West Fork Mogollon Falls


West Fork Mogollon Creek is one of New Mexico’s better waterfall streams


Upper West Fork Mogollon Creek must have 20 or so waterfalls of 20’ high or more... However...

Most of them are within a sheer walled narrow gorge requiring technical rock climbing/canyoneering gear to visit them.


These photos show a few of West Fork Mogollon Creek’s many wonderful waterfalls

There are several yet-to-be-explored waterfalls farther upstream than where this team of canyoneers began their descent... at + 7650’ elevation

The photos above were taken by Jeff Jefferies, Laurin Ashby, Dallin Durfee ...members of this Arizona team


beta facts:

name- West Fork Mogollon Creek waterfalls

height- 60’ would be about as high as this group of West Fork Mogollon waterfalls are

elevation- waterfalls on this page are all below 7650’ elevation – there are more waterfalls yet-to-be-documented farther upstream

GPS coordinates- ±33°16.126’N 108°37.274’W near the upstream end of this set of waterfalls and portion of slot canyon

flow- perennial

season- spring, summer and fall

accommodations- Gila Wilderness Area

ownership- Gila National Forest

access- is road 293 about 3 miles north from Cliff, NM – then Sacaton Road 15 miles north to Rain creek Trailhead & see map below for trail information

nearest town- Cliff and Gila are about 20 miles south of here

fun fact- This place is about as remote as it gets


essay bro


The map below shows these waterfalls that were explored by this Arizona Canyoneering Team.  Crew members are: Dallin Durfee, Ryan Hooper, Bret Kilgrow, Jeff Jeffries and Laurin Ashby.  Their excursion thru here was a “first descent.”  They found no evidence (anchors, webbing, ropes or bolts) ...anything of any kind to shows that others had been there.  They explored downstream from Baldy Creek Falls.  We appreciate them for sharing their photos and info with us.  We are impressed by the beauty of this amazing West Fork Mogollon’s steep, narrow gorge...! ! !


We scouted this gorge previously and have been planning a first descent for a couple years now, but on July 2, 2017 this team led by Dallin Durfee... beat us to it...! ! !  I am a bit jealous, but glad for them and proud of them…! ! !


However, there are still some un-explored and yet-to-be-documented, wonderful waterfalls hiding upstream from where they dropped in to descend this gorge.  Baldy Creek Falls, Hobo Falls and several other un-named waterfalls are yet to be explored and documented.  Do any of you want to help us by doing that…? ? ?


The Mogollon Range holds the Gila Mountain’s highest elevations and gives birth to the largest upper Gila River tributaries.  West Fork Mogollon Creek is a fine trout stream draining the south slopes of the Mogollon Range.  The upper West Fork Mogollon divides into three main forks: Geronimo Creek, Hobo Creek and upper West Fork Mogollon Creek.  This south-flowing system is easily accessible via Sacaton Road - Forest Road 147 - at the Rain Creek Trailhead (see map below).


The Mogollon Trailhead at the end of Forest Road 916 nearby, has a sometimes impassable ford (a bridge-less river crossing.)  see map below


Some of the trails, shown by dotted lines on our map below, no longer exist.  Forest fires along with the massive floods that followed, coupled with discontinued maintenance, have allowed these old obsolete trails to desist.  Faint remnants of these appear for short stretches... then vanish with no warning. 


This trip deserves a two night backpack…!!!!


My friend Jay Hemphill sent this image to me... he was up West Fork Mogollon a while back and shot this image of a 30’ high West Fork waterfall found a short ways upstream from Little Punch Bowl Falls... Thanx Jay

This appears to be very low water flow and I recognize it to be the same waterfall as appears in the second photo above

Jay Hemphill Photo


This next photo is a Google Earth Image of Badly Creek Falls (see map below)


Baldy Creek which drains Mogollon Baldy, drops over a 120’ (est.) 2 tiered waterfall at it’s confluence with the West Fork Mogollon Creek

GPS coordinates- ±33°16.187’N 108°37.188’W 

-This falls, along with a half dozen more falls upstream, are yet to be photographed and documented.


Trail 224 hardly exists but at Little Punch Bowl Falls (shown below) know that you are at the doorstep of many amazing, beautiful, waterfalls…!!!


Little Punch Bowl Falls is viewable from Trail 224, while all of the other falls are not.



Right-click-save-as on our map below, to print your own “hand-held” copy for your hike

 Enhanced USGS topo map

Or click this link to see a new updated & enlarged map: http://www.dougscottart.com/hobbies/waterfalls/WestFkMogo.htm


To see the Trailhead click on this enlarged map: http://www.dougscottart.com/hobbies/waterfalls/WestFkMogo.htm

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