“A robust ride across Signal Peak and Black Mountain that ends at Sapillo campground.
— Christopher Bare
This featured route provides you with a novel way of going from Highway 15, through the Gila and over to Highway 35 via Little Cherry Creek Trail
. This route also bypasses Twin Sisters and the often rough and difficult trails in the Twin Sisters Area.
As of June 2016, a forest fire burned extensive areas of one of the sisters and as such, the trails in this area may have been compromised, making Little Cherry Creek Trail
an even better starting option.
This trail is best done as a shuttle ride with vehicles parked at Cherry Creek and Sapillo Campground. After twenty miles of technical ascents and descents, you'll likely be tired at the end of this trail and an out-and-back would set you up for an incredibly robust day.
Alternatively, you could have a camping setup at Lake Roberts and simply have somebody drop you off at Cherry Creek and then you'll be free to enjoy the rest of your day following the ride next to the water.
Check with Gila Hike and Bike in Silver City as group and shuttled rides are not uncommon on Saturday mornings and on weekday afternoons during the spring-fall months.
Need to Know
Several small creek crossings will be encountered in the first two miles of this trail.
Begin this ride by parking at the Little Cherry Creek Trail
trailhead. The first couple of miles of the Little Cherry Creek Trail
consists of doubletrack/road with multiple shallow creek crossings. After the trail turns to singletrack, you can expect a robust climb to the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).
At the junction, be sure to continue on the CDT toward Sapillo Campground. From here, you can expect fairly solid intermediate singletrack and some additional climbing through the Black Peak and Signal Peak areas, followed by several miles of singletrack descent into Sapillo Campground; where you'll again find yourself on doubletrack road until the end of your ride.
Enjoy the newly rehabilitated sections of the CDT in these areas (as of June 2016) and be sure to give thanks to the Youth Corps groups that have spent months rehabilitating trails in the Gila that were negatively affected by forest fires back in 2012-2013.