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Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Sierra Vista
4.4 of 5 by 8
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Distance One Way 2.12 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,831 feet
Elevation Gain 1,605 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,605 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 7.47
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
17  2019-03-30
8  2018-05-27
Carr Miller Pat Scott Peak Loop
10  2018-05-27
Carr Miller Pat Scott Peak Loop
9  2017-10-08
Ramsey Peak
7  2017-10-08
Ramsey Peak
12  2016-09-14
Carr - Miller - Pat Scott Loop
11  2016-09-14
Carr - Miller - Pat Scott Loop
14  2016-08-21
Ramsey Peak
Page 1,  2,  3
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
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov
Sun  6:06am - 6:26pm
Official Route
13 Alternative
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Patrick Scott was one of many prospectors who spent a good part of their lives searching for mineral riches in the Huachuca Mountains. Scott eventually filed a claim called The Wisconsin in an area drained by the headwaters of Ramsey Canyon. For that reason, we know the two main tributaries of that major Huachuca Mountains drainage as Pat Scott and Wisconsin canyons. The Pat Scott Trail leads up the larger of these, which many consider to be an extension of the main canyon; the streamside habitat it supports is just as lush and nearly as full of bird life as in Ramsey Canyon. The hiking is just as pleasant, too. Habitats do change with elevation, however, and you'll get a chance to observe that change as you continue climbing from the Hamburg #122/Pat Scott trail junction. The canyon becomes steeper and more narrow as it climbs, and riparian plants give way to species we associate more readily with highlands than streambeds. In the upper reaches of Pat Scott Canyon, you'll also get a chance to observe the extensive damage that can result if mountain slopes are stripped of vegetation. A fire that removed many of the trees and much of the understory from this area in 1983 was followed by a flash flood that roared down the canyon like a bulldozer. That torrent increased the depth of the streambed as much as eight feet in some places and stripped the banks of trees and shrubs. Considerable damage was done to trail crossings, too, but those have since been repaired. As the trail nears the head of the canyon, it leaves the canyon floor and switchbacks its way up a steep slope to Pat Scott Saddle. Here, it joins with the Crest Trail #103. At this point, you'll find good views of Ramsey Peak with its wedding cake layered cliffs and of Ramsey Canyon dropping off toward the San Pedro Valley. If you still have the energy, the Crest Trail offers a number of optional routes to extend your hike.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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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.
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Most recent Triplog Reviews
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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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:
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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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.
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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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.
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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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
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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Claire and I decided to head south for Memorial Weekend and went to check out the Huachucas. We were out here with the group back in August and really enjoyed the hiking and wanted to return. The long holiday weekend looked like the perfect time to return.

We left Phoenix on Saturday morning around 7am and made the long drive down. I thought it would take under three hours but I was wrong. We pulled into the Nature Conservancy and hit the trail a little after 10:30am. We headed up the Hamburg Trail and passed a lot of people enjoying the lower portion of Ramsey Canyon. We continued on as the trail climbs and climbs. It’s a lot of work. We eventually hit the junction with Pat Scott and started heading up. I was keeping a close eye on the time. The Nature Conservancy closes at 5pm and they said the gates would be promptly locked right then. I didn’t want to be late on the return.

We continued up the Pat Scott Trail and passed the old cabin as we headed up. This trail climbs and climbs as we headed for the Crest Trail. About a mile up I was ahead of Claire and came around a bend and stopped dead in my tracks as I see a large bear about 20 ft ahead. It was foraging near the stream and looked up at me and made eye contact. I stared back for a brief moment and then backed up around the bend. It was way too close for comfort! I told Claire about the bear and we both made a lot of noise. After a minute or two we slowly continued up and didn’t see the bear again. However I did notice the trail had water all over it. It was my guess the bear headed up the trail. We went a little farther and decided to turn around due to time constraints.

On our way down we stopped at the junction with Wisconsin Canyon and took our lunch. From there we continued down and took a short detour along the creek where we saw a Coatimundi up close. We took a variety of pics and then returned to the main trail. The last mile down flew by and we were back to the jeep around 3:30pm.

This was a really nice hike and seeing the bear up close was a rush. I wish I got a pic but was too caught up in the moment to reach for my phone. Ramsey Canyon is beautiful and the hiking is nice albeit lots of climbing. We were off to a nice start and planned on hitting Miller Peak the next day.
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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Carr - Miller - Pat Scott Loop
The grand Huachuca loop of peaks, wildflowers & enough water to filter all day. Heading in there were a lot of cars at a lower area. Only encountered one gentleman up top Miller. He called the trail scary vs previous years due to overgrowth and snake potential. The worst quarter mile section through berry bushes had been recently trimmed wide for half the section. So it seemed better than previous years. There was a lot of grass and other low bushes semi hiding the trail but I'd wear shorts again in a heartbeat.

Thought we found two kilos on Miller. I was on the horn making deals for server enhancements when jj delivered the bad news. Just two wet blankets wrapped well in baling twine.

My first time down Pat Scott and boy it delivered. The top is majestic views then it's a wonderful canopy along the roaring creek. We chased the google street view car around a bit on the way home.

large hillsides plastered in yellow among others along the trail
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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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.
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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Day 7 of our 8-day SE AZ road trip. Today was to be our last big hike. The Ramsey Canyon B&B had played host to us the previous night and would again tonight. Located right next to the Preserve, it was the optimum base for enjoying Ramsey Canyon. After a great breakfast, we shouldered our packs and walked over to the Preserve.

Seems we were lucky in our timing. First Saturdays are free admission at the Preserve. They were also having a guided nature walk. Might be a good idea. But when we discovered it was 2 hours and covered a half mile, we opted out. Would have loved to hear all the good info, but we wanted miles.

The creek was flowing nicely which gave us that wonderful mountain stream background sound off and on all day. Some random clouds were moving quickly across the peaks and saddles above us and providing nice shade in the few open places on the trail. Combined with ample tree cover from the sycamores, spruce, pine, oaks, junipers and madrones. The conditions were perfect for a good hike.

Did the little side loops off the mail trail in the Preserve checking out all the abandoned buildings left over from the long history of people enjoying this canyon. Some birders were out along the trail, but fewer than usual according to the B&B owner. We tried to be quiet and not intrude. Hit the first real incline and topped out at the overlook. There's some interesting geology on display across the canyon.

Dropped back down to the creek and it was really flowing nicely. Even found a very nice bubbling spring off to the south of the creek. There were still areas of bright wildflowers and a hint here and there of Fall color to come.

Veered off on Pat Scott to check out the old mine and equipment. Looks like they even had a small stamp mill here for crushing the ore. We weren't convinced we wanted to do the whole loop, so after a bit we turned back.

At the lower end Pat Scott we didn't really want to start back down, so we went further up Hamburg. After a bit we took stock of our time and energy remaining. We were only .68 (straight line) below Bear Saddle. MJ wanted to go to the top and I didn't see any reason why not, so up we went. Hamburg is steep in this area, so we were huffing and puffing when we met three hikers coming down, (now I think it was knnorby's group). They told us they'd seen a large black bear over on Pat Scott earlier. The bear was totally nonaggressive. Damn we should have gone on up. However, the news put MJ on high alert. A LARGE pile of scat in the trail didn't help her much. But we pressed.

The wind at the saddle was really howling. A 100 feet on the trail below the saddle was nearly calm. MJ held onto her hat while doing a Chevy Chase looking into the Grand Canyon imitation and headed back down. I took some photos and enjoyed the view for a few moments more and followed her down. We snacked sitting a convenient rock with big grins on our faces.

The trip down was uneventful, much easier, and just a beautiful. As we got close to the trailhead there were lots of people taking afternoon hikes. Certainly was a great day for it.

Back at the B&B there was a fresh cherry pie set out. The Ramsey Canyon B&B is known for their daily pies. Tough decision ahead -- post hike beer and then pie or pie then beer??? Why is life so difficult? (Decision was tiny slice of pie, beer, then larger slice of pie. A perfect solution is not always available, but when it is just go for it.)

I like Ramsey. We will be back for more.
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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Carr Crest Pat Comfort Loop
This loop is now in my top 5 hikes in Arizona. :y:

Great variety, great views, peace, solitude, good mileage, good gain, and a little of everything!

Tons of birds. If you're into that kind of thing, the Huachucas are apparently a great place to be.

Late summer wildflowers. Absolutely unbelieveable. I've never seen anything like it anywhere in Arizona. Spring? Pfft. Doesn't compare. I don't know if this is a common thing here or if this year was just the perfect storm of floral explosion? But if you like flowers, get out here and do it now. :M2C:

Good thing there were flowers because it justified my snail-like pace while ascending Carr Peak to start the day. After a big Saturday, I was apparently a little bit tired!

The stretch of the Crest Trail between Miller and Pat Scott is one of the most pleasant stretches of trail in Arizona. I could hike this absolutely any time!

I decided to bypass Bah Humbug and head down Pat Scott. What a treat! Views, but shaded, a clear mountain stream, historical mining stuff, a rock rattlesnake and a kingsnake, along with signs of bear! Here is where I also saw 2 of the 3 people I encountered all day (on a holiday weekend!?).

Not to be outdone, most sky island hikes are UP, OVER, DOWN, but this one gives you a solid climb to end your day! That's variety that you don't encounter too often, and I was happy to get back to the truck and enjoy a well-earned reward before the rain started and continued until about 9pm.

Now I know why rwstorm likes this range so much. I'll be back! :)

Absolutely incredible display of wildflowers. Red, purple, orange, yellow, blue, white, and yellow. All different kinds. Especially extreme on Carr and the Crest.
Pat Scott Canyon Trail #123
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Comfort Springs/Hamburg/Pat Scott Canyon
ramsey peak recon

there's been some talk of ramsey peak on the site lately, so randy thought we should see what it would take to get up there
midmorning start after some coffee, breakfast, exploration and conversation while breaking down camp, but it wasn't the kind of trip to rush
besides, there was bacon :)
drove up to ramsey vista campground which is also nice but a lot more open
started down, then up, then down the comfort springs trail, which drops into ramsey canyon to intersect the hamburg trail
took a nice break a little ways down hamburg where there was running water
went up hamburg to where it meets the pat scott canyon trail
this canyon features lush forest and running water most of the way
beautiful area, good trail, and a more mellow grade than hamburg, which goes up wisconsin canyon
randy set a steady pace on the ascent, and we topped out at the crest trail
we had thought about trying for ramsey, but it was 3/4 mile further just to the huachuca gate, and we estimated another mile or so with some off-trail to the peak
between the remaining daylight and the bank of storms building just to the south, we decided to go back the way we came
ramsey peak is definitely doable from this route with an earlier start and not in monsoon season - probably a 14-15 mile hike with some bushwhacking
the out and back was fine with me as you get a new perspective returning
enjoyed these trails, which provided a much different experience than carr peak
already planning what i might want to do on my next trip
ramsey peak looks like a good one
followed randy back to tucson, this time taking madera canyon road at sunset and under an almost full moon
stopped at crossroads for mexican food but forgot to get a picture ;)
thanks for such a great weekend, randy, and for sharing one of your favorite places
can't wait to go back

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Map Drive

To hike
Best access to this trail is via the Hamburg Trail. To get to the Hamburg Trail, drive 6 miles south of Sierra Vista on AZ Highway 92 to Ramsey Canyon Road. Follow Ramsey Canyon Road 3.5 miles to the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve parking area and trailhead. The parking area on private property here is frequently full, but reservations are available on weekends and holidays.
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