Day 9 - the Gila River getting better (24.1 miles)
May 18, 2021
Miles: 24.1 miles
Woke up at my normal time and as soon as I started hiking I had cows walk right up but they spooked very easily and left.
I was hoping my day on the river would be much better than yesterday. I found the trail much easier to navigate but really I was I following the river and no other way to get out of the canyon at this point.
At times I was hiking through the river, right off the bank, through sandbars, thick forest, had a little of everything.
It was kind slow going early morning as the trail was very rocky and sandy so wasn’t able to hike at my normal 3-3.5 mph, it was more in the 2-2.5 mph range.
Towards the turn off to the road and up to Doc Campbell’s Post to resupply, it was much easier hiking and was able to get back to my normal pace.
At the turn off I had a steep little hill climb to get to the road then it was about 1.5 miles to Doc Campbell’s.
Doc Campbell’s is a nice little store and they treat the hikers very well. Camping is real cheap which includes a shower and laundry, too bad I got there to early in the day. They even let the hikers in the store even if it’s closed. They didn’t open until 12pm as I got here a little before and said to come one in, hikers are special. They also provide free WiFi and keep a 5 gallon jug of cold water to fill up.
Ended up staying at Doc’s for about 4 hours. Felt nice to relax after the day I had yesterday.
Right as I was about to leave the 2 hikers who took the wrong turn as me showed up. They saw a bear this morning and thought it might had been following me. I’m pretty sure I saw wolf tracks on the ground as they have reintroduced them back in this area.
At 3:45pm I left Doc’s and headed down the road for 3.5 miles to the Gila Visitor Center where I picked back up the river trail. Once at the river trail I had about 9 miles to my camp spot for the night.
Right as I got back on the river trail it started to rain but it didn’t last never long. I saw the dark clouds rolling in as I was hanging out at Doc’s so I knew it was only a matter of time.
The river trail was so much better than before. I think it’s more heavily traffic so gets more work on as there around probably 10 other hikers at this campsite. Since I’ve been hiking this is the first time I’ve camped with other people, not sure how many are thru hikers. This is the first official campsite I’ve stayed at. Most times I hike until I find a flat spot as haven’t seen too many campsites to this point.
In the 9 miles to camp I crossed the Gila River 48 times so since yesterday I’ve crossed it over 100 times in about 25 miles of this river trail.
This last 9 miles have been amazing, great view after great view of the canyon walls. Not sure how many miles I have left on the Gila, maybe 30-40.