Overview: From "Ramsey Vista Campground" follow "Carr Peak Trail #107" 2.75 miles. Take "Carr Peak Spur Trail #108" 0.3 miles to the peak. Return by the same route.
Summary: Starting at 9:10 am, the trail started gently on trail rock, which in my opinion, is the worst part of the trail. The rock is pretty unfriendly on the toes. Coming up the trail you can see evidence of pipes laying around and not to far up is an old water tank. In the spring and summer months Hummingbirds are abundant in the thick Manzanitas. We passed a natural spring that is tucked into a opening just off the trail. The darkness in the area was just asking for us to come check it out. There are many types of trees and plants to ponder along the way. There is also a small creek that runs right over the trail. Upon decent, this ended up being a nice place to soak tender paws for my dog, Abby.
The trail turns to switchbacks as you rise in elevation. The landscape begins to change to pine and forest. There are a couple of abandoned mine holes that are only a couple of yards off the trail so please be careful when exploring. There are lots of large burned trees that are still standing form the fire. Baby Aspens grew beneath them. Before we knew it Miller Peak was just around the bend. A little further down the trail is a sign showing the trail to Carr Peak. From here it was a third of a mile straight to the top.
I made it to the top at 12:25 pm and was rewarded with some of the best views. I called home to see if they could see me at top through binoculars, and believe it or not, they could! But only when I moved :) The views at the top were almost unreal. At an elevation of 9215, they seemed slightly fake. You could see the Mule, Whetstone, and Dragoon Mountains in the distance, then Miller Peak and into Mexico. Sierra Vista from the top of Carr seemed bigger than you would think it was. Everything looked so small, you could really see the distance between structures on Ft. Huachuca and Sierra Vista. You also could see how big some of the houses really are in the area.
I stayed for about 35 minutes to enjoy the views and eat lunch before heading down. I made it back to the trailhead at 1:58 pm. The dog crashed, I relaxed a bit, had a drink, took some pictures, then headed home for the day.
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This trail is not only easy to get to, but it provides a relatively moderate hike to some of the best views in the Huachucas. In the process it also offers access to two of the highest points in southeastern Arizona, Carr Peak and (via the Crest Trail #103) Miller Peak. For these reasons, this combination of trails provides some of the most popular hiking on the Sierra Vista District.
Carr Peak Trail is conveniently accessible from both the Reef Townsite Campground and Ramsey Vista Campground on scenic Carr Canyon Road. The main trailhead is located at the edge of a parking area just outside Ramsey Vista Campground. Other means of access are provided by a short spur that comes directly out of the Ramsey Vista Campground, and the Old Sawmill Spring Trail from the parking lot across FR 368 from the Reef Townsite Campground.
Much of the 2,000 foot climb from the trailhead to the summit is through an area that has been burned by at least two wildfires, one in 1977 that scorched much of the upper reaches of the mountain range and a smaller one in 1991. These areas of disturbance are well on their way to healing naturally as various shrubs, trees and wildflowers return to reclaim them. In places where a short time ago only ashes, burnt snags and bare dirt could be found, healthy communities of young aspens are already putting on brilliant displays of fall colors.
The trail offers good views of the upper reaches of Carr Peak and of Miller Peak across Miller Canyon. To get to the top of Carr Peak (9,230'), you’ll need to follow the short but steep Carr Peak Spur. The main trail continues on to a connection with the Crest Trail, which offers access not only to Miller Peak, but to the rest of the Huachuca Mountains trail network.
Attractions: Access to Carr and Miller peaks, Skyline views, Campground nearby Access to other trails
Season: March through December
Length: 4.1 miles (#107), 0.3 mile (#108),0.7 mile (#126)
Rating: More difficult (#107), moderate (#108 & #126)
Access: Drive south of Sierra Vista 7 miles on Arizona Highway 92 to the Carr Canyon Road (FR 368). Follow FR 368 about 6.5 miles to the Old Sawmill Spring trailhead across from the entrance to Reef Townsite Campground. The Carr Peak Trailhead is located at a parking lot just outside the entrance to Ramsey Vista Campground at the end of FR 368. Carr Peak Spur is accessible via the Carr Peak Trail.