"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hiking the Catwalk Trail & Discovering Cooney's Tomb

Alma, New Mexico
BLM Boondocking

The drive from Arizona to New Mexico was about 3 1/2 hours.  We headed NE off of I-10 up Rt 191 and it was very scenic.  It did have some elevation but nothing bad.  Almost no one on it either.

By time you reach the border of Arizona/New Mexico you've been over 6000ft.

Once down the other side we had hoped to camp for free at Bighorn NF campground but the Verizon was too jumpy and not strong enough for Steve to work.  It's a cute little campground right off 180 in Glenwood.
We drove further north a bit above Alma and checkout out our backup which was Cosmic Campground.  Also free and run by the National Forest.  It is also small and laid out like a real campground.  No spots.  We did drive through a dispersed area just before Cosmic and chose a nice open spot to boondock in.  Plenty big enough for us and a couple of others.  Great Verizon.  A little bit of road noise from Rt. 180 but there's almost no traffic.  We're at 5400 feet elevation.

Great views and the weather was perfect, upper 70s.

We came here specifically for 2 hikes.  The first was the Catwalk Hike.  Here is the entrance.
The name for the area, The Catwalk, refers to the original plank-board walkway placed atop the steel pipe used to bring water to the ore processing plant.  You can read more info about the 2 mile out and back hike HERE.
Here's what it originally looked like.  After the planks were damaged in a huge flood it was replaced with the metal catwalk.

The trail is very easy with little climbing.  It starts out paved then climbs the Catwalk.  It spans above the Whitewater Creek.  We stayed left and didn't go over the bridge.  It's an out and back.  Once you come back you can cross the bridge and hike the opposite side.  When we got back to the picnic area the water was running slow and shallow enough to walk through to get back to the picnic/parking area.  We wore our water shoes for this hike.
The canyon is very pretty with all the colorful walls and the leaves were just beginning to open.
You are allowed to bring dogs on leash.  We brought Hurley and he doesn't care for these metal walkways but he did ok.  Since it was short I knew he could do it plus he had many chances to play in the river.  It was not the sharp type of walkway but the holes are probably too big for a very small dog to walk on.

We had the place to ourselves too which was fun.  I think we hit the season just right as the water is still flowing but easy enough to walk through.

Here's how they are drilled into the canyon walls.

Some of the rock was very pink in color.
A small tunnel.
Unfortunately there was some damage towards the end of the trail and you had to turn around.  Bummer.  We turned around and hiked back on the other side after crossing the bridge.

Some rods drilled into the cliffs to help stabilize them.

After the hike we took a drive to find a geocache at a very interesting place I read.  I probably wouldn't have come across this very interesting spot and history if not for geocaching.

They cut in to this large boulder and put his remains.  In person this is a really cool thing to see.  We were both very impressed with it.  There are a few graves behind it as well.
They sealed up the doorway.  It kind of looks like a skeleton head.
The graves behind it had some interesting items left behind.

It was a perfect day.  We definitely recommend the Catwalk Hike if you're anywhere near here.  Tomorrow we will hike the Mineral Creek Trail.


  1. You guys sure find some cool spots!

    1. I heard about this last year on one of my hiking groups and was looking forward to it. It really was a fun experience!

  2. Steve needs to hurry up and retire already so you do not need to worry about Verizon! Cooney's Tomb area looks pretty interesting with a lot of history.

    1. I'd love for him to retire. A couple more years! The area really has a lot of neat history. I could've spent a couple more days there and checked out another mine on a hike-in-only trail. Many scenic day trips too.

  3. The Catwalk hike looks pretty cool. We went on a similar hike several years ago in the Sierra foothills. Looks like we'd have to carry little Rufus on this one though. Sounds like a cool place for you to revisit in the future.

    1. Yes, those holes would be a little too big for Rufus. Where did you hike that was similar? Closer to Susanville?


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