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Railroad Canyon Trail No. 128

Contact Info
Gila National Forest
3005 E. Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM 88061

Phone:
575-388-8201
Basics
Length:
4.8 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3.5 - 4.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
7080 feet
Elevation Range:
7080 feet to 8920 feet
Elevation Change:
1840 feet
Usage:
Moderate
Season:
Spring to Fall

Description

To get to Trail 128 begin at trail head 129. Follow 129 up Gallinas Canyon 1.5 miles to it's junction with 128. There are many creek crossing in the first 1.5 miles. Except for dry years, the creek is flowing and can be crossed on stepping stones. Wading is necessary if the creek is running high. Trail 128 begins at the confluence of Gallinas and Railroad Canyons, and follows Railroad Canyon to the crest of the Black Range. The trail tops the crest in a saddle where it intersects the Black Range Crest Trail 79. Follow 79 to the left or right about .25 mile to see the mountain vistas.

Trails 79 and 128 can be linked to make a 13.5 mile day trip. It's three miles across the crest on Trail 79 to link 129 and 128. This scenic loop passes through dense old-growth pine forest and has outstanding mountain views.

Trail 128 follows a stream up Railroad Canyon on this quiet journey through mixed conifer and aspen forest to the crest of the Black Range.

The mountain crest is hazardous during thunder storms.

Details

Length:
4.8 miles
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
3.5 - 4.5 hours
Trailhead Elevation:
7080
Elevation Range:
7080 feet to 8920
Elevation Change:
1840
Usage:
Moderate
Season:
Spring to Fall
Useful Map(s):
USGS: Hillsboro Peak
Additional Details:

There is a picnic table and pit toilet. The parking area can accommodate horse trailers.

Silver City is 34 miles from the trail head and provides auto services, gas, groceries, lodging, medical facilities, restaurants, and shopping.

Except for unusually dry years there is water flowing the length of Gallinas and Railroad Canyons. Water quality is not tested therefore it cannot be guaranteed to be drinkable, it is advisable to filter or treat all drinking water.

Trail 128 and 129 are very similar. The riparian ecosystem and old-growth forest offer many birding opportunities for forest species like Mountain Chickadees, Hermit Thrush, Nuthatches, Spotted Owls, warblers, and woodpeckers. The mountain crest and upper meadows are home to band-tailed pigeons, hawks, and wild turkey. Spring and summer offers cool streams and pleasant temperatures. August and September have the best wildflower displays. Mid to late October is the perfect time to hike to the crest and see the Aspen in fall color.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

From Silver City go east on U.S. 180 about six miles then turn left on NM 152. Follow NM 152 about 28 miles into the Black Range. Trail 128 doesn't have it's own trail head and is accessed via Trail 129. Look for the 129 trailhead sign on the left about a mile east of the Upper Gallinas Campground.


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