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Bonita Creek Trail - Chiricahua N.M., AZ

Guide 12 Triplogs  0 Topics
  3.2 of 5 
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,150 feet
Elevation Gain 50 feet
Accumulated Gain 58 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.79
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
13  2019-05-30
Lower Rhyolite Lower Bonita Canyon Trails
42  2014-12-29
Silver Spur Meadow Trail
14  2012-01-14 Al_HikesAZ
39  2012-01-14
Chiricahua Shuttle
6  2009-01-08 keepmoving
4  2008-07-09
Silver Spur Meadow Trail
15  2008-01-30 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,617
Trips 1,516 map ( 7,711 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:31am - 7:17pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimeteracres
🔥 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire158.9 mi*

Annual wildflowers, perennial deer
by PrestonSands

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At the far west end of Chiricahua National Monument is the Bonita Creek Trail, which takes hikers through grassy meadows and creekside woodlands near the mouth of Bonita Canyon. This short and easy trail connects with the Silver Spur Meadow Trail at Faraway Ranch on its eastern end, providing the opportunity for a longer hike. This description begins at the Bonita Creek Picnic Area, which is the western trailhead.

The area that this hike traverses is noted for its wildlife. If you hike this trail during the early morning or late afternoon, you will likely encounter Bonita Creek's resident whitetail deer herd. On every trip I have made to the Monument, I have seen them here.

The unmarked Bonita Creek Trail heads north from the Bonita Picnic Area's parking lot. It crosses the meadow and enters the trees along the south edge of Bonita Creek. There is an unmarked "T" intersection here. Go right, up the creek. For the rest of the hike, the trail is little more than a narrow footpath. Occasional benches let you know that you are on the trail. The Bonita Creek Trail heads east along the south bank of the creek, weaving in and out of tree cover. Creekside flora includes the Chiricahua staples of Arizona Cypress, oak, sycamore, and Schott's Yucca. The trail passes by a couple of meadows along its course, often filled with wildflowers after summer rains. From these meadows, you can catch a glimpse of the Monument's high country further up the canyon.

After about a half-mile or so, the Bonita Creek Trail reaches its end at the Faraway Picnic Area parking lot. On the return trip, consider going straight at the "T" intersection. This western fork of the "T" heads down canyon along the creek for a short distance before wrapping around to the south, where it comes to an end back at the Bonita Creek Picnic Area.

Have fun. Hopefully, you'll meet the local deer.

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2008-02-01 PrestonSands
    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 about 33.2 miles to Highway 181. Turn left (east) onto Highway 181, and follow it for 3 miles to the Chiricahua National Monument entrance. (There is an entrance fee) Follow the highway for approximately 0.25 miles beyond the Monument's entrance to the Bonita Creek Picnic Area on the left (see hike description).
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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