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

CP Flat Loop, AZ

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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Loop 2.1 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,985 feet
Elevation Gain -285 feet
Accumulated Gain 350 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1-2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 3.85
Interest Off-Trail Hiking & Seasonal Creek
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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20  2018-06-27
Riggs Flat Campground
15  2018-05-27
West Riggs Traverse
17  2018-05-27
West Riggs Traverse
4  2017-10-22
Swift Trail (State Hwy 366)
12  2017-10-18 cactuscat
15  2015-10-15
Swift Trail (State Hwy 366)
14  2014-10-20 winotron
28  2014-10-17
Pinaleno Fall Tour - Act I
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,659
Trips 1,751 map ( 9,078 miles )
Age 44 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:33am - 7:19pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2017 Frye Fire48.4k
🔥 2004 Nuttall30k
🔥 View (All) - over Official Route 🔥
Nearby Area Water
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Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
You bet your sweet aspen!
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
This hike uses a four-wheel-drive road and the lightly traveled western end of the Swift Trail to create a short loop on the west side of the Pinaleno Mountains. Perks of this hike include a large aspen grove, green meadows, and views off both sides of the Pinaleno range. So why hike a four-wheel-drive road? Because many people can't drive it, and the scenery can't be beat!

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 12 miles before the trailhead.

The hike begins at the Clark Peak Trailhead, at the end of the Swift Trail. Follow the four-wheel-drive road that takes off from the south side of the trailhead parking area. The road makes a quick and rocky descent to the sheer south edge of the Pinalenos, where there is a sweet view to the south and west.

The road then turns east to descend a shallow drainage. Pines and firs give way to a long stretch of aspens that I call Letty's Grove. This large stand of aspens continues for some distance, hemming the narrow dirt road like an overgrown, white picket fence.

A small meadow is encountered a half-mile in, where a short two-track road splits off to the right. Stay left.

The hike comes across a faint, overgrown logging road on the right at 0.7 miles (32.71424 N, 109.97166 W), where there is the option for a brief side hike out to an overlook. The logging road is covered in second-growth trees and becomes almost non-existent as it nears the south edge of the mountain top. Therefore, some route finding is necessary. Boulders at the edge provide a nice vantage point for watching a nameless creek tumble off the mountain to the grasslands of the Sulphur Springs Valley below. The view to the west is outstanding. Add about a mile to the distance listed in the statistics if you choose to do this side hike.

Back at the logging road junction, the four-wheel-drive road continues east and soon comes to a second old logging road on the right, this one being more recognizable than the last. This second side road follows the creek bottom for about half a mile before dead-ending in the trees.

After the junction with the second logging road, the hike turns north and soon enters a grassy meadow bordered by tall pines. The road becomes deeply rutted and muddy as it climbs through the meadow.

The road reenters forest at the north edge of the meadow and soon stumbles upon the Swift Trail at the Nuttall Ridge Trailhead. Turn left to follow the Swift Trail.

The Swift Trail heads west and soon reaches a saddle known as CP Flat, where there is an impressive view of bowl-shaped Nuttall Canyon from the campground. The road passes another saddle a short distance later, where the views continue. Finally, the Swift Trail and this hike both reach their end at a third saddle, where the Clark Peak Trailhead is located.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2008-05-12 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)

    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 (a.k.a. Swift Trail). Follow highway 366 (which later turns into forest road 803) approximately 33.5 miles to its very end at the unsigned Clark Peak Trailhead (stay right at turnoff for Riggs Lake). An unmarked 4 wheel drive road heads downhill from the end of the road, about 50 feet to the left (south) of the Clark Peak Trail sign. This is the beginning of the hike. (see hike description)
    page created by PrestonSands on May 12 2008 8:49 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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