register help

Cunningham Spur, AZ

Guide 18 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
145 18 0
clicktap icons for details
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
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
20  2017-05-14 SkyIslander18
2  2016-07-08 cactuscat
15  2014-06-05
Cunningham Loop Trail
14  2013-05-20
Cunningham Loop Trail
20  2012-07-14
Cunningham Loop Trail
15  2012-07-14
Cunningham Loop Trail
15  2010-10-22 SkyIslander18
12  2010-07-19 SkyIslander18
Page 1,  2
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,560
Trips 1,349 map ( 6,892 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → Any
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:26am - 5:42pm
Official Route
1 Alternative

Pinaleno perfection!
by PrestonSands

Overview: 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!

Hike: 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 ways 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 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
    help comment issue

    end of page marker