CDT Days 5-8: Lordsburg to Silver City

May 20-23, 141 miles hiked

We took a zero day (a day we don’t hike) in Lordsburg. It’s a little embarrassing that we took a day off this early in the hike, but it was nice, and needed. The day was filled with town errands (post office, grocery store, laundry, etc), as zeroes often are. The next morning, we left Lordsburg and began the 6-mile road walk out of town. Dogs barked at us from inside their fences and the day grew hotter as we veered off the road and cross country across a desert. I listened to an audiobook. After 10 miles of walking towards some mountains, we started climbing on a jeep road, and the terrain changed gradually as we got higher. The usual cacti and desert shrubbery were still there, but there were also TREES, things were much greener, and big, strange tan-colored rocks were starting to appear. We passed an old copper and gold mine. It looked like the kind of country those old Western movies were filmed in. After winding our way through the hills, we came to an old windmill with a FAUCET of running water (incredible luxury!) and decided to camp. It was a wonderland of woodland creatures, with rabbits everywhere and owls hooting. I don’t know if it was the rabbits, running water, or trees, but I felt incredibly happy to be there. 

Things got even better the next day. The jeep road changed to an actual trail, which we followed for several miles through the same tree-filled desert mountains. Around mid-afternoon, we crossed Highway 90 and encountered an extremely exciting thing: trail magic!! Trail magic (food/water/treats left for hikers by anonymous strangers called trail angels) was everywhere on the PCT, but I’d given up on it happening on the CDT. This particular occurrence featured water, soda, beer, and fresh fruit. Thank you to the self-named “Southwest Desert Genie,” who apparently is responsible for this!

The trail then climbed for what felt like the first time on the CDT, hitting 8,000 feet. We wound through a pine forest, then descended towards a junction that followed Dead Man’s Canyon all the way out of the mountains and to a dirt road that would connect to Highway 90. We still had a 17-mile road walk to Silver City. We got to the dirt road by evening and I played my usual scales and etudes while Phil prepared our lentil soup/mac ‘n cheese dinner concoction. 

The next morning, we hiked as fast as possible down the road. It felt strange to be coming to a town again so soon – this last section between Lordsburg and Silver City ended up being pretty short. As we’re finding out, the distances between each town seem to always be a little unknown. Many different routes are available and the trail is always in flux between previous years’ routes and newly built routes. Plus, the mileage on the maps and the CDT hiker app we’re using never quite lines up, so it’s hard to know exactly how far we’ve gone and how far the next town is. 

Silver City is a cute, colorful town with one main downtown street, filled with galleries, restaurants, and quirky businesses with murals on their walls. We spent the afternoon eating and doing the usual errands, and stayed at the semi-sketchy but kind of cute RV park that evening.

dirt road climbing into the trees

cow water


magical windmill

trail magic!

beautiful pine forest

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