This moderate hike on the CD Trail works best
with a car at either end.
by Linda Ferrara
Name: CD Trail, from FR506 to Bear Mountain Road
Distance: 5.5 Miles
Directions: For this hike, you will want to park one car at the end on Bear Mountain Road and the other car at the beginning, on Forest Road 506. Taking two cars and starting at the intersection of Hwy. 90 and 180 in Silver City, take Hwy. 180 west 0.6 miles to Alabama Street. Turn right onto Alabama. Go 3.0 miles (remember that Alabama turns into Cottage San Road along the way) to Bear Mountain Road. Bear left onto Bear Mountain Road. Go 2.5 miles to the trailhead. There is a "U"-shaped parking area on the left. The trail is on the right (a little hidden). I suggest that if you use a GPS, you "mark" your car on the system. Park one car there and all climb into car number two.
Return to Hwy. 180. From Hwy. 180, go east 0.2 miles (about three blocks) and turn left onto Little Walnut Road, which will turn into Forest Road 506. Go 6.7 miles to the CD Trailhead. When you get to Wagon Wheel Lane, be sure to go straight and don't bear right onto Wagon Wheel Lane. Your hike begins on the left side of the road, where you'll see CD markers.
Hike Description: The hike starts out in the pine trees and hills. You are walking the eastern base of Stewart Peak. It gradually opens up to more rolling hills with piñons and scrub oaks. You'll climb up the east side of a mountain and come to a beautiful, open meadow area. This is where you'll enjoy 360-degree views of Eighty Mountain, Bear Mountain and more. The final part of the trail becomes hillier and there is a lot of loose rock. Don't be surprised to see cattle in this area.
Notes: This is a "through" hike, where you park one car at the end of the trail and another at the beginning. You could easily park at either side and just hike in and out, if you prefer and have the energy. Another option is to have someone drop you off or pick you up on either side of the hike. The first part of the trail is well-used. Expect to see mountain bikers, runners, horses and/or hikers. But don't be discouraged, as soon it will be quieter. Plan on one hour on each side for car placement and a hike of approximately three hours.
Helpful Hint: Hiking with poles really cuts down on pain and injury, especially with the loose rocks at the end of this hike.
Linda Ferrara is a former Silver City real-estate agent and, of course, a hiker.