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Mares Bluff, AZ

Guide 7 Triplogs  0 Topics
  2 of 5 
no permit
3 7 0
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,502 feet
Elevation Gain 300 feet
Accumulated Gain 336 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 2.38
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2011-02-18
Red Canyon - Clifton
3  2009-01-15 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,615
Trips 1,500 map ( 7,599 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Nov, Feb, Mar, Jan → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:09am - 7:29pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

look straight down on Clifton
by PrestonSands

Mares Bluff is on the south end of the little town of Clifton, in far eastern Arizona. From the bluff, one can view Clifton some 300 feet below (straight down, really), and admire the numerous peaks and canyons of the surrounding area. The trail to Mares Bluff was created as a memorial to veterans of the area, and features a few plaques dedicated to them along the route.

From the little trailhead on Ward Canyon Road (the southern edge of Clifton), the trail to Mares Bluff climbs steep switchbacks up the canyon side, wasting no time in gaining elevation. Hiking poles are helpful on this section on the hike down, due to the loose rock. Ocotillo, prickly pear, and creosote bushes cover the mountainside, which affords a nice view up Ward Canyon of the brilliant red granite rock that forms Red Canyon and the mountains above.

The trail gains some 300 vertical feet in less than a quarter of a mile, and deposits you atop a relatively flat ridge. The trail heads across it for a short distance, then descends a bit to a small point on the edge of a conglomerate cliff. This is Mares Bluff, and it is decorated with flag poles, between which are strung a large number of dog tags donated by local veterans. Enjoy the view, and stay away from the cliff edge, or you'll fall into someone's backyard.

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2011-01-06 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 $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Safford, head east on Highway 70/191. 10 miles from Safford, the highway splits, turn left onto Highway 191 and follow it for another 23.75 miles to a (4-way) highway junction known as "3-Way" (old drive-in movie theater and store). Turn left to remain on Highway 191. From the 3-Way junction, head north on highway 191 for approximately 8.3 miles to milepost 162.8, in the town of Clifton (next to the Copper Era newspaper building). At this point, turn left onto Ward Canyon Road, and follow it for 0.5 miles to the small and informally signed trailhead parking area on the left. Please be respectful of the memorial and the private land which this trail crosses.
    page created by PrestonSands on Jan 06 2011 9:10 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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