drawn-out ascents or descents. Midway along this stretch, look east to Eighty Mountain and Gomez Peak beyond that. Off the trail on the right, look for the Divide Access Trail
, which provides access to the trails between the Gomez Peak and Little Walnut trailheads. Trails may be closed during the summer fire season if threatened by forest fires.
The trail continues into an "s-curve" for four miles with a series of downhill sections before ascending nearly 1,000 ft above the Our Lady of Guadalupe Benedictine Monastery. One final ascent leads to the high point of this trail section, breaking the 7,000 ft mark, with just over one mile left until Hwy 15.
There are several other trails that branch off/onto the Continental Divide Trail, and it is easy to get turned around. However, be on the lookout for the distinct Continental Divide (CD) placard that is attached to trees at relatively frequent intervals along the CD Trail. These will serve as important trail markers to keep you on track.