The Catwalk's history began with the discovery of gold and silver in the rugged Mogollon Mountains above Whitewater Canyon. In 1893, the small town of Graham (also known as Whitewater) grew around a mill, located on the west hillside near the present day of parking area. The mill only lasted about 10 years. In the mid-1930's the Civilian Conservation Corps rebuilt the Catwalk. The Catwalk bridge system washed away during a huge flooding event after the 2012 Whitewater-Baldy Fire. The bridge system was rebuilt and is now open for approximately .5 miles from the parking lot. This is a very accessible area and easily hiked by all ages. After the bridge system, the trail system has been cleared for another .5 - .75 miles. It goes across a low-water crossing, across the fiberglass bridge and through the arch. The trail is currently closed beyond the arch due to hazardous trail conditions.
***During the summer monsoons, there is a possibility that the parking area will close due to flooding. NMDOT posts road closure updates for NM174 on their website (https://dot.state.nm.us/content/nmdot/en/Traveler_info.html). If the gate is closed for the parking area, visitors can park along the gravel shoulder to avoid blocking the gate. Observe water levels and use extreme caution if choosing to cross Whitewater Creek. During the summer months, always check the weather before coming to Catwalk. Hiking in the morning is the best way to avoid potential flash floods from afternoon rains.
All visitors to the Catwalk Recreation Area must display a valid pass. This pass is valid for use of recreation facilities at Catwalk Recreation Area administered by the U.S. Forest Service within the Gila National Forest.�
If purchasing your pass on-site, no printed copy of the pass will be available. Instead, your license plate number will be used to confirm compliance. If purchasing a pass in advance, a printed copy of the pass is recommended for your vehicle as connectivity is limited.
This pass admits the passholder and accompanying passengers of a single, private (non-commercial) vehicle. It does not guarantee parking availability. For your safety, please remember that parking outside of designated areas is discouraged and visitors who park illegally may be fined and towed.
Passes are valid until 11:59 PM of the date listed on the pass, and only for the date(s) and vehicle specified.
Passes are non-transferrable, non-refundable, not replaceable if lost or stolen, and void if altered or reproduced.