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Lutz Canyon Trail #104, AZ

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Guide 10 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Sierra Vista
3.3 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Distance One Way 2.9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,769 feet
Elevation Gain 2,749 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,749 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 12.06
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
14  2018-07-19
Lutz Canyon Trail
9  2018-07-15 DarthStiller
20  2018-06-17
Lutz Miller Carr
4  2018-06-17
Lutz Miller Carr
7  2014-09-05
Miller Peak via Lutz Canyon Trail
31  2013-04-05 MAVM
4  2011-05-17 JuanJaimeiii
16  2004-10-10
Miller Peak via Lutz Canyon Trail
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Sun  6:09am - 6:19pm
Official Route
2 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby

Likely In-Season!
This deep, narrow canyon offers hikers and horseback riders good views of the San Pedro Valley and the Mule Mountains near Bisbee. It leads into one of the most heavily mined areas of the Huachuca Range. The trail follows an old mining road for much of its length as it climbs into a canyon which reputedly has been the site of prospecting activity since Spanish explorers visited the area in the mid-16th century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, mining activity in Lutz Canyon reached a peak. It then tapered off and came to an end, for all purposes, by the 1950's. Ironically, the remnants of Lutz Canyon's mining days are now preserved within the boundaries of the Miller Peak Wilderness, and the equipment that was abandoned there serves as a point of interest for travelers along this Wilderness trail.

The Lutz Canyon Trail winds through trailside vegetation that varies from pine-oak forest in lower elevations to magnificent stands of Douglas-fir higher up. Along higher reaches of the trail, views expand to reach across the San Pedro Valley into Mexico. Above the Black Bear Mine, as the trail leaves the canyon floor, it continues to switchback and hill-climb to its junction with the Crest Trail #103 in the vicinity of Miller Peak.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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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.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Lutz Canyon Trail #104
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Lutz Miller Carr
Met up with Chumley, JJ & Carrie for a fun hike in the Huachucas. Chumley, JJ & myself met in Chandler and made the drive down and picked up Carrie in Tucson. From there we made the drive to the Lutz Canyon TH and started hiking around mid-morning.

The Lutz Canyon Trail makes a steady and solid climb as it heads for the crest trail. It was a relatively cool day for mid June after some rain fell the previous day. Along the climb up we stopped to explore a mine shaft that was littered with garbage left by migrants. From there we grinded up the final mile to the Crest Trail where we took a short break. After that we continued on and topped out on Miller Peak. We took a short lunch break here and enjoyed the views.

After Miller we continued north along the Crest Trail and took another short break by Bathtub Spring. We debated our options and decided to head for Carr Peak and I'm glad we did. The short detour took about an hour and this is another quality peak with excellent views! After Carr, we returned to Bathtub Spring and headed down Miller Canyon. The top part of this trail had some downed trees but it didn't last for long. Overall, this trail is in good condition. We eventually connected onto the Hunter Trail and were soon back on road. Once we hit the road, Chumley called an Uber. It took a few minutes to arrive but was well worth the wait. Chumley retrieved JJ's jeep and then played roundup. After that it was back to Tucson for dinner and then back to Phoenix.

This was a really great hike with a fun group! I really enjoy the Huachucas and hope to make an annual return. It's a hearty drive from Phoenix but well worth the time. Thanks JJ for driving and thanks Chumley for organizing!

Lutz Canyon Trail #104
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Lutz Miller Carr
My first time in the Huahucas and this range exceeded my expectations! JJ, John, and Chumley picked me up in Tucson at 7:20 and we were on the trail at 9:02. The first ~4 miles up to the crest were a solid workout, especially with JJ setting the pace. Chloe, for one, was happy to reach the Crest Trail and be rewarded with lots of shade and a cool breeze. I was really impressed by the views from Miller Peak (I think I might actually prefer this peak to Wrightson! :o ). The next few miles between Miller and Carr were my favorite of the day: aspen grove, Bathtub Spring, big views of Miller and Carr along the crest, and even some early wildflowers. We didn't hang out on the top of Carr for long, as we still had ~9-10 miles to go. The hike down Miller Canyon and Hunter Canyon was pleasant and quick, except for the last mile or so when Chloe started feeling the heat and needed to take a few shade breaks.

Big thanks to @JuanJaimeiii for driving and @chumley for planning the route and saving us a couple miles of hot road walking! And thanks to y'all for introducing me to an awesome new spot so close to Tucson. I'll definitely be planning a return trip to see those wildflowers!
Lutz Canyon Trail #104
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Miller Peak via Lutz Canyon Trail
I can only imagine what Lutz Canyon looked like before the Monument Fire of 2011. But I do not pine for the past (not this time at least) and I enjoyed trekking through this recovering oak forest. However, the highlights of the hike were to happen once Lutz connected with the Crest Trail, where late summer flowers were in FULL bloom under monsoon clouds.

I'm relatively new to the area and have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Huachucas, especially on trails that start low and climb and climb and climb. I decided to take the Ash Canyon/Lutz Canyon approach to Miller Peak as I am soon taking on sections 1 - 4 of the AZT and wanted to save the Crest Trail for that occasion. While I enjoyed the Lutz Canyon ascent one who had a deep interest in mining history might enjoy it even more. It's not really my thing but the large iron engine and compressor about 1.5 miles from the trailhead were interesting, if nothing more then a reminder of the scale of these mining operations and how fleeting the "boom" was in this area.

Black Bear Mine, near the top of the switchbacks, has an unwelcoming air about it that I can't quite explain. I quickly scuttled past the opening, pausing only to acknowledge the graffiti (Caracoles DF Joker) and the tremendous amount of discarded water bottles, clothing, plastic bags, and other detritus. No doubt a popular stop over for migrants. The section of the trail just past Black Bear Mine is a bit washed out. The tailings are eroding quickly and the trail just about disappears in the gully but is visible once you're on the other side.

The view from the Crest Trail looking east back down Lutz and Ash is fantastic, with Sierra San Jose framed on the horizon. I spent some time at the junction and then headed north on the Crest Trail, languidly making my way through the pines. At the junction of the Miller Peak trail, and along the trail to the summit, the hillsides were covered in yellow flowers (Western sneezeweed - perhaps). I enjoyed the contrast between the burn area and the yellow flowers.

Views from the summit were incredible, as one would expect, punctuated by growing thunderstorms in the distance. As others have mentioned, late August and early September are the best times to explore these higher elevations of the Huachucas. Magical.

Lutz Canyon Trail #104
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Lutz Canyon – Trail #104

On a return trip from Bisbee to Sierra Vista in the mid-afternoon, I decided to break-off on Ash Canyon Road and make way up the grade to the Lutz Canyon TH in the mighty Huachucas... Even though this would be an abbreviated outing at best, I needed to get OUT & UP – so I decided to make a 1000' leisurely elevation gain my goal, as I had to be home by 6:00 pm +/- to clean up for a 7:00 dinner meeting.

It was of great interest to observe the beginnings of burn recovery from the fire of June 2011. The young Manzanita saplings were enforce by the tens of thousands throughout! There was evidence of growth everywhere! This is a much more encouraging area to hike than Ash Canyon itself to the south a bit, which was completely devastated – making the route up Bob Thompson Peak more trying from the lower portions up to the ridge line – as it is a moonscape at best. Ash Canyon itself is also completely exposed – its canopy gone for decades to come. So it goes...

Lutz is listed as one of the 100 hikes of AZ by some. As I neared the 7000' level I could begin to see why, as the switchbacks visible ahead were classic Huachuca mining route 'ass kickers' that take a 1000' FPM trail and turned it into a 'real ascent' with a ridge run finale up top to make the spine of the range – just beautiful! The mining ruins above my turnaround point, and the tunnel are well documented, possibly accounting for the status of this hike – the views were outstanding throughout and are surely even more amazing in the upper elevations of Lutz Canyon. Worthy of further investigation to be sure. ;)

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page created by joebartels on May 17 2011 10:46 pm
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