West Curtis Falls

See on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bg7cQj68u1M

This hike is for experienced hikers only… having expert topo reading skills and are in top physical condition…!!!

Devon enjoys reflective moments at West Curtis Falls

West Curtis Falls is a multi-tiered waterfall more than 200’ high.  The 100’ falls in the photo above is the highest single tier of West Curtis Falls.


These two photos below show some tiers immediately below the high falls... they are 25 to 40 feet high each

©Devon Fletcher


...and more waterfalls continue on farther downstream...

About a mile downstream below West Curtis Falls is this 25’ high waterfall, shown on the map below.



beta facts:

name- West Curtis Falls

height- 200’ or more... the highest single tier is about 100’ high

elevation- 7300’

GPS coordinates- ±33°01.977’N 107°45.665’W

flow- does go dry during dry times so please only visit it during wet times

season- March & April or September & early October

accommodations- none

ownership- Gila National Forest

access- several different ways, so please read the essay below

nearest town- Kingston, NM

fun fact- this is the most remote, difficult to visit waterfall in New Mexico



essay bro:

West Curtis Falls is the most remote, difficult to visit waterfall in New Mexico.  March 19, 2016 Devon Fletcher and I day hiked in to it from Cave Creek Trailhead via Forest Trail 307 and Las Animas Creek.  That route is 17 miles with 4000’ vertical feet elevation rise.  Wheeew....  A few days earlier (March 15, 2016) we hiked in to East Curtis Falls from Cave Creek Trailhead via Forest Trail 307 and west on 117.  Since Forest Trail 117 is totally obliterated by forest fires beyond Magner Park, we followed the route marked in yellow on the map below.  That day hike was almost 10 miles with 2400’ vertical.  The Cave Creek Trailhead is at the end of Gila National Forest Road 157.  The last 4 miles of this road are 4WD only... and it means it…!!!


I suggest the Magner Park route for accessing both West and East Curtis Falls.... unless you wish to see all of the countless number of small but beautiful waterfalls in the Curtis Canyons below the big falls.  Then perhaps a loop hike would be in order.  But the soft sand is deep and hard to walk thru along Las Animas Creek... and the 1400’ climb-out up Forest Trail 307 is a killer at the end of a long hard day.  Also, Trail 307 has been burned and then abandoned by the Forest Service.  It is in horrible disrepair, therefore very easy to lose track of.  Getting lost here is quite easy.  We were thankful for bright moonlight when we came up out of there in the dark…!!!


As you can see by these photos above, West Curtis Canyon is an amazingly beautiful place that I would love to return to.  Please right-click-save-as on our map below to save your own hard copy and take with you when you go.   But please remember the yellow lines on the map below are routes, NOT TRAILS.  On these routes, you will be bushwhacking…!!!


West and East Curtis Falls both appear in the lower left hand corner of the map below.


Enhanced USGS 7.5’ topo map



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