This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Preferred" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Crest Trail #270A - Chiricahua Peak, AZ

Guide 27 Triplogs Mine 0 1 Topic
4.1 of 5 
221 27 1
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,491 feet
Elevation Gain 288 feet
Accumulated Gain 301 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 1.9
 Backpack Yes
 Dogs not allowed
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Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
14  2022-09-25
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak Loop
16  2022-09-25
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak Loop
15  2021-11-15
Saulsbury Trail #263
42  2021-08-11
Crest Trail #270
4  2020-11-15
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak Loop
15  2020-10-24
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park TH
10  2020-10-24
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park TH
12  2020-05-24
Chiricahua Peak Loop
Page 1,  2,  3
author avatar Guides 187
Routes 860
Photos 10,302
Trips 698 map ( 5,875 miles )
Age 69 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Associated Areas
list map done
Tucson Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Aug, Sep, Apr, May → Early
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:18am - 7:09pm
Official Route
7 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire158.9 mi*
🔥 1994 Rattlesnake Fire50.4 mi*
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
*perimeter length in miles
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna  Nearby
Flora  Nearby
Named place  Nearby
Culture  Nearby
Peak Without a View
by markthurman53

 Likely In-Season!
Chiricahua Peak 9,742 - Cochise County high point

The Crest Trails north end is along the Barfoot Park Road and continues southward to Chiricahua Peak, Sentinel Peak, and Monte Vista Peak. This trail is 14.2 miles long and divided into three sections, each traversing a ridge or crest. From Chiricahua Peak, there are three main ridges; to the north, a ridge running to Buena Vista Peak, to the southwest, a ridge running to Monte Vista Peak, and to the southeast, a ridge running to Sentinel Peak. Each of the ridges divides the trail into three sections and two side trails.

#270 - Barfoot Park Rd to Jct Sdl
6.2 miles: on the north side of Chiricahua Peak

#270B - Jct Sdl to Monte Vista Pk
3 miles: Along the west side of Chiricahua Peak

#270C - Jct Sdl to Sentinel Peak
5 miles: Along the east side of Chiricahua Peak

#270A - Jct Sdl to Aspen Sdl
Jct Saddle > Chiricahua Pk > Aspen Sdl
0.9 miles: on the SE side of Chiricahua Pk

#270D - Chiricahua Bypass
1.2 miles: Aspen Sdl to Chiricahua Sdl
along the south side of Chiricahua Pk

Access to the Crest Trail at various points can be done from Rustler Park to the north, Turkey Creek to the west, Cave Creek to the east, and Rucker Canyon to the South. Only the Rustler Park access is direct; the rest require 5 to 10-mile connecter trails with 3 to 4000 feet of elevation change. These Trails are all at around 9000 feet through heavily wooded areas, and some areas burned pretty severely over the last 20 years. The forest is in different stages of recovery. Weather can change suddenly at this elevation, and if on the trail, be prepared for whatever it can throw at you; there is no quick exit from this trail.

Chiricahua Peak is the highest peak in the Chiricahua Mountains at 9795 feet. Fires over the last 15 years burned the northwest and southeast sides of the peak and are now in the process of recovering with aspen trees. Because of this, the views on the way up are phenomenal; don’t expect any at the peak because of the trees. On a clear day, Mount Wrightson, Rincon Mountains, Mount Lemmon, and Mount Graham, pretty much all of southeast Arizona, are visible along with mountains in Mexico and New Mexico. In my research on this peak, I found out that this is the southernmost stand of Engelman Spruce in the world, but I wouldn’t know an Engelman Spruce if it fell on me. There is no vehicle access to this trail but the easiest access is along the Crest Trail #270 from Rustler Park.

The Chiricahua Peak Trail #270A starts at a Signed intersection of the Crest Trail at Junction Saddle. The Crest Trails #270, #270B, and 270# C all meet on this saddle. A trail sign that has seen better days is bolted to a tree that didn’t survive the fire but hasn’t given up on standing tall. From the saddle the trail heads into a grove of young aspen trees, the trail is visible but the aspen trees branches obscure the trail a bit. On one of my trips there was a bear and her cub fairly close but the aspen trees were so thick I think I heard them scurry off more than saw them. There are clear sections along this trail and from them the views to the northwest are great. The last tenth mile is through pine and fir trees and probably that Engelman Spruce that I just referred to as Fir trees. Don’t expect much at the top; in fact, I spent a little time trying to determine where the top was until I spotted the survey marker saying I was at 9795 feet.

There is a trail that heads down the southeast slope to Aspen Saddle. I’ve included this trail as part of the Chiricahua Peak Trail #270A because it appears to be a frequently traveled trail, not as good a shape as the northwest approach but easy enough to follow. The northwest approach is a 300-foot climb whereas the southeast approach is 350 feet. The southeast slope was burned at the same time the northwest slope was but this side of the peak is not covered in aspen, therefore the views over Rucker Canyon are good. The views all along the ridges that the Crest Trail #270B & C traverse are clearly visible. At Aspen Saddle is the junction with the Crest Trail #270C and the Ojo Agua Fria Trail #361.

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2021-07-13 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)

    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To Rustler Park CG Trailhead
    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 12 miles to the junction with FR 42D (Rustler Park Road), at Onion Saddle. Turn right and drive about 2.8 miles on FR 42D to the signed parking area for Rustler Park Trailhead on the left.

    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 a rain.

    2009-08-11 Preston Sands: Sign at Rustler Park TH indicates trailhead parking is $5.00. It was not there last October.

    2009-09-22 Vashti: Campground fees are currently $10/night, trailhead parking is listed as $5/night on the sign.

    2021-10-06 JoelHazelton: Trailhead parking is $8.00

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 243 mi - about 4 hours 28 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 134 mi - about 2 hours 53 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 387 mi - about 6 hours 34 mins
    page created by joebartels on Jul 13 2021 5:11 pm
     90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated

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