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Webb Peak via Soldier Creek, AZ

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Guide 17 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3.3 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,420 feet
Elevation Gain 610 feet
Accumulated Gain 640 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.6
Interest Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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15  2019-07-07
Webb Peak Trail #345
26  2016-04-26
Riggs Flat Campground
20  2015-04-18
Webb Peak from Ash Creek TH
15  2012-10-29
Webb Peak Big Loop
6  2012-09-02 skatchkins
35  2012-07-12
Webb Peak from Ash Creek TH
15  2010-10-11
Webb Peak from Ash Creek TH
22  2010-08-13
Mount Graham
Page 1,  2
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   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Early
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:08am - 6:17pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
What's aspenin', Webb?
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Overview: Webb Peak via Soldier Creek follows forest road #88, also known as the Webb Peak Road, to the summit of 10,030 foot Webb Peak, in Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains. It is one of four routes to the summit. This old road, which is closed to motor vehicles, can be hiked in conjunction with one of the two branches of the Webb Peak Trail #345, or the Chesley Flat Trail #311, to make a nice, mountain top loop.

State highway 366, which provides access to this hike, is closed yearly due to snow from November 15 through April 15 (or possibly later), about 7 miles before the trailhead.

Hike: The hike begins where the unsigned Webb Peak Road (forest road #88) meets the Swift Trail highway, near the Soldier Creek Campground. There is a small parking area near the beginning of the road. Pass through the vehicle barrier gate, and begin following Webb Peak Road as it heads up a shallow draw, away from the rolling meadows along the Swift Trail. The headwaters of Soldier Creek trickle down the draw, which parallels Webb Peak Road for its first quarter mile. Engelmann spruce dominates this area's recently thinned forest.

The road makes a sharp bend to the left at 0.25 miles, and leaves Soldier Creek behind. Aspens and southwestern white pines now begin to crowd the tall spruces, creating a shady, forested hike.

As the hike rounds the south ridge of Webb Peak, the trees part to reveal a nice view of the Galiuro and Santa Catalina Mountains to the west. The views continue until the road reaches the one mile signpost, near a fine roadside campsite.

The hike now turns north, and arrives at a signed junction with the Chesley Flat Trail, at around 1.5 miles. You will pass near some mountain top meadows in this area, carved out of the forest by past fires.

The road comes to an end at 1.7 miles, next to a rustic forest service cabin, and just below the summit of Webb Peak. Take the short walk up to the summit, where the fire tower stands. Be sure to sign the register, which sits in the rocks below the tower. Trees block the view from the summit, but spectacular 360 degree views await you from the tower.

Returning to your vehicle via one of the Webb Peak Trail's two branches makes a great loop with a quick return. The short branch offers a 3.25 mile loop, while the long branch offers a 4.5 mile loop. Returning via the Chesley Flat Trail and the Swift Trail highway brings route finding challenges, and a loop hike of 5.5 miles.

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.

2008-05-10 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
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    After packing up camp from our 2 night stay at Riggs Lake, we headed back down the mountain making our 1st stop at Chesley Flat for a hike. We first took the Blair Canyon trail down a bit to visit the spooky forest, then backtracked up and onto the Chesley Flat trail. This is one of my upper mountain fav's, lots of wildflowers & raspberries to see through the meadows on our way up to Webb Peak. Took the service road & Swift Trail back down to complete the loop.

    Stop #2 was made at Solider Creek for lunch and to show the girls the "ice caves" along the Jesus Goudy Trail.
    The camp hosts & locals on the mountain always send hikers to these IMO very overhyped "caves". This was my 3rd visit and the girls 1st. I guess they are worth seeing once, the granite formations in the area are very cool.
    None of us were very impressed on this visit.

    After the "caves", we ended our 3 day 2 night camping trip atop the Big Island with a beautiful slow drive back down the ole' Swifty. Great getaway with great people and as always a great desire to get right back up there and do it again !!!

    The meadows are full of yellow sunflowers along with other colors & raspberries.
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    I don't know why it took me over a year to get back to Mount Graham because I really like this area. I did a Grant Creek Goudy Ridge loop today with side trips down Moonshine Creek and up Webb Peak.

    I was passed going up Grant Creek Trail by three trail runners :o A good portion of Moonshine is torn up from a tree trimming project, however, I was able to get to the falls area and found it to be a nice little side trip. I saw a few cars during the road walk from Grant to Goudy, but no other hikers or runners the rest of the day. With Graham being illegal I settled for Webb. It was nice to hit 10,000 feet after starting the day at 5400. I considered "Chestley" Flats on my way down from Webb, but had to keep Cup and mind and just decided to head for the Xterra.

    The upper sections of Goudy Ridge Trail are nice, with the gigantic pines and old forest feel, but I think the trail loses its redeeming qualities the lower you go. It is a relentless downhill and the trail is in disrepair in spots, however, it gets you down the mountain pretty quick, with some pretty good views.

    Another great trip to Graham. I hope to make it back soon; its a great area with several more trails I want to hike. I just wish it was not so far away.
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    Last year I hiked this loop stopping at the big "Fort Grant overlook" and set up a fire ring with plans of returning the following week to camp at the spot for a night. One year later on this trip, I made it back and as a very nice bonus, I brought along my Roper Lake SP girls (Addie & Lauren).

    Day 1 - We arrived at Grant Hill in the mid afternoon and chose the counter clockwise route for the quickest time to the site as the light was gonna get low soon on this south side of the mountain. My fire ring was still intact, had been used since last year, but was set up nicely with firewood for a new night. We set up camp, gathered more firewood & settled in to our amazing overlook site under the supermoon. Fire, conversation, laughs and awesome night views of Fort Grant below with light monsoon storms hitting the valleys & mountains in the southern distance. Twas a most wonderful night with friends that ended at 4am. I settled into my sleeping bag with 50deg temps and a gentle wind through the pines excited about the next day!

    Day 2 - Awoke after 4 hours of sleep, had an energy shooter for breakfast, broke camp and then completed the rest of Grant Hill Loop. We then switched the backpacks for day packs and drove up to Columbine for the days hike. Light rain started to fall as we made our way down the Ash Creek trail, but ended by the time we made it down to the boiler/Webb Peak Y. The Ash Creek trail looked amazing, would have loved to continue down to the falls but Webb Peak was the destination for the day, Ash Creek ..... see ya next week!!!
    The highlight of the climb to Webb came half way up when we watched a big black bear race through the forest just before we entered the meadow he was in. We sucked wind the rest of the way up to the peak and rested under the fire lookout tower at just over 10,000ft.
    From Webb we then took the Chesley Flat trail down to the Swift Trail. The Chesley Flat section was my fav for the day, just a beautiful hike through sunflower filled meadows that I could have went back & forth through all day!
    We then walked the Swift Trail back to Columbine completing a wonderful Loop.

    The monsoons have hit the Pinalenos well this year. The big island is green, green, green. Water flowing down every creek and drainage, rainbow of flowers on every trail and yellow sunflowers fill every meadow. Wildlife spotted on our 2 day trip - Black bear, 14 white-tail deer, 4 Aberts squirrel and many vultures & hawks above.

    I'll remember this one for years, can't wait for our "finale" next week!!!

    Yellow mountain sunflowers across every meadow, many other colors along the trails & a good variety of mushrooms in the low light sections.
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    Webb Peak Big Loop
    Half day trip on top of Graham with the 10,000 ft Webb Peak fire lookout tower being the main attraction for this hike. Started the loop from the Columbine corrals by first taking the Ash Creek trail down -

    ASH CREEK - Still a lot of deadfall along the first .5 miles down to the boiler and Webb Peak spur. All of the aspens have dropped their leaves along this section.

    WEBB PEAK - Took the spur around and up to the peak. There is now a short locked fence around the first segment of the fire lookout ladder, but is easy to climb up over. There was no sign telling you not to do this like Heliograph Peak has, so I climbed up half way before strong wind gusts forced me back down. Not sure if the tower box has been locked up too. I then took the service road down and jumped on the Chesley Flat trail just off the road.

    CHESLEY FLAT - Favorite trail of the day! Half of this trail goes through an old burn, but has a cool look to it and some good expansive views to the north. Found a few nice golden aspens along the way before taking a short side trip down Blair Canyon.

    BLAIR CANYON - The HAZ Yeti showed me this trail last year and I decided to revisit just the first .75 miles of this dark, cold & spooky canyon. The entire trail down was completely covered in aspen litter and I will have to put this one on next years autumn list!

    SWIFT TRAIL - I then completed the loop by walking the Swift Trail (Hwy 366) back to Columbine. I'm often asked "what is the best trail in the Pinalenos?" and I always answer - It's the road that takes you up there, the Swift Trail!!!

    MOONSHINE - Before leaving the mountain, I made a short stop on the drive back down and hiked the out-n-back to the very scenic Moonshine overlook.

    AUTUMN OBSERVATION - Disappointing, but expected. I knew going up this year that the colors were going to be below average. There were some good patches of color, but most looked dull & flat instead of the crisp & vibrant colors of the past. I believe that the intense summer heat we had this year had a lot to do with this. I still have high hopes for some of the lower canyons which are just now starting to "peak"!

    Although the fall colors were disappointing, my main goal on this trip was to visit Webb Peak and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the trails I used to complete this loop!
    With the top of Graham set to close Nov 15 for the winter, this was probably my last trip to the top for 2012 and what an awesome year it was!!!
    Many thanks to the Blam & Yeti for the good times shared up high this year on my favorite hill! :D
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    Started on this Hike around noon. Was enjoying my campsite at Grand View too much in the morning and got a late start. By the time I hit the TH it was pretty overcast and seemed like it was threatening to rain. At the Columbine Campground where both the Webb Peak and Ash Creek Th's are, I ran into a couple that had been getting ready to backpack Ash Creek Trail. According to the Bulletin Board at the Campsite, the Ash Creek Trail was closed, due to the Fire that had been burning the week before. It was the couple's first time in the Pinalenos, and they had found the Hike through HAZ and the recent Triplogs from the Bartel/Eagle/Tortoise Expedition. They decided to cancel that Hike due to the closure and we talked for a few minutes about other Backpack and Camping options for them. They decided that the Webb Peak Hike that I was going to do sounded good for a day hike. My plan was to do the Big Loop, Ash Creek Trail to the Webb Peak Trail, up to the Peak, down the Service Road and back to the car via the Swift Trail.

    I started down the Ash Creek Trail, making pretty good time until I got to the bottom of the hill. Then the "tibber mode" kicked in and I slowed considerably. The couple from the Campground caught up to me, passed me, and I never saw them again.... :lol: The Ash Creek Trail at the bottom, once you leave the heavily wooded area, is the epitome of Lush!!! Wow! Once you hit the Creeks, the vegetation is very thick, green and the wildflowers were really starting to kick it into gear. It was so lush, most of the time you couldn't even hardly see the Creeks themselves. And the blooms! Many different varieties of flowers were now blooming, creating an amazing pallet of colors.... :D

    I came to the intersection with the Webb Peak Trail and took off down it. Now I was in virgin territory and it was a very pretty and scenic Hike. Of course, the AEG you lost going down Ash Creek was made up here in the first 3/4 of a mile, but then it flattened out for a little ways and you were strolling through meadows of wildflowers with an occasional peek at the Overlook views to come....Of course with all of the Wildflowers blooming, I had many a Butterfly to keep me company as well.... :D

    I took a small break before the last big ascent up to the Peak and just enjoyed the surroundings. The last 3/4 mile up to the Peak is a pretty steep ascent, but I managed it, despite the rough time the elevation sometimes gives me. It kept threatening to rain, but so far I was getting lucky in that regard, and then, there I was, at the Peak!!! There is a Cabin, what looked to be an Outhouse, and a Fire Tower here. The Cabin didn't look too inhabitable, but I called out anyway, in case there was someone working the Tower. No one answered, and after taking a few pics, it was up to the Tower. No one appeared to be there either, but the door to the Tower was open and there were no signs saying No Entry, so up I went. My first time in a Fire Tower!!!

    It was a very small Tower and I made the mistake of climbing it with my Pack on. I had to take off my Pack just to fit through the door!! :sweat: And then I was in! Very small and from what I could see, it appeared that this Tower, along with the Cabin, are no longer in use. And it looked like everyone who showed up here used the inside of the Tower as their Summit Log. It was full of grafitti and etched names everywhere. I never did find a "true" Summit Log, in the Tower, or at the bottom, but I didn't feel comfortable leaving a mark in the Tower, so I skipped that step completely. I spent a little time up there, taking pics and sending a few picture texts to my friends, since it was the first time I had had Cell Phone Service in the last 24 hours. Enjoyed the views immensely, even though with the Clouds, the distant views were hazy....

    I climbed down from the Tower, rested a little and ate some lunch, then proceeded to start down the Service Road back to the car. I got to the end of the Service Road at the Swift Trail, and became a little confused and got a little turned around. I was thinking that the Road came out right at the Soldier Creek Campground, but instead it came out at the Soldier Camp Campground turnoff. I couldn't remember where this intersection was in relation with Soldier Creek and Columbine. I was in a bowl, so either way, right or left, was going to be uphill.... :sweat: I had forgotten to put the map in my pack, so I ended up flipping a coin in my head and went right. After about 1/2 mile uphill, I came to Big Rock and knew that I had lost the coin toss... :( Soooo, I turned around, went back down the hill and proceeded to climb the next hill, going the other way, which was correct, and that got me back to the Columbine Campground and my car.

    Nice workout Hike, great Trails, and awesome Scenery!! And to top it off, Mother Nature was kind and I never did get rained on even though she threatened just about all day. Went back to my Campsite at Grand View Peak and a little later, enjoyed a gorgeous Sunset. It was a very good day!!!
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    Arrived at the TH at noon and headed down the ash creek trail. 50 yards in I encountered 2 people in hardhats swinging axes in the middle of the trail. I stopped and learned that they were with the Northwest Youth Corps (a youth development & outdoor education organization). They told me that they have been on the mountain for 2 weeks clearing trails and would be up here another 2 more. I continued down the trail stopping & meeting 5 more of their crew along the way. I just love these kinds of organizations and enjoyed talking to these very nice people.

    After about an hour of talking with the trail crew, I made it to the webb peak spur and headed up. From here it was a real pretty hike up through the forest and to a nice little patch of aspens. The trail then went through a flat area before getting steeper and taking me up to the fire lookout tower on the peak. Climbed up the tower for some great views before leaving and taking the tower service road back down. I really thought the service road would be boring but I found it just as pretty as the trail up and was glad I decided on making this a loop hike. Made it down to the swift trail and after a short walk up the road I was back at my truck. I really liked this trail and will definitely be back to do it again!
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    Mount Graham
    Best of Mount Graham 2010

    Aka "Ode to More Moderate Temperatures"...

    Friday August 13, 2010 - Hell Hole/Grandview Peak
    Plan to escape 110 degree plus Valley temperatures by noon was thwarted by never ending work meetings. I did get on the road by 2:30pm sans co-adventurers. Stop off at Gold Canyon Basha's to strike off those last few items on the camp shopping list and a quick text to Preston Sands to let him know I'll be passing through Safford later than planned. Turned onto the Swift Trail a little before 6pm and I'm getting concerned about waning daylight => I hate setting up camp in the dark! Now the mental checklist to find that primo camp site courtesy of Mr. Sands;
    o Pass the "Restricted Access" driveway heading to the Telescope on Mt. Graham at 10,720 ft. More at and Maybe a future tour?
    o Pass the entrance to Old Columbine, then Columbine Corrals Fee Campground/Ash Creek TH and Visitor Center
    o Pass Soldier Creek Fee Campgrounds
    o Pass Large Rocks undeveloped recreation area
    o Pass Chesley Flat TH
    o First right turn after Chesley Flat should be the FR to Hell Hole and Grand View Point...
    I make the turn off the Swift Trail onto the FR and gun my F-150 through a couple of mud holes. As I climb up to a saddle I spot a choice "at large" campsite on the right. The FR makes a sharp bend just beyond the campsite and a plunge down into what I presume is Hell Hole. I'm intimidated by the dark and a healthy expanse of water covering the road. So Camp Schulhauser is established on the Hell Hole Saddle => See GPS map 32.71462degN, 109.94670degW. Nice clearing provides a spectacular view of the star filled skies including the Milky Way. The Forest Service has been actively thinning the forest near the camp site making for an endless supply of fire wood. Set up the tent to the glow of F-150 headlights and fire up the propane BBQ => T-bone, mushrooms and baked potato on tonight's menu. Half a beer into my meal and I feel a headache coming on. What gives? My body altimeter has always been triggered at 10,000 feet in the past (a quick look at the GPS say 9,337 ft). Total silence grips the night only to be punctuated by a couple of hooting owls. I take a midnight stroll along the FR towards Grand View Point...

    Saturday August 14, 2010 - Chesley Flat Trail, Blair Canyon Trail, Webb Peak via Soldier Creek, Webb Peak Trail, Ash Creek Trail

    Rise with the sun and check the time on my cell phone => 5:38am. Grill up some bacon and eggs for breakfast, dead-out the campfire and head over to Chesley Flat.
    Chesley Flat Trail => Explore the meadow and old corral. I'm unable to locate the foundations of the old Chesley homestead => Undeterred, I spot the trail heading east into the forest. Lot's of downed trees as I approach the Blair Canyon Trail junction. A quick trek down this trail doesn't grab my interest, so it's back up to the Chesley Flat Trail and a steady climb towards a burned zone (remnants of the 2004 Nuttall Fire per Preston's hike description). The burned zone has been reclaimed by a riot of wildflowers => Western Sneezeweed, Western Dayflower, Richardson's Geranium standout... I follow the fire line gazing up for the Webb Peak lookout tower. The hike description warns about the trail disappearing at this point. Wandering some more without spotting the lookout tower, I decide to retrace my path back to the TH (more on this later...).
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek => Forest Service and locals have their chain saws and axes chopping up firewood at the FR88 TH. No room to park at the TH, so I pull my F-150 over to the side of Swift Trail. The ascent up the service road to Webb Peak is reminiscent of the lower sections of the Weatherford Trail. As I round a bend near the upper reaches, both the lookout tower and the upper Chesley Flat TH come into view. I head down the Chesley Flat Trail and think I spot where I gave up on the ascent up the trail. I turn back and head up to the lookout tower. View from this vantage is jaw-dropping.
    Webb Peak Trail => After lingering in the lookout tower, time to make a decent down the eastern slopes towards Ash Creek Trail. I meet my first hikers of the day, a couple of adults leading about a dozen tweeners. Let's just say the tweeners all looked like they wanted to do anything but climb Webb Peak...
    Ash Creek Trail #307 => This has got to be one of the best "escape the summer heat" trails in Arizona. Amble past the sawmill remnants to the slick rock and on to the falls. Everything is green, green, green! The trek back up to the TH works up a good sweat. As I approach the TH and Columbine Corrals Fee Campground, I see "tent city". All the campsites are occupied and full of activity. Quite the contrast to my Hell Hole Saddle "at large" campsite...
    I follow the Swift Trail back to my parked F-150 and amble back to Camp Schulhauser about 4:30pm. I'm wiped. Sit back in a camp chair and us the opportunity to finish off Man Corn => viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5356&p=57762&hilit=man+corn#p57762

    Sunday August 15, 2010 - Deadman-Highline Trail

    I awake at dawn, fix some breakfast and begin to break camp waiting on the arrival of Mr. Sands. On cue, I hear a vehicle splashing through some mud holes. It's Preston. Finish packing, dead-out the firepit and it's off to DHT. We trek up the switchbacks into the "gray zone" that is Mt. Graham. Another sweet trail worthy of the 5-rating...
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    BEAUTIFUL HIKE AND ADVENTURE! first time reading a topo map and we took the trail Backwards that left us a bit confused till we ran into a few hikers and they saved our sorry butts! and turned our map upside down to show us where were were headed!! LOVED THE HIKE! THE WATER FALL IS WORTH THE HIKE!!!!
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    After exploring the remains of the High Peak Trail this afternoon, I still had some daylight left, so I decided upon Webb Peak. I started at the Ash Creek Trailhead and climbed to the top of Webb Peak in 22 minutes via the short segment of trail 345. Temperature on top: 48 degrees and breezy at 5:45 PM. Took a few shots from the fire tower, then headed down the Webb Peak Road. The sun was setting on the hike down, and shafts of blood red light shone through the trees, illuminating the few changing aspens and golden brown bracken ferns. Got back to the trailhead at dusk. Tonights animal sightings on the drive down were a skunk, a trio of foxes, and a sickly javelina. Another excellent day in the Pinalenos!
    Webb Peak via Soldier Creek
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    Delirious with Graham Fever, I took the morning off from work, and drove up onto my favorite sky island for some relief. I had been up to Webb Peak on 3 different trails, now it was time to try the 4th way: the road, which Coronado National Forest's website lists as a loop option for Webb Peak Trail. Sounded good to me. And it was. I enjoyed a fine view of the telescope and the Galiuros on the way up, and a snow cone from a lingering snowdrift (flavored with spruce needles and dirt ;) Upon reaching the top, I took a few shots from the fire tower, then placed a summit register in some rocks on top of the peak (it seemed strange that Webb Peak wouldn't have a register...). I made a loop by returning on the short (1 mile) segment of the Webb Peak Trail. The "4th way" was a good hike, but I still think the best way is the long segment of the Webb Peak Trail, with it's view of the big aspen grove. It was a morning well spent!

    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
    From Safford, head south on U.S. highway 191. Turn west onto state highway 366 (Swift Trail). Follow highway 366 (which later turns into forest road 803) approximately 29.1 miles to an unmarked and unsigned, yet clearly visible forest road on your right. This is Webb Peak Road/forest road 88. Webb Peak Road is 0.35 miles past the turnoff for Ash Creek Trailhead, and 0.15 miles before the turnoff for Soldier Creek Campground. There is a parking area at the beginning of Webb Peak Road, before the gate. Trailhead/parking area gps coordinates are: 32.7044 N, 109.91942 W.
    page created by PrestonSands on May 10 2008 3:07 pm
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