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Crest Trail #103, AZ

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Guide 68 Triplogs  1 Topic
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Sierra Vista
4.3 of 5 by 13
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Distance One Way 10.25 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,569 feet
Elevation Gain 2,589 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,931 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 23.35
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
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5  2019-07-04
Carr Peak - Comfort Springs Loop
13  2019-05-05
Miller & Carr
9  2019-05-05
Miller & Carr Peaks - Huachucas
21  2019-04-22
Eureka Ramsey Peak Loop
9  2019-03-30
Miller Peak via Miller Canyon
17  2019-03-30
19  2018-11-01
Oversite Ida Canyon Loop
15  2018-07-14
Miller Peak from Crest Trail
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5 ... 7
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
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Aug, Sep, Jul, May
Sun  6:10am - 6:17pm
Official Route
27 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
From its southern trailhead at the top of Montezuma Pass, to the northern Forest boundary at the edge of the Fort Huachuca Military Reservation, this skywalking pathway provides access to the highest ridges and some of the most outstanding features of the Huachuca Range. Since the Crest Trail forms the backbone of the trail network that crisscrosses these mountains, one would not be far off the mark in saying that all trails lead to it. This important connector also serves as the prime access to a number of spurs which lead to points of special interest such as the summits of Miller Peak (9,466'), Ramsey Peak (8,730'), and Pat Scott Peak (8,800'). Another spur leads to Bond Spring. Views are marvelous all along the Crest. On a clear day you can see all the major mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona, including the Chiricahuas, the Santa Catalinas and the Pinalenos-home of Mt. Graham. Portions of the trail also offer views of the broad grasslands of the San Rafael Valley to the west and the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico.

Because the Crest Trail offers such a number of different access possibilities, Forest visitors frequently use part of it to complete loop trips incorporating two or more other trails. Loops that include portions of this trail are most easily made via the Carr Peak #107, Hamburg #122 and Comfort Springs #109 trails or the Oversite Canyon #112 and Ida Canyon #110 trails. If you're willing to set up a shuttle, you can put together just about any combination you choose. This trail passes through a variety of habitats from desert grassland to mixed conifer; however, much of the area has been burned in wildfires, both human-caused and natural. As you might expect of a mountaintop trail, it also has its share of switchbacks and steep grades. Portions cling to rocky outcrops where the way had to be dynamited, and others wander across almost level areas.

Less than half of the 11.0 mile trail was affected by the 2011 Monument fire. In October 2011, CREC (Coconino Rural Environment Corps) maintained about 5 miles of the Crest Trail. Most of the work was focused around Miller Peak where work was done to rebuild switchbacks and remove overgrowth of trees.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot

    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 of 24 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Crest Trail #103
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    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!

    Crest Trail #103
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    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!
    Crest Trail #103
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Carr Miller Pat Scott Peak Loop
    the huachucas have been calling my name and i wanted to get down there before any potential forest closures. i figured there was a good chance of luring the Good Count Tacula down south too!

    picture perfect day in every way. we banged out a big high country ramble. the carr/miller combo is always amongst my favorite sky island experiences. we solved the pat scott peak issue by just doing them both :lol: . the trip down pat scott canyon was an unexpected wonderland of shade, big trees and even some water and flowers.

    perfect day up there. thanks for coming down JJ :y:
    Crest Trail #103
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Sky Islands Summit Challenge
    This was a hiking event organized by the City of Sierra Vista. Participants in this event had 3 options: hike to Carr Peak only; hike to Miller Peak and Carr Peak; or hike to Pat Scott Peak, Carr Peak, and Miller Peak. Miller Peak(9,466'), Carr Peak(9,220'), and Pat Scott Peak(8,700') are the 1st, 2nd, and 4th highest peaks, respectively, in the Huachuca Mountains. I naturally opted to hike to all 3 peaks.

    This was a neat event, and at 19.6 miles and an AEG of 5,800', the hike was a buttkicker, at least for me. The hike started at the Ramsey Canyon Conservancy; went up the Hamburg Trail; then to the Pat Scott Canyon Trail; then off-trail to the summit of Pat Scott Peak; then on the Crest Trail to the Carr Peak trail to the Carr Peak spur trail which went to the summit of Carr Peak; then back to the Crest Trail to Bathtub Spring, and the route continued on the Crest Trail to the Miller Peak spur trail which went to the summit of Miller Peak; then back to Bathtub Spring, from which we went down the Miller Canyon Trail to the Miller Canyon TH, which completed the hike.

    There were nice 360 degree views from the top of each of the 3 peaks.
    Crest Trail #103
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Got invited on this one as my first real hike back in Arizona after my PCT adventure this summer. I was excited to get back to the Huachucas and explore more of the range. I found it kind of poetic in a way, as I would be returning very close to the Mexican border after running away from it for 4.5 months. :)

    Me and Alex met Linda, Nick, and Kelley at the top of Carr Canyon Rd in the morning. We were a little late. My phone's battery was dead and not charging, so I wrote up some directions before I left which were pretty simple: take I-10 to SR-92, take SR-92 south, turn right on Carr Canyon Rd. I still managed to take a wrong turn up RAMSEY Canyon Rd for a little while before realizing it wasn't the same road I had been up before for Carr - Miller. :lol:

    We started down Comfort Springs Trail and connected up with Pat Scott Canyon. I thought Pat Scott Canyon was the highlight of the trip. Vegetation and running water all along the canyon. I particularly liked the section just below the ridge before you hit Crest Trail. The tall grasses mixed with the spaced out Ponderosa right before the crest of the ridgeline.

    We continued down Crest Trail with excellent views as expected, then ditched the trail and headed for Ramsey Peak. The off trail is easy going at first, but about a half a mile before the top it gets pretty brushy. Me and Alex followed along the ledge of large boulders that make up the ridgeline. It still might be faster to keep left and stay in the Ponderosa where it is less brushy.

    On the summit we enjoyed some lunch. Since there are a lot of trees on this summit you don't get a wide field of view, but what you can see from a rock outcropping on the summit is still pretty good. We took the lower route with the Ponderosa on the way back to Crest Trail and stumbled upon a clear use path, a blanket, and some pieces of garbage.

    A nice day hike with comfortable weather. All trails in good conditions.
    Crest Trail #103
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    first visited the huachucas with @rwstorm four years ago
    we hiked carr peak and made an attempt on ramsey peak
    late start and stormy weather cut that short, but ramsey has been on my list ever since
    joined linda and nick, with dallin and his friend alex meeting us at the trailhead
    we set out around 0830, heading down comfort springs trail, then up pat scott canyon trail
    hit the intersection with the crest trail, which was as far as randy and i got last time
    took the ridgeline back to the north, hitting pat scott peak on the way (at least that's what the topo says)
    off trail to ramsey peak, with some bushwhacking as we tried to stay on the ridge
    summit views were obscured by vegetation except for the dropoff to the south
    very windy at that point, but sheltered just below for a snack break
    ramsey looks better from below than from the summit, but still a worthy peak
    found a better route down, avoiding most of the bushwhacking
    retraced our steps, especially enjoying the ascent back up comfort springs trail
    fun to see the huachucas again - love the southern arizona sky islands
    miller peak now goes to the top of the wish list :)
    clear skies, good temps, a stiff breeze and a nice crew of south mountain regulars for this effort
    nice to hear a little about dallin's pct hike, meet alex, and hike with nick again
    another good peak with linda, too
    Crest Trail #103
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Went down to the Coronado National Memorial to recon some of the trailheads, only to discover that the Crest trail is the only one where dogs are permitted :( . So the dog and I drove up to the Montezuma pass, said hi to one of the Border Patrol agents on duty, and proceeded along the Crest Trail.

    The trail extends for more than 10 miles up to the Huachuca Military Reservation, but due to time and weather constraints, we only did the first couple of miles, to the point where the Coronado Nat'l Memorial meets the Miller Wilderness. We went on a Thursday afternoon and there were no other hikers around. This is a cool trail with great views of the lowland desert areas and mountains to the east and west. There are numerous places that will tempt the adventurous to stray from the trail (which is narrow and rocky) to explore rock outcroppings. There's little shade, so an overcast day is nice for this trail. There are also three caves (I believe they are old mines) but unfortunately they're all solidly blocked off ](*,) .

    We met a baby rattlesnake and a hawk of some variety, but that was about it for fauna. Overall, a really enjoyable trail. We'll definitely go back in order to do the whole thing when we've got more time and less rain.
    Crest Trail #103
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    We spent the night in a hotel is Sierra Vista and took our time in the morning. I thought we had a relatively easy hike to Miller Peak. We made the drive to Montezuma Pass and started hiking around 9:40am. It was a lot hotter than I anticipated. The heat was going to make for a tough hike.

    The Crest Trail is in great condition but makes a hardy ascent over the first two miles. We made a steady pace as the sun beat down on us. After an hour we reached the Miller Peak Wilderness and started the traverse through the burn section. This area has no shade whatsoever. The good thing is the grade lets off a bit and our pace quickened. After another mile or so we entered a shaded forest and this was a welcome sight. It was much cooler and the shade went a long way. It seemed like Miller Peak was miles away but the last mile flew by and we topped out around 12:15pm.

    Once up top we took a long break on Miller Peak. The views are epic and you can see for at least 50 miles in all directions. I’ve heard some reports say you can see up to 100 miles on a clear day. I would believe it. We took our lunch and took a variety of pics. We had the summit to ourselves which was a treat. Once we had our fill we started our descent. Going down was much easier. On the way we saw two people that hiked up the Lutz Canyon Trail. They were taking a break drinking a beer. From there we headed down and hit cruise control. Claire ran out of water with two plus miles to go. I still had plenty so I shared with her. We continued on and caught up to a family of four near the trailhead. We saw a total of six people on this hike. We arrived back to the jeep around 2:30pm and had to hydrate. I wish I carried another liter on this hike. Luckily it wasn’t a big deal.

    This is just an okay hike. Most of the hike is kind of boring. The top mile through forest is the best part & the views from Miller make it all worthwhile. I recommend starting early to beat the heat and carry more water than you think you’ll need.
    Crest Trail #103
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    After Saturday's big day, there were several options for Sunday. A handful of us decided on Ramsey. Karl and I got started around 7:30, while Belinda and some of the Tucson crew took a more leisurely morning and headed out a little after us.

    The first 2.5 miles down Comfort Springs to the Wisconsin/Hamburg/Pat Scott junction breezed by in about an hour and was mostly shaded. Rain the day before assured wet grass and subsequently wet feet. Gaiters and waterproof boots would have prevented that.

    Next was the 1800 foot ascent of Pat Scott in just over 2 miles that took almost an hour and a half. I really like the Pat Scott trail. The creek was flowing most of the way, and the switchbacks at the top are beautifully constructed at a nice grade. I saw a deer as I reached the crest -- impressive since bow season opened on Friday. After a short break, we headed across the crest toward Huachuca Gate #2. Along the way we took the short side trip to Pat Scott Peak where there was inexplicably a register full of SAHC names. This "peak" has a prominence of approximately the length of my forearm. Not sure how this is a destination worthy of a register. :-k

    (In fact, I believe that Randy says it's not really Pat Scott Peak at all ... the topo maps have it mismarked, while the true Pat Scott Peak is the 8,715 foot peak .35miles SSE of this one. Randy's name was in this register. We didn't add ours as all the pages are full. Maybe I need to visit the other one sometime?)

    A short distance later we arrived at Huachuca Gate #2. There's no gate. The barbed wire fence is frequently broken, and there is no indication that you are entering a military base. :scared:

    We chose to follow a route generally along the ridgeline, which is where the fence goes. Interestingly, the Fort Huachuca boundary as marked on the map is not where the fence is. Either way, we decided to take a wide traverse around the north side of the first peak along the ridge, saving a few feet of gain. The views down Scheelite onto the base were great! Once beyond the first peak, the vegetation thickened but there was a use path that was pretty easy to follow.

    Farther up, the ridge follows a sort of knife edge, with a sheer drop to the South into Pat Scott Canyon. The vegetation made it impossible to stay on the edge. The best route was below the ridge on the left in the forested canopy below. There were signs of use, but no real defined path.

    At the 500 foot audible Route Scout announcement, the first rain drop fell. It had been sunny up until now, with some clouds beginning to build over the peaks to the south. Upon reaching the peak it started to rain. Hard. The vegetation is very thick and overgrown up here. There's no real route. I found a glass jar with the register, but didn't take the time to read any names or sign it. Then it started to hail. This was a repeat of yesterday on Miller where it rained and hailed for about an hour before clearing up.

    I didn't think the register was at the true summit so I pushed a bit farther. I passed a solar panel and an attached relay antenna. Military or cartel? :-k The crap got too thick. Everything was wet and it was raining harder. I had to get the rest of my rain gear on. Karl and I were disappointed we would not get to sit on the peak and enjoy our summit brew. That's when the first clap of thunder hit. tarzan swing. Yesterday had been thunder-free. We were not where we wanted to be. Huddled under a tree sheltering from hail just a few feet below a ridge and a prominent 8700 foot peak. :scared:

    The trip back was miserable. It rained and hailed. Lightning flashed and thunder clapped. We abandoned the ridge and traversed the steep slope on the north side. It was hard work. But we just kept moving with the goal of finally dropping into the lower elevations of Pat Scott Canyon just two miles ahead. Upon reaching the Crest Trail we contemplated staying in the lower terrain and cutting the corner and dropping into Pat Scott off trail. A short excursion in that direction seemed promising at first but turned ugly. The flash-bang rain and hail continued. We actually decided to head back up to the crest. With less than a mile to go we figured it was the best bad option we had.

    Finally off the crest and dropping quickly into Pat Scott, we felt a little better about things, but the thunder and lightning continued. Just when it seemed to be moving away, it would start somewhere new. We just plowed on. The water flow in Pat Scott was up. Crossings that were dry on our way up were running now. Layers of white hail remained in sheltered spots.

    Normally the 600 foot climb up Comfort Springs is a killer at the end of the day. I was looking forward to it. The climb would help me warm up again. Somewhere along the climb it stopped raining. For the first time in 2 hours. Thunder still rumbled around us. We finally trudged back into camp, much to the relief of those waiting for us to return. They had been far enough behind to turn around before reaching the crest when the storm hit.

    About 15 minutes later, the sky opened up again. I was glad to be in camp this time. :GB:

    Great hike. I love the Huachucas. There's so much more here I want to explore. But I might puss out next time if there's even a chance of a thunderstorm in the forecast. :M2C:

    Pretty nice up on the crest and the military boundary above Scheelite.
    Crest Trail #103
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    A group of us headed out to the Huachucas for a nice weekend of car camping and hiking. We started with Carr Peak. The trail makes a solid climb that takes some effort. It was a hot and sunny day with a chance of rain later in the day. The trail eventually levels off and you make the final push to the summit. Once up top our group took a break and enjoyed the views overlooking Sierra Vista. After we had our fill we headed for Miller Peak. Along the way rain & hail started falling. Claire didn’t have a rain coat so I stayed back with her. We decided to turn around and head back but opted for a loop hike returning down Wisconsin Canyon and the Comfort Spring Trail. At some point it stopped raining and the rest of the hike was very enjoyable. The Huachucas are fantastic! The trails are in good condition and the views are wonderful!

    Permit $$

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To Montezuma Pass Trailhead
    Take I-10 east to highway 90 near Benson, AZ. Take 90 south to Sierra Vista (watch your speed on 90 and 92 - lots of speed traps...) Then take highway 92 south to Montezuma Canyon Rd. (just after you descend from the mountains to the west) at the sign for Coronado Nat'l Monument (watch carefully for the sign - the road is easy to miss). Take a right on Montezuma Canyon Rd. and follow it into the park. Keep driving past the end of the pavement and follow the winding, gravel road all the way to the top. Park in the paved lot at the top of the saddle - the trailhead is just across the road from the entrance to the parking lot.

    2008-04-05 Update from cleoschyck: From highway 92, the road you will need to take is Coronado Memorial Drive-- take a right just about opposite Valley View Elementary School. A mile or so down Coronado Memorial Drive, the road hooks sharply right. This is the intersection with Montezuma Canyon Road, which you will follow to the paved parking lot at Montezuma Pass. A ramada and composting toilets are available at the parking lot.

    From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 209 mi, 3 hours 39 mins
    From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 100.0 mi, 1 hour 59 mins
    From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 353 mi, 5 hours 58 mins
    page created by joebartels on Sep 28 2012 12:28 pm
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