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Sugarloaf Mountain 7310 - Chiricahua NM, AZ

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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,830 feet
Elevation Gain 480 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 4.4
Interest Peak
Backpack No
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7  2019-06-03
Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
12  2019-05-30
Sugarloaf Mountain
4  2017-10-08 leonesiegel
9  2016-05-30 cindyl
25  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
22  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
6  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
13  2015-09-29 AZWanderingBear
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Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,615
Trips 1,500 map ( 7,599 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:12am - 7:26pm
Official Route
4 Alternative

Monumental views
by PrestonSands

Sitting atop the heart of Chiricahua National Monument is 7310 foot Sugarloaf Mountain. This prominent peak, which stands in a sea of volcanic hoodoos, can be seen for miles. While not as exciting or as popular as the loop trails in the Heart Of Rocks area, this short hike provides sweeping views of the Monument and surrounding areas. The trails and the Monument itself are open 24 hours a day; backpacking, however, is not allowed.

From the Sugarloaf Mountain picnic/parking area, the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail heads across a short ridge, and begins climbing the northern side of Sugarloaf Mountain. Dos Cabezas and rugged Cochise Head are visible along this stretch of trail, as well as the deep, forested gorge of Bonita Canyon. At 0.2 miles, the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail passes through a short tunnel that was blasted through the cemented volcanic ash of an ancient hoodoo. Beyond the tunnel, the trail traverses a steep slope covered in angular boulders, broken off from the low cliffs above the trail. Soon the trail rounds the mountain to the drier, southern slope. The Heart Of Rocks area comes into view now, amid the manzanitas, yuccas, and plentiful beargrass. On the southern horizon, the rolling, green, 9000 foot summits of the Chiricahua peaks form a backdrop against the Monument's countless rock totem poles. The mosaic pattern from 1994's Rattlesnake Fire is clearly visible among the peaks. The trail now makes a switchback here, and plows through a row of manzanita bushes, before arriving on the northeast corner of the windswept summit. The historic one room fire lookout, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's, greets you here. Roam around the mountain top, and take in the 360 degree views. A series of interpretive signs can be found on the southwest side of the summit, overlooking the infinite desert grassland below.

When you are done, return the way you came. If you have time, take one of the trails into the Heart Of Rocks or Rhyolite Canyon areas. You may find the Chiricahuas to be addictive!

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2007-05-07 PrestonSands
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua NM $5 per person / 7 Day Entrance Fee

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From I-10 exit 340 in Willcox, head south on highway 186 for 33.2 miles to highway 181. Turn left (east) onto highway 181, and follow it for 2 miles to the Chiricahua National Monument entrance. Follow the road (which later becomes "Scenic Drive") for approximately 7.5 miles beyond the Monument entrance, to the sign for Echo Canyon and Sugarloaf picnic areas. Turn right, and follow the road to its end at the Sugarloaf picnic area. The trail begins at the far end of the parking lot.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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