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

Cunningham Spur, AZ

Guide 18 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,143 feet
Elevation Gain 260 feet
Accumulated Gain 470 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.55
Interest Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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20  2017-05-14 SkyIslander18
2  2016-07-08 cactuscat
15  2014-06-05
Cunningham Loop Trail #316
14  2013-05-20
Cunningham Loop Trail #316
20  2012-07-14
Cunningham Loop Trail #316
15  2012-07-14
Cunningham Loop Trail #316
15  2010-10-22 SkyIslander18
12  2010-07-19 SkyIslander18
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Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,617
Trips 1,516 map ( 7,711 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  5:31am - 7:21pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Historic Fire Perimetersacres
🔥 2017 Frye Fire48.4k
🔥 2004 Nuttall30k
🔥 View All over Official Route 🔥

Pinaleno perfection!
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
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This hike follows an abandoned, dead-end logging road into the lush alpine bowl of upper Grant Creek, in Arizona's Pinaleno Mountains. This trail can be done in conjunction with the Cunningham Loop Trail, which it connects with, although it is a worthy hike on its own. The hike is easy, with little elevation gain, and no route finding involved. July and August bring wildflowers, raspberries, and of course, bears. Be sure to bring a bell on this one!

From the east Cunningham Loop trailhead, hike up the road past the vehicle barrier gate. Just past the gate, the road forks. Go right (uphill). A few hundred feet later, the road forks again. Go right again (the left fork is the Cunningham Loop Trail). The road now turns northeast to begin a steady climb along steep, fir-clad slopes.

A little way in, the trees part long enough to allow for a fine view of the 10,000-foot peaks looming above Grant Creek's densely forested basin.

At around the half-mile point, the old road pretty much levels off and begins to contour along the mountainside at the 9400-foot level. Highlights on this stretch include old-growth firs, an aspen grove, and occasional mini-meadows.

The one-mile point finds the trail rounding a prominent ridge, where there is an unexpected and outstanding view down Grant Creek canyon of the Sulphur Springs Valley and the distant Galiuro Wilderness. Around the corner, the trail wades through knee-high greenery below towering Engelmann Spruces, before turning north near a small, nameless creek.

The vegetation now turns extremely lush, with sunflowers, ferns, and raspberry shoots crowding the trail. Spruce, aspen, and rocky mountain maple mix to create a mountain lover's heaven.

The next drainage crossing brings another nameless creek of clear, cold water, and a small campsite.

One more ridge is rounded before the ancient and practically overgrown logging road comes to a sudden end in a side drainage of Grant Creek. A strong flow of cold water and a tangled mass of enormous bracken ferns and cow parsnip plants greet you at the trail's end. Return the way you came, and enjoy some of the finest country the Pinaleno Mountains has to offer!

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.

2008-07-27 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 (Swift Trail). Follow Highway 366 for approximately 22.8 miles to an unsigned road on the right. This road is 100 feet before milepost 138, and directly opposite the Grant Hill trailhead. Turn right and follow the unsigned road for 0.2 miles to its end at the Cunningham Loop parking area (unsigned but obvious). (see hike description).
    Trailhead GPS coordinates: 32.67087 N, 109.8808 W
    page created by PrestonSands on Jul 27 2008 10:20 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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