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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.

Monte Vista Peak - Chiricahua, AZ

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Guide 4 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Douglas
4.3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 0.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,339 feet
Elevation Gain 102 feet
Accumulated Gain 102 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 30 min
Kokopelli Seeds 0.91
Interest Peak
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
8  2019-08-21
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak Loop
34  2016-06-04
Morse Canyon - Mormon Canyon Loop
14  2016-04-24
Monte Vista Peak via Turkey Creek
27  2016-04-24
Monte Vista Peak
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   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Sun  6:05am - 6:15pm
Official Route
3 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Meteorology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

Likely In-Season!
Fantastic views from a fire lookout tower! Peak may be accessed from three different trails: Monte Vista Trail #221, Raspberry Ridge #228 or Turtle Mountain Trail #219. Raspberry Ridge connects to numerous other trails via Crest Trail #270, and Turtle Mountain offers several connecting trails as well, providing dozens of different options to reach this excellent viewpoint.

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
    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 Triplog Reviews
    Monte Vista Peak - Chiricahua
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Morse Canyon - Mormon Canyon Loop
    Old but memorable trip so figured I would share. A few weeks prior I had hike around Chiricahua NM and wanted to camp at Turkey Creek and hike around to at least see Monte Vista Peak or Chiricahua Peak. My birthday was over the weekend and got a few like minded individuals together for a nice weekend of camping, hiking, and relaxing as far away from Phoenix as possible.

    Started the day much later than anticipated, planned for start of the Morse Canyon TH about 530 but turned into 7ish. Didn't seem a big deal at first but nearing the end we would miss those 2 extra hours. Morse Canyon was an enjoyable easy to follow trail blanketed with pine needles that just seemed like a never ending ramp. Our group consisted of differing ability levels so very slow speed, plenty of breaks, and many words of encouragement. Great views and fallen logs to pass as annoying as they were it was fun to clear the log obstacles. We all felt like the worst was over once we reached Morse Saddle. This is where my troubles began, had to do some impromptu foot care as I was getting nasty hotspots on the last .5 mile of the trail.

    Quick rest and continued on to Monte Vista Peak. Hike was much less of a climb but still noticed the incline especially when nearing the junction for Monte Vista Peak. The trail up Monte Vista seemed to have the most challenging terrain with a few fallen trees that were quite large. We all looked like we were playing in a charcoal grill all soot covered by the time we made it to Monte Vista Peak. Holy cow, the views up here were simply amazing and gave crystal clear views to the surrounding ranges and sky islands.

    Originally planned to hit Chiricahua Peak after Monte Vista Peak but our rate of travel and current time had us skip it. We continued along crest trail #270B towards Raspberry Ridge surrounded by encroaching new forest growth, fallen trees, and signs of past forest fire everywhere. In some cases the trail was soft patches of ash. At Raspberry Ridge we got one of the best experiences as two A-10s were doing mock attack runs down the ridge. They circled back and approached us a few hundred feet above. We waved, screamed, and the lead plane rewarded us with a wing tip and thumb's up from the cockpit. Pilot so close felt like you could reach up and high-5 him. His partner was a little more conservative and passed us higher up and only then was I smart enough to grab my camera.

    Crest Trail to Mormon Trail Saddle was beautiful especially at Painted Rock but this was where we all started to feel the heat and sun. Trail was mostly exposed here and just felt like it was kicking our ass even though it was mostly level.

    We all cheered when we reached Mormon Saddle and started down Mormon Canyon or as we would later call it god-damned Mormon Canyon or never ending Mormon Canyon due to the very rough terrain and poor trail conditions. Got our second surprise of the day when we startled a slumbering black bear and her cub about .5 mile in. They were on the opposite side of the creek and fled full speed away clearing the ridge within 30 seconds. Never expected bear to move that fast. Clearing Mormon Canyon was the greatest feeling ever as it signaled celebration with cold water, cold beer, and junk food.

    Things I learned from this trip:
      Chiricahuas in June is hot (duh).
      Never try new hiking socks for first time on a trip like this.
      Have plenty of moleskin and blister care with me.
      Chiricahuas are full of wildlife, plan accordingly.
      Black bears are not tiny, black bears are not slow.
      Never, ever, ever open the door to the outhouse on top of Monte Vista Peak. Ever.

    Monte Vista Peak - Chiricahua
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Monte Vista Peak
    This was a fantastic day hike from the Turkey Creek area, and a great 2nd day in the Chiricahuas. If I had only one day to do a loop here, I would combine Morse Canyon, Monte Vista, Raspberry Ridge, Chiricahua Peak, and Mormon Canyon for the best possible loop. But you really can't go wrong with any of these options!

    Morse Canyon 43
    This is one of the nicest trails I have ever hiked. It climbs 2000 feet in 2 miles and you almost wouldn't know it. The trail cut is exquisite! (Seriously, when do you use that word for trail!?) Beautiful shaded pine forest, and consistent, steep grade. We did it in about an hour, and I remember thinking that JJ would probably motor up it in half the time. It would actually be a great trail for running (if you're a crazy person into that sort of thing!)

    Turtle Mountain 219
    We hiked this trail 1.5 miles around the north side of Monte Vista Peak to the summit spur trail. It's climbs gently through some patchy burn areas but is generally in great shape and there are no problems to hike it.

    Monte Vista Peak
    There's a short .2 mile spur from the Turtle Mtn/Raspberry Ridge/Monte Vista junction up the east slope of the peak. The views from the lookout were the highlight of the weekend. Make this one mandatory if you're in the area.

    Turtle Mountain 219
    We backtracked 1.5 miles to the top of Morse where we had come up earlier but continued on Turtle Mountain 2 more miles traversing around Johnson Peak and some other small peaks and ridges. This section of trail was in great condition and included a brief uphill stretch. There were a couple of short sections with easy deadfall, but for the most part this is pleasant hiking in unburned, healthy pine forest.

    Pole Bridge 264
    Upon reaching the saddle at the top of Pole Bridge Canyon, we began the steep descent. This trail was in fine shape and reasonably nice, but nothing compared to Morse Canyon. The first mile is steep, and features numerous switchbacks through an exposed burn area. There were a couple of spots where finding the trail took a second glance, but nothing treacherous. The grade moderated at the bottom of the canyon and the trail just followed the drainage, which was dry until the last mile or so when we encountered some pools of water. The bottom part of the trail appears to have once been an old road, and an older fire had burned through the area. Recent trail maintenance has made it fairly easy to follow, but the burn has left little shade and the lower elevation here makes it considerably warmer than the rest of the hike.

    From the bottom of Pole Bridge, we had to hoof it a mile back up the road to camp in order to finish the loop. There were joined Kyle and Claire enjoying beverages by the fire before packing up and heading for delicious tacos at BKs in Tucson on the way home! :)
    Monte Vista Peak - Chiricahua
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Monte Vista Peak via Turkey Creek
    On Sunday our group, minus Claire & Jackie, headed up the Morse Canyon Trail. The four of us and dogs made good time up this steep trail. We were glad to find it in good condition overall. The trail makes a lot of switchbacks and the lower stretch is completely clear. The upper portion has some deadfall but it’s only a nuisance. We eventually topped out on the saddle next to Johnson Peak and discussed our options. Chumley & I wanted to push on Monte Vista Lookout while Kyle & FOTG and the dogs would return back down Morse Canyon.

    The going to Monte Vista Peak is fairly straightforward as it follows the Crest Trail. There was more deadfall but none of it was too bad. The last stretch makes a good climb to the peak and you know you’re close when you see the lookout tower and cabin on the summit. The views up top were better than Chiricahua Peak as there aren’t as many trees. We enjoyed this peak tremendously and then returned to the saddle above Morse Canyon. From there Chumley and I continued around Johnson Peak and headed for Pole Bridge Trail. This top section was loaded with deadfall and was a pain to get through. I was a little worried but luckily it didn’t last too long.

    The Pole Bridge Trail makes a steep descent through the forest as it switchbacks down the drainage. You eventually hit the creek bottom and follow that down. There was some deadfall along this trail but it was fine overall. The top section was the nightmare! We continued down and eventually hit the road and returned to camp thus completing our weekend getaway to the Chiricahuas. We packed up camp and then made a quick stop at Johnny Ringo’s Grave and then returned to Phoenix.

    I really enjoyed the Chiricahua Mountains. I had no idea there were so many trails out here. A return trip is a must!

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    page created by chumley on Apr 29 2016 9:40 am
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