I have always been interested in the Whetstone mountains as I've traveled down AZ-90
to Sierra Vista and the Huachucas. I finally quit messing around and did some research
and found that there is at least one trail there. It's a nice short loop that actually starts
in Kartchner Caverns State Park, but 99% is in Coronado National Forest.
Guindani trailhead starts in parking lot and immediately comes to gate marking national
forest boundary. Shortly enough you come to signed intersection pointing to your right
for the Guindani trail. Hang right and follow an old jeep road for a while. You soon enter
Guindani canyon and wash and start climbing along it. This is a nice riparian corridor with
plenty of surprisingly green trees along the way and birds testing out their pipes.
Before long the jeep trail ends and trail continues on as a footpath crossing over the
wash several times. You will eventually climb out of the wash/canyon and come to a
signed intersection: Guindani to left and Cottonwood to right (not sure where that goes
Anyway hang left and the trail starts switchbacking up the southern sidewall of the canyon.
This is the only tough part of the hike, but it's easily manageable enough. After climbing,
passing through a couple gates and enjoying the ever improving scenery you kind of
stumble upon a saddle quite suddenly. I did not know what to expect here and was very
pleasantly surprised to find excellent views all around - especially the southwest portion
of the range, which is very scenic. Nice spot to hang around for a bit and eat a sandwhich.
It's all downhill the rest of the way with nice views of the Huachucas and Dragoons. Before
long you are back at the original signed intersection where you started. Follow signs back
to Kartchner and parking lot. - Apr 07 2005 fricknaley