Where is it?
The Catwalk National Scenic Trail area is approximately 5 miles from Glenwood, at the end of NM Highway 174, also known as the Catwalk Road.
Glenwood is about an hour north of Silver City on Highway 180; the drive winds through the high desert of Grant and Catron Counties and includes a number of spectacular views. Close to Glenwood, bands of mountain bighorn sheep may sometimes be seen on the cliffs over the highway.
The Catwalk National Scenic Trail offers a fascinating glimpse into the geologic and historic foundations of Grant County. The result of cataclysmic volcanic actions, the area now offers a beautiful picnic spot next to Whitewater Creek, a challenging one-mile trail along the historic 1890's mining waterway, and a sense of place that creates images of an earlier time.
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, ruins of which can still be seen near the parking area. Although most of the pipe is now gone, much of the current all-access trail follows this original route, winding right through the center of the creek canyon perched safely a dozen feet above the creek. Keep an eye out for trout cruising in the waters below.
The first portion of the trail is relatively easy and leads to hidden pools and splashing waterfalls — magical spots in our high desert environment. Beyond the developed trail, more rigorous trails lead into the Gila Wilderness. Consult with the Forest Service before venturing beyond the Catwalk trail area.
The Catwalk Recreation Area is a day-use area and is open from sunrise to sunset. A parking fee of $3.00 per vehicle is paid at a self-pay station in the parking lot.
Note: Two low-water crossings provide access to the recreation area on Highway 174. Never attempt to cross these when water is present.