SWH – Stage 9 – Safford to Gila (GET)

Gila Cliff Dwellings

:  167 miles (268.8 km)

Start:  Safford, AZ

Finish:  Gila Hot Springs, NM

Time:  6 days (April 13 to 18, 2012)

Daily Average:  27.8 miles (44.7 km)

Total Distance:  1,444 miles (2,323.4 km)


  • “Tunnel”/Eagle Creek Hot Springs: Located about 0.7 miles SW of the Gold Gulch Alternative route (Map 40), these hot springs are a little difficult to locate, but ooh so worth the effort. Perhaps my favourite hot springs of the GET.
  • D&D’s Organic Haven B&B:  Fruit smoothies, hot tubs and bathrobes made of Egyptian organic cotton. Seriously. Combined with the amazing hospitality of Dan and Deb, this place is a must for all self-respecting GET thru-hikers.
  • Gila River: Almost as nice as the Aravaipa. Spotted elk, javelinas and my first bobcat of the SWH.
  • Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument: Located just a mile or so before the end of this segment, these impressive rock dwellings date back some 700 years, and represent one of the most important archeological sites of the southwest.
  • Homemade Ice Cream at Doc Campbell’s. Three large tubs. Enough said.


  • Nothing major. Perhaps the road walk out of Safford and the three mile road walk to and from Doc Campbell’s country store.

Notes & Musings:

Favourite Canyon Hikes From Around the World: Walking through the scenic Aravaipa and Gila River Canyons (West Fork) got me thinking about my all-time favourite canyon hikes. Here is a Top 5 list:

  • Vikos Gorge, Greece – Located in the Pindos mountains, close to the Albanian border, this hike is a wonderful fusion of cultural, culinary and natural elements.
  • Grand Canyon, USA – Specifically the Nankoweap/Beamer Trail combination, by which Mike Towne and I made our way south on the Hayduke Trail.
  • Colca Canyon, Peru – Located in the southwestern corner of Peru, this magical place has hot springs, Andean Condors and a seemingly never-ending 3300 metre ascent over a 5000 metre pass!


SWH – Stage 9 – Safford to Gila (GET) — 1 Comment

  1. Cam, Glad to have met you in our corner of this beautiful world as you hiked the Grand Enchantment trail. Great to see all your photos…simply amazing. All the best for your travels, D & D

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