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Bonita Creek Trail-Chiricahua N.M., AZ

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Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Douglas
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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
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
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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 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Feb → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:03am - 6:20pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Annual wildflowers, perennial deer
by PrestonSands

At the far west end of Chiricahua National Monument is the Bonita Creek Trail, which takes hikers through grassy meadows and creek side 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 early morning or late afternoon, you are likely to 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 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, but getting lost is not really an issue here. The Bonita Creek Trail heads east along the south bank of the creek, weaving in and out of tree cover. Creek side 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, which are regularly 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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Bonita Creek Trail-Chiricahua N.M.
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    After hiking the Big Loop we returned to camp and chilled out for a couple of hours. We had a couple of hours to kill before starting dinner and decided to walk to the Faraway Ranch. We left directly from camp and made the easy walk. The going is very nice as you hike by Bonita Creek and see the remnants of those that lived and worked here. We were both surprised at how many buildings there are. They’re in great condition and the main house is huge! A tour would be very cool but not today. After exploring the ranch we continued west and walked to the end of the trail. The return flew by and we settled in for another evening.
    Bonita Creek Trail-Chiricahua N.M.
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    2nd Day in Chiricahua National Monument...Did a Hike and a Historical Tour. Started from the Visitor's Center and took the Silver Spur Meadow Trail to Faraway Ranch. Arrived at the Ranch just as they were getting ready to start a Ranger led Tour, so I joined in...Some pretty fascinating History there...

    After the Tour, I continued on the Bonita Creek Trail to the Day Use Area...Did a little Loop around their paved Nature Trail there, had a Snack and then returned back to the Visitor Center the way I came. I had thought about walking the Road back, but I was seeing some Deer in there and there's always the possibility of seeing some different Birds on the Way Back.... :D

    I left the Monument after I finished and started heading for Home...I made one more Stop but I'll split that since I have so many Photos here already.... :)

    If not for the Tour, this would have been a reasonably sized Photoset for a change.... :sl:
    Bonita Creek Trail-Chiricahua N.M.
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Hit the road at 0500 for Chiricahua National Forest. Arrived 0840 so I missed the shuttle to the top. Registered, watched a video narrated by Rex Allen, Sr. Scouted the area and the campgrounds. Good advice from Marianne (of Washington) at the campgrounds. Drove to Massai Point and hiked the interpretive trail. Drove back to Faraway Ranch for the 1100 tour with Park Service Volunteer Bill Dean. Learned a lot of history. Took photos. Hiked to the Jay Hugh Stafford cabin. 1 mile 1 AEG
    Drove to Echo Canyon TH and hiked Echo Canyon Trail , Hailstone Trail and Ed Riggs Trail. 4 miles 500AEG.
    Drove to Sugarloaf TH and hiked the Sugarloaf Trail up to the Fire Lookout Tour. A little sporty with snow and ice on northern parts of the trail. That tunnel is cool. 2 miles 500 AEG.
    Drove back to campground. Chose campsite 1. My recent acquisition of the Coleman lantern was excellent. I am more used to Grand Canyon Backpacking instead of car camping so I forgot a few luxuries I could have enjoyed - like my Nemo pillow and some Herradura. And I could have brought firewood for the grill in the campsite. Weather was pleasant. Cloud cover kept temps in the low 40's. I added the Arizona Butterfly Guide to my library and bought the Stan Tekila Owl Book (for my daughter Jessica). Total for day 7 miles 1,001' AEG
    Bonita Creek Trail-Chiricahua N.M.
    rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
    A brief, late afternoon visit to the Monument on a bitterly cold, windy day. I'd always bypassed this trail until now, thinking "eh, it's only half a mile long..." It's actually 1.5 miles of fairly primitive trail. I couldn't believe how close those deer came to me! Wildlife of all sorts usually run in fear from me, like I'm a Sasquatch on crack or something.

    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).
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
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