Okay, I wasn't going to do a trip report on this one, but since there are questions, here goes: My source for info is the "Hikers Map of the Huachuca Mountains" by Leonard Taylor. Using the map the route we took comes in at 12.4 miles; Liz got 11.6 off the gps, so split the difference and call it a 12 mile loop. It is about 1900 feet from the trailhead to Carr Peak, but of course we made this into a really nice loop hike that made the accumulated elevation gain about 3600 feet (using the topo map). That is probably pretty close to reality for all you detail freaks. The highest point of the hike was Carr Peak at about 9230 feet (I have seen this listed as 9205 and 9230, so your choice). Our lowest point on the journey was down in Ramsey Canyon, at the point where the Hamburg Trail meets the Carr Canyon Trail, and this is at about 6600 feet. We finished the hike at about the same elevation as where we started: about 7200 feet. We started hiking at about 935 AM and finished at 615 PM.
The hike involved a short (1.5 mile) car shuttle so we could do the section from Reef Townsite to the Carr Peak Trail, as is goes by the very lush and scenic Old Sawmill Spring, which is a birdwatching mecca (not to mention a spot where certain people with flower fetishes can snap away until the cows come home).
From Reef Townsite we took the Old Sawmill Trail #126 0.7 miles to its junction with the Carr Peak Trail #107. Then 3.4 miles up the mountain on the Carr Peak Trail to the junction with the Crest Trail #103 (after a side trip on the spur trail #108 to Carr Peak for a total RT of 0.6 mile). The section of trail from the spur to the peak over to the junction with the Crest Trail just above Tub Spring is a real nice arcing glide down to about 8600 feet (knock your socks off beautiful in late August with hillsides of yellow flowers). Now on the Crest Trail, we generally descended 1.2 miles to Bear Saddle at about 8100 feet. The next 2 mile section of the Crest Trail involved a nice gradual uphill route along the ridge to the junction with the Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123. This junction is at about 8500 feet just west of Pat Scott Peak (one of the two and the one I consider the correct one
). Curiously, when we were doing a camp/hike here in May 2009, a small lightning caused fire was burning in this saddle, and we had to cut our planned hike short. It is the only time I have ever hiked toward a forest fire. What is weird is to see how little fire damage there was at this spot, when last year we were there with helicopters doing bucket drops and a crew chainsawing in the smoke and fire. At the time it was quite dramatic. Down the Pat Scott Canyon Trail sharply for 2.1 miles to its junction with the Hamburg Trail #122 in upper Ramsey Canyon. This is a very scenic section of trail, with outstanding views of the south cliff face of Ramsey Peak in the upper portion, and a lush riparian zone along the creek in the lower part. We were briefly on the Hamburg Trail (0.1 mile) until the junction with the Carr Canyon Trail #109. This represented the lowest elevation point of the hike. Now on the home stretch, we had to slog along two uphill sections for 2.3 miles to reach the shuttle car at Ramsey Vista campground. The heaviest rain of the entire hike was at the finish from Comfort Spring.
I will say this about the two days down there: it was great to get out of the heat and play around in the rain and cool mist, but I was greatly disappointed
that we didn't get treated to some raging thunderstorm action and a good light show Saturday night.