Saturday, November 26, 2011 – Past Fierro – FR 4203E

Sub Title: 3 Old Mines and 2 Sore Hikers

The first snow on the mountain - looking northwest

I have not been on a hike all week due to the Thanksgiving festivities so I pushed myself out the door today for a hike with Cody. I decided to check out the road that goes out past Fierro. Fierro is an old mining town that is off of Highway 152 on Route 356. I passed by old mining equipment, the church, cemetery and a bunch of old buildings in varying levels of decay and residency.  For more information on the town, check out:

I went as far as I could on 356 – until I almost hit the gate to the mining operations. There was a side road to the right and that led to me to many hiking options. I chose FR 4203E as my starting point. I was soon glad I did. Very soon into the hike, I came to an old mine shaft with a fence around it. It was cool (wait, I think today’s vernacular would make this sight – awesome) to walk around it and check out the hole and wood beams around it. I wondered how they made the hole so square – I guess they had some decent equipment back then.

An abandonded mine shaft

A little further and the terrain started changing. Hillier and a creek that I walked along. Soon, pine trees started making an appearance. Across the creek I saw another mine and just had to cross over and check it out. This had more holes and more wood equipment in the ground. I was afraid Cody would disappear into one of the holes but I worry for nothing most of the time. We crossed back over onto our path and continued on. Our path started rising as the creek dropped off into an impressive ravine. I was now walking among pine trees on a pleasant ridge. At the end of the ridge it wound to the right and down. I followed but it soon stopped abruptly at a precipice. After picking up some interesting rocks, I turned back. Back at the end of the ridge, I looked out and enjoyed a long range view to the north and east. Saw some snow on a high mountain in the distance. I also noticed that on the ridge to my right were pine trees and on the ridge to my left was a more desert look – scrub oak and such – no large trees. It was interesting to realize I was at the edge of the pine forest.

On the way back, I was checking the GPS and walking at the same time. Doing these two functions at the same time ended up being too challenging for me and I slipped and fell on the rocky road. A painful hip and 2 scratches on the GPS were the damages reported.  That’s what I get for stashing interesting rocks in my back pockets and not paying attention.

Soon after I saw a third mine that was missed on the way in. A pit and what resembled a building or maybe a processing area. We had fun exploring it for a few minutes and then headed back to the car. That’s when I noticed Cody was limping on her back right side. I checked for burrs or cuts but found nothing. This afternoon we sit and nurse our wounds….. and make turkey soup.

Old Mining Structures in the hills near Fierro, New Mexico

2 hours and 2.03 miles

18 down / 82 to go


About Gila Hiker

First I hiked 100 different trails in a year, now I write a monthly article in Desert Exposure about a local hike. Come on out to Silver City..... and bring your hiking gear!

Posted on November 26, 2011, in Gila National Forest, Hiking, New Mexico, Outdoor Activities, Southwest. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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