“An infrequently ridden trail that affords challenging riding and stunning vistas!”
— Christopher Bare
This trail is best ridden during the winter or after precipitation as the water tends to make riding through the sandy areas a bit easier and the Burro Mountains tend to be very hot and dry during the summer.
This is a section of singletrack that was created around 2010 by a local trail builder, Doug, hence the name of the trail. The ultimate plan over the next few years is to complete the CDT in this area and connect it to where the CDT ends at LS Mesa, creating a continuous singletrack experience from Sapillo campground down to Lordsburg.
Accessing this trail will likely require an off-road capable vehicle such as a truck or jeep. Begin by driving north out of Silver City on Highway 180 to Saddlerock. Turn onto Saddlerock Road and make sure you stay right at the major junction or you'll end up turning onto the wrong road.
Prior to this junction (Saddle Rock, Gila National Forest road 810 / Black Hawk, forest road 118), the road will become a rough and sandy wash unsuitable for most vehicles that lack clearance and/or off road capabilities. Alternatively, you could simply park at one of the many areas capable of accommodating vehicles on the side of the road before the conditions deteriorate and then ride your bike up the remainder of the path to access the trail.
Eventually, the road will end at a large gate where that path narrows and becomes even sandier. This is the entrance to Goat Canyon. Even though maps indicate Saddlerock Road continues, conditions will become virtually un-drivable. Park behind the gate and begin your ride up Goat Canyon.
After a brief ride through the sand-filled canyon floor, you'll see a trail marker and what looks to be the entrance to a narrow canyon off to your right. Take the right turn and get ready to negotiate a sandy and rocky climb through the canyon until it intersects the doubletrack road again. Turn right onto the doubletrack and complete a short but robust climb that takes you to where the road intersects the Continental Divide Trail.
Turn right and head north on the singletrack. Much of this trail consists of descending and multiple off-camber sections accented by a few rough patches and tight switchbacks. Eventually, the trail will simply fade out after descending into a creek bed south of Blacksmith Canyon. Hopefully, additional funding and interest will ensure the trail work is completed, but at this time (2017), your only option is to turn around and to struggle through a significant amount of climbing.
Also be aware that several sections of the trail are overgrown by catclaw, so wearing leg protection is a good idea to protect yourself from the inevitable scratches that are sure to come.