Silver City, NM; July 8, 2013—As of this morning, hours at the Catwalk National Recreation Area, Gila National Forest, returned and will be from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The open hours include the Whitewater Picnic Area and ¼ mile of the lower trail. During the monsoon and since rain typically occurs in the afternoon, the facility will normally be open during these hours. In the event of predicted severe weather or flooding, the facility will be closed to protect visitors.
Please contact the Glenwood Ranger District, 575.539.2481, during weekday hours, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, before planning a trip or visit the Forest website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/gila/
• ONLY ¼ mile of the “old” trail and the picnic area is currently open. The rest of the old trail is closed pending treatment of a dangerous rock outcrop that caused the recent rock fall onto the trail. Once the rock hazard has been cleared, the suspended trail can be opened to the Octagon.
• The Universal Trail is also closed for treatment of rock hazards.
• The currently closed upper canyon will probably stay closed through the monsoons due to the extreme difficulty of evacuation in event of a flood, and the need to evaluate and repair damage to structures and the trail. The upper canyon is defined as the trail and associated canyon from the Octagon to the end of the trail.
Visitors are asked to use extreme caution during the monsoon season. With burn scars from this year’s Silver Fire and the 2012 Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex, the potential for post-fire flooding is possible.
When heavy thunderstorms are expected:
• If camping or picnicking, place the campsite on higher ground and avoid camping in drainage areas such as rivers, creeks, or arroyos and especially in narrow canyons. Flash
floods can quickly develop during heavy thunderstorms! During these downpours,
extreme caution should be exercised when crossing these drainage areas.
• Be informed! Know the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
• Know the weather patterns of the area! In mountainous areas, thunderstorms typically develop in the early afternoon, so plan to hike early in the day and be down the mountain by noon.