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Herb Martyr Trail #247, AZ

Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.5 of 5 
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 3.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,812 feet
Elevation Gain 2,054 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,064 feet
Avg Time One Way 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.98
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
12  2021-06-28
Snowshed Herb Martyr Loop
10  2021-06-02
Snowshed - Paint Rock Loop
28  2021-05-22 bretinthewild
24  2020-11-12
Crest Trail #270 - Barfoot Park Rd to Jct Sdl
10  2020-09-17
Snowshed Basin Trail
5  2014-09-02 gummo
5  2008-04-05
Basin Trail #600
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 729
Photos 8,202
Trips 553 map ( 5,021 miles )
Age 68 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Oct, Nov → Early
Seasons   Late Autumn to Early Spring
Sun  6:04am - 6:15pm
Official Route
5 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
πŸ”₯ 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire158.9 mi*
πŸ”₯ 1994 Rattlesnake Fire50.4 mi*
πŸ”₯ View All over Official Route πŸ”₯
*perimeter length in miles

Cave Creek Views
by markthurman53

HAZ Patch
The Chiricahua Mountains are located in far southeast Arizona on the New Mexico and Mexico border. This mountain is probably the remotest of the over 9000 feet high sky island ranges. The closest towns are Wilcox, 40 miles to the north, and Douglas, about the same to the south. No paved roads enter this range except a short portion on the east side of the range near Portal, Arizona, and there isn’t any easy way to get there. One dirt road traverses the range from the west side near the Chiricahua Monument and ends at Portal. The remoteness makes for great hiking if you prefer solitude. Many of the trails are in poor condition with a few exceptions, ravaged by the Rattlesnake fire in 1994 and the Horseshoe 2 fire of 2011. If you are into route finding, then this is the place to hike.


From the Herb Martyr Campground, The Herb Martyr Trail #247 heads up to and ends at a junction with the Snowshed Trail #246 at about its midway point. The trail follows along cave Creek for about 1 mile, then follows along a ridge up to the Snowshed Ridge. Because this trail follows a ridge, there are some great views to the west up Cave Creek Canyon up to Chiricahua Peak. The scenery along the trail is quite impressive too. There are some magnificent Ponderosa Pines and Douglas-Fir trees along this trail. Being this trail ends at about the midway point on the Snowshed Trail, it is the preferred trail to take if your destination is the crest of the Chiricahua Mountains.

From the Herb Martyr Campground, the trail heads south along Cave Creek. At about 0.1 miles coming in from the west is the Basin Trail #600. The Herb Martyr crosses over Cave Creek to its east side and climbs about 100 feet passes through a hiker-friendly gate along a barbed-wire fence. At this fence is the junction with the Snowshed Basin Trail. The Herb Martyr continues south above Cave Creek on the East side for about 0.2 miles before dropping back down into Cave Creek. It crosses the creek two times before exiting the creek on the east side for the last time. From here, the Herb Martyr starts climbing a ridge that separates Cave Creek Canyon from a basin that drains the north slopes of the lower Snowshed Ridge. It is a steady uphill climb on a trail that is in good condition. There are plenty of views and picturesque spots along this section of the trail, so when the uphill climb gets to be a bit much, stop and enjoy the scenery. This trail appears to get a lot of use, at least by Chiricahua Mountain standards, that typically have very few hikers on them; if you don’t count the birders usually flocking lower down in Cave Creek Canyon. There is a sign at the junction of the Snowshed and Herb Martyr Trails that calls out the Snowshed Trail but doesn’t call out the Herb Martyr Trail. I found a couple of lag bolts and a signpost scattered around on the ground, but the Herb Martyr Trail sign was nowhere to be seen.

This trail is 3.1 miles long and is the preferred trail to take if heading up to the Chiricahua Crest. The lower Snowshed Trail is 5 miles to the upper end of the Herb Martyr, and the Herb Martyr is in better condition. A popular loop hike is the Herb Martyr to Upper Snowshed, then the Crest Trail #270, and Returning on the Greenhouse Trail #248. Another option is the lower Snowshed to the Herb Martyr and returning on the Snowshed Basin Trail.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2021-07-02 markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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)

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    East entrance
    From Tucson, take I-10 east 139 miles to US 80 (you will cross the New Mexico border to get to this intersection). Turn right (south) and drive 28 miles, then turn right (west) on the road to Portal, 7 miles. Drive west on FR 42 approximately 5 miles to FR42A (Herb Martyr), drive 2 miles to Herb Martyr Campground.

    West entrance
    From Tucson, take I-10 east to Willcox. From Willcox, head south on AZ Highway 186 for 33 miles. Turn left (east) on AZ Highway 181 toward Chiricahua National Monument and drive 3 miles, then turn right (south) on FR 42 (Pinery Canyon Road). Continue up Pinery Canyon on FR 42 for 19 miles to FR42A (Herb Martyr), drive 2 miles to Herb Martyr Campground.

    Forest Roads 42 and 42D are gravel roads suitable for passenger vehicles. Open from April through November, they are not plowed and are usually closed following early or late season snowstorms. These roads are rough and dusty and may be muddy and slick after rain.
    page created by joebartels on Jul 02 2021 2:07 pm
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