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Date of visit:
July 31, 2000

For location of this site in NM, click on the map:
 Location of Catwalk Recreation Trail ...
 

We rate this site a:

Site Highlights:
 Gila National Forest
 Moderate hike
 Few visitors
 Fascinating walkway
 Rugged mountains
 Many waterfalls
 Plume remnants
 Many nature trails

 Kachina

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Go to first part of day trip - Mogollon Ghost Town
Go to third part of day trip - City of Rocks State park
Catwalk Recreation Trail

Whitewater Canyon
Whitewater Canyon

Catwalk Recreation Trail

Catwalk Recreation Trail
Whitewater Canyon, site of the famous Catwalk National Recreation Trail, was a central point in the mining saga of southwestern New Mexico.

The town of Graham, also called Whitewater, grew up around a mill built by John T. Graham in 1893. The town survived less than 10 years.

All that remains to mark the spot is part of the mill walls clinging to the west side of the canyon near the entrance to the Catwalk.
The Early Years
The Mill Works
The Mill Works

A Typical Mine

A Typical Mine

Water Plumes

Water Plumes
Whitewater Canyon presented special mining and milling problems.

The mill, powered mainly by electricity, could not be built close to the mines because of the rough and narrow canyon. While the stream frequently dried up at the mill site, it ran almost continuously on the high mountains where the mines were located.

Eventually, electricity was generated and water was provided to the town after the construction of an 18-inch pipeline reaching about three miles up the canyon. The present day Catwalk follows the route of the line.

Despite the large investment of time and money, the Graham Mill was never highly successful because of inadequate ore processing methods. It was finally closed in 1913.

After 1913, the massive rock walls of Whitewater Canyon saw few visitors until the 1930's when the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was assigned the task of rebuilding the Catwalk as a recreation attraction for the Gila National Forest.

The CCC-built Catwalk served until 1961 when the Forest Service constructed the present metal Catwalk.
The Details
About the mills ...
About the mills ...

Water, water, water ...
Water, water, water ...

The demise ...
The demise ...
Site Gallery 1 - Walking The Trail
 
Into the trail Along the catwalk
Up and up and up Through another passage
A waterfall From atop a bridge
 
 
Site Gallery 2 - Additional Images
 
On the trail On the trail On the trail
On the trail On the trail On the trail
On the trail On the trail On the trail
On the trail
A national recreation site - preserved and protected!
 
 
For More Information
Gila National Forest
Gila National Forest - Recreation : Catwalk

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