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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.

Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1, AZ

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753 68 5
Guide 68 Triplogs  5 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Sierra Vista
Rated
4.6
4.6 of 5 by 17
 
4
Statistics
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 20.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,896 feet
Elevation Gain 3,530 feet
Accumulated Gain 5,090 feet
Avg Time One Way 10-12 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 37.56
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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24  2019-01-20 tibber
25  2019-01-20
Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1 part 2
tibber
15  2018-07-14
Miller Peak from Crest Trail
DarthStiller
16  2018-07-13
Joe's Canyon Trail
DarthStiller
11  2017-12-15 writelots
10  2016-10-31 mazatzal
9  2016-03-12
Azt #1 & #2
DallinW
19  2016-03-11
Miller Peak from Crest Trail
The_Dude
Page 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
Author SScheumann
author avatar Guides 1
Routes 0
Photos 0
Trips 4 map ( 50 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Sierra Vista, AZ
Historical Weather
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Preferred   Apr, May, Sep, Oct → Early
Sun  6:05am - 6:27pm
Official Route
 
9 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
A segment to remember
by SScheumann

Likely In-Season!
Notice
No dogs allowed in Coronado National Memorial. Which is the trail south of peak 7964.



From Montezuma Pass use the hiker-only access to the southern start of the AZ Trail by taking the Coronado Peak Trail (500 ft.), then Joe’s Canyon Trail to the Yaqui Ridge Trail, which descends steeply to the Mexican border and ends at an international boundary marker. Returning to Montezuma Pass the route takes the Crest Trail (#103) from the Coronado National Memorial up into the Miller Peak Wilderness. After this steep and strenuous ascent, the trail keeps going up as it passes a junction with the Lutz Canyon Trail (#104) and soon reaches the Miller Peak Spur Trail (#105). After passing the spur, the trail follows a ridgeline over to Tub Spring (some maps show as Bathtub Spring), then almost immediately goes left and uphill at the signed Miller Canyon (#106)/Crest Trail junction and left and uphill again at the signed Carr Peak (#107)/Crest Trail junction. The trail continues past the Oversite Canyon Trail (#112) junction, past Bear Saddle and Granite Peak, and then goes left at the signed junction with the Sunnyside Canyon Trail (#117) near Pat Scott Peak. It follows this trail down into Sunnyside Canyon, passes the Copper Glance Trail junction, and runs downstream to the wilderness boundary. Here it joins a dirt road (FR 4758) for a short distance and then turns right at the AZT sign onto the Scotia Canyon Trail (#127). It crosses FR 4759, then turns south into Scotia Canyon and works its way down to FR 48. After crossing this road the trail turns west and reaches the Parker Canyon Lake Trailhead on FR 194 with a parking lot just north along FR 194 overlooking Parker Canyon Lake.

Southern Trailhead: U.S./Mexico border

Northern Trailhead: Parker Cyn Lake

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Note
This is a moderately difficult hike.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2015-04-28 SScheumann

    One-Way Notice
    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.
    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 of 14 deeper Triplog Reviews
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    Azt #1 & #2
    It's border land time!

    Me, Bradley (cousin), and my friend Alex left PHX friday night and camped near the Canelo Pass TH. I was fortunate enough to see my first Sun Spider run across my tarp just as I was inflating my sleeping pad... Boy do those things look intimidating considering how harmless they are.

    March 12th

    After reaching Montezuma Pass, we left the backpacks in the truck and hiked down to the border.

    Back on the AZT!

    Once we made it to the border, we snapped a few pictures with the monument and then headed back for Montezuma Pass.

    When we returned to Montezuma Pass, it was much busier. We met 2 other section hikers (going to Summer Haven), and a couple of thru-hikers who were starting their trip. We finished putting our packs together and started the ascent to Miller Peak. I love the "transition" climbs where you start in a completely different environment than what you end in. I was surprised how bare the south facing slopes of Miller Peak were considering before we knew it we were at 8,000 ft with very few pine trees. On the north facing slopes, the Ponderosas were thick, and we passed through several aspen groves.

    The climb is indeed a formidable one to tackle, I can imagine plenty of prospective NOBO thru-hikers get a big dose of reality here on Day 1. That said, the grading is excellent so if you're in shape, the climb isn't too bad. We made it up with only a couple of short breaks.

    The top of Miller Peak was extremely windy and chilly. The views on top of the surrounding sky islands and into Mexico were amazing! We only stood up there for around 2 minutes, but we were thoroughly chilled by the time we were on our way back down to the AZT.

    After jumping back on the AZT, we headed for Bathtub Spring. There were a couple of areas in the shade with a little bit of snow along this section of the trail, ankle deep at its worst. Mostly it was just slick due to the freeze-thaw cycle, so we took it a little slower than usual.

    After taking a lunch break at Bathtub Spring, we filled our water bottles and started the long descent out of the Huachucas. We set up camp around mile 16 of AZT segment #1, where there was a cement trough full of water, and some pools in the drainage nearby.

    March 13th

    We woke up much later than intended. I failed to set my alarm on my phone the night before, and the sun didn't reach the interior of the canyon until around 8:30. We got up around 8:00 and we were off around 8:45. I woke up with a sore throat, coughing, and congestion which I attributed to the smoke from the fire blowing right over where I was sleeping all night. Now I'm pretty sure I've caught a cold.

    The day started out easy as we finished exiting the Huachucas and entered the Canelo Hills (East). We took a break at the Canelo Rd TH and met a thru-hiker who had come here all the way from Japan. His English wasn't great, but we were still able to communicate pretty well.

    The Canelo Hills (East) is one of those segments which looks easier on paper than it is in reality. It is by no means a physical "strenuous" section like the previous one, but mentally you can be caught of guard by the amount of up and down on loose rocky trail that you'll encounter. The developing cold certainly didn't help.

    Around 4:30 PM we reached the Canelo Pass TH and had some refreshing treats before heading back to Montezuma Pass to get the truck.
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    I had to speak at a Horticulture conference on Thursday in Sierra Vista, so after I finished up some work remotely on Friday it was time for a hike. I made my way down to the Montezuma Pass TH and chatted with a few BP agents before starting off. I got started a bit after 10 a.m., weather was fantastic. Warm with a slight breeze, but not too windy as I had feared. This trail really kicked my :pk: . I am not sure if it was the elevation or me getting over the tail end of a sinus cold, but one way or the other I needed a few breaks on the way up. The trail is in great shape the whole way, and I did not see any trailside trash for the whole hike, so that was great. This was almost a tale of two hikes, the first two miles or so take you through some Oak and Sotol grasslands, but once you turn to the west you come into the former pine forest. There is extensive fire damage through this section on up to the peak. There are many Scrub Oaks helping in the recovery effort, but the pines are going to take a really long time to come back. I started coming across a few patches of snow on the north facing trails, certainly nothing crazy but just enough to make it fun. There was even some fresh snow on the peak spur that I got to put some virgin footprints into, very cool. I took a nice break up top for a sandwich and some Gatorade, then on back down the trail. I signed in at the summit log, even left a pen and what paper I had since it was pretty lightly stocked. I was keeping a good pace on the way back, knowing I had almost 4 hours of driving to get me home. I ran into 1 thru hiker, and 3 other day hikers on the trail so i got a good dose of solitude as well. Great views from the top! I got a different perspective on a number of mountains I am used to seeing from the north, and there is a good view into Mexico as well of course. Well worth doing again the next time I am down this way.
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    Section hiking the AZT and finally got down to the border to do passage 1. After we were dropped off at Montezuma Pass (thanks to my sister for the ride) we ditched our packs behind some bushes and hiked to the border for the official start, and the obligatory photos at the monument. Then we picked up the packs on the way back up and began the climb into the Huachucas. The wind was gusting most of the day and some low clouds were hanging over the mountains when we started but cleared up as we climbed. Lots of wildflowers - we hiked through some awesome yellow flowering plants - looked like the brittlebush in Phoenix but it was not brittlebush - sorry I don't know what they were, but they were everywhere, and stunning.

    Got to bathtub springs and it was full and overflowing. We filled up on our water here and kept going to find a place to camp. We passed a few good places but it was too early to stop so we kept going up. Finally as we were getting toward sunset we found a very small site for our tents just off the trail (the next day we found several better places closer to the turnoff to Sunnyside Canyon Trail - but we would never had made it before dark). I was so ready to stop for the day - that climb had my legs just screaming. The wind continued to gust all night, but temps were warmer than I expected.

    The next morning we hit the trail early and continued to climb for a while before starting the descent into Sunnyside Canyon. We got our first glance at Parker Canyon Lake - seemed so far away still. Found more water all along the canyon and we did filter a little more along here for the hike to Parker Canyon Lake since it was getting warm and we were hiking more in the sun now :sweat: The flowers from the day before were now gone and the grasses and washes were the main theme. The trail was a little overgrown in places - most likely from the summer rains and not as much use. We saw no one else on the trail for two days (except one trail runner going up to Miller Peak on day one). We were very hot by the time we reached the end of the passage. My sister wasn't there yet to get us, so we walked to the lake and splashed in the water and got ice cream from the marina while we waited for our ride. All in all a nice two days on the trail.
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    AZT Segments #1 2 3
    The Arizona Trail segments 1, 2, and 3 was our first real backpacking trip. Just for the record...we are not speed hikers, so we completed the three segments in 4 1/2 days. The trail was in great shape. The Huachuca Mtns are spectacular. We did not encounter any illegal activities (and we did camp the first night at Bear Saddle). Unless, you want to consider the border patrol agents that we met on the crest trail the second day that were dropped off on the TOP of the mountain by a helicopter.

    Things I learned...

    Arizona is the most beautiful with hiking boots on!
    I don't care what the typographical maps say...it's all uphill. :)
    Yes...bears do s#@t in the woods.
    Blisters really suck!
    The Arizona sun is REALLY hot. (luckily for us, it was only for half a day the whole trip.)
    And...Thunder and lightning storms are terrifying.

    I'm sure I'll learn more as I go.

    Pretty much all the water resources were great. We never had a problem with even getting close to running out of water. As a matter of fact, some very nice Angel (I'm guessing we call them that in Arizona too) left bottles of water at both the Canelo Hills #2 and Canelo Hills #3 trailheads.

    Special thanks to Ken Morrow, our transportation from Patagonia to Montezuma Pass. Ken had some backpacking experience and was able to give us some pointers. Although, he did say we looked like we knew what we were doing. I guess six months of reading triplogs and posting on forums and researching equipment really paid off.

    Very Very special thanks to Scott at the Parker Canyon Lake Marina. What a great guy! Even if it is a little off the trail, make sure you stop and say hi and get an ice cream sandwich.
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    June 22, 2015

    The Housholder Family Hikers are super excited to announce we are planning to hike the first section of the Arizona Trail starting at Montezuma Pass Trail head in the Coronado National Monument down to the start of the "AZT" at the international boarder with Sonora Mexico.

    The round trip hike including Coronado Peak is only 4 miles out of the 800 mile distance North through the heart of Arizona to the Utah state line!

    It has been a personal goal to complete the AZT during my lifetime ever since I first heard about the cross country trail back in high school when it was announced during the early 1980's. What a great blessing to hike it together with my family alongside!

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    June 26, 2015

    Our Housholder Family Hiker's 800 mile cross state Trekking Adventure starts with a single step!

    The warm up hike:

    The official first segment of the AZT is a strenuous 22 miles in length, starting 1.7 miles north of the Arizona boarder with Sonora Mexico. At around 6000 feet it climbs quickly up to 9000 feet high elevation into the forested "Sky Island" named Miller Peak Wilderness of the Huachuca Mountains. Afterwards it falls sharply lower to 5000 feet elevation near Parker Canyon Lake.

    However, to get our six year old little Bianka off with a nice and easy starting hike our family will be knocking out the first segment of 1.7 miles south from Monument Pass Trail-head down the Yaqui Trail to the Mexican border and back, with a side hike up to Coronado Peak, a total of just 4 short miles!

    Back in the 1980's it is here while sitting atop Coronado Peak overlooking Mexico, where Dale Shewalter a Flagstaff school teacher thought up the question to a small group of hiking friends; "Would it be possible to link a series of trails across the entire state of Arizona?" Thus it is only fitting to start our family's 800 mile Adventure where this trail's dream was born!

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    June 27, 2015

    The Housholder Family Hikers arrived at Coronado National Memorial Park and stopped first at the visitors center. The kids were super excited to learn the history of the area included in a short 15 minute video. Afterwards, they were sworn in as "Official Arizona Trail Stewards" by the park ranger, including Bryce's friend Danny Cory. They made promises to not feed the animals, pack in and pack out all trash, and tread lightly. Included are pictures leading up to the hike.

    The road up to Montezuma's Pass trail head at 6,500 feet elevation is very beautiful and full of switch back turns, it makes for the perfect lunch spot upon arrival, under an shady Ramada. There are fantastic views from both sides of the ridge extending for hundreds of miles into Mexico.

    After lunch we filled our packs with water and snacks hit the trail down Yaqui Ridge with excitement towards the Sonora Mexico Boarder with Arizona. The children made the hike down with no problem. Our party was the only hikers on the trail both down and back. At the boarder we snapped many pictures of the Monument Milepost Marker then hiked back with a few rests along the way. On the way back a summer monsoon storm started to build as we we made it up to Coronado Peak. Many years ago while camping atop Coronado Peak, Dale Shewalter, a school teacher in Flagstaff first came up with the idea to create a hiking trail that crossed the Grand Canyon State of Arizona in its entirety! Thus it was here the Arizona Trail was born! It is only fitting that we took time to pause and enjoy the views which included a welcoming rainbow overhead just before the approaching thunder storm forced us to retreat quickly scrambling back down to our vehicle, which was parked under the watchful supervision of many boarder agents at Montezuma Pass Trail Head.

    NOTE: This triplog will be updated and more pictures will be added when we finish the rest of the hike over the Huachuca Mountains and Parker Canyon Lake at a future date.

    We hope you will enjoy this 800 Mile hiking adventure of a lifetime with the Housholder Family along the Arizona National Scenic Trail from Sonora Mexico north to the Utah State-line!
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    AZT - Passages 1-2-3
    This was a great solo trek - my first big undertaking of the AZT, completing passages 1, 2, 3 and a bit of 4. Water was plentiful in springs and washes. Leaves were changing, aspens up high and sycamores and cottonwoods at mid-elevations. Temps were nearly perfect. A great time to do these 3 (and a bit more) passages. Water was not an issue - as I mentioned - and good clean water in the springs/washes was easily found on most sections of the trail. Passage 3 - Canelo Hills West - was a bit difficult to navigate due to the flooding this monsoon season. Sections of the trail are just not there anymore and illegal trails can easily be mistaken for AZT right-of-ways. All part of the glorious adventure. Passage 3 is also home to many trailside cat-claw acacia, pants or brush gaters are a must. Read on ---

    -----------------------------------------------
    Up and over the highest peaks of the Huachucas escorted by the chortles and croaks of my friends, the ravens, following me for miles (four ravens do not a murder make; or do they?). Yellow had set into what is left of the post-fire aspen groves on the slopes between Miller and Carr Peaks. Autumn does exist here in southern Arizona. You just have to find it. The chance sighting of a twin-spotted rattlesnake and a Lewis’s Woodpecker made the afternoon more memorable. They are rare encounters here, the former a resident, the latter a visitor. The trail moves directly onto the crest past Tub Spring (yes, there is actually a bathtub) and Bear Saddle (no bears), dividing the view east and west. Then down, and down some more into Sunnyside Canyon with rusty orange Sycamores lining the wash, still running with water. I camped near the wilderness boundary, a fresh, still warm pile of bear scat nearby (hang the food high!). After a dinner of sardines and pasta, I sipped a bit of whiskey and listened to owls call across the oak groves, pleasantly reminded of why I do this sort of thing.

    On the trail the next morning I encountered the first of two border patrol agents I would come across during the journey and consequently the only two people I would see in three days. I wondered if I had tripped a sensor since he seemed to be waiting for me where the trail crossed a two-track road. “I’m coming from Mexico”, seemed like a fitting yet possibly misinterpreted remark. He failed to see the humor but wished me well, his diesel engine roaring off into the foothills. The trail follows shady Scotia Canyon, crisscrossing the flowing wash, and then intersects with FR 48 (BP encounter #2) near Parker Canyon Lake and the beginning of AZT passage 2: Canelo Hills East (Güero Canelo de Este).

    The trail literature mentions that in the future the AZT will actually pass near Parker Canyon Lake, but the current trail passes well south of the shore. A spur trail heads north to the lake but I continued on into the Cinnamon Hills, eager to explore an unfamiliar area. Resting near a big pool of clear water in Parker Canyon I studied the map. The elevation profile of the Canelos looks like an EKG. Up and down, up and down, for 17 miles. The trail is in great condition here with no real issues with navigation. I opted for the ol' map and compass over a GPS. Partially because I enjoy orienteering (which is not really necessary along this passage but.. still) and partially because I don't own a GPS. I pushed through this section of trail but enjoyed the landscape and scenery and spent the night in the Canelos, about a mile from the beginning of passage 3, up on the ridge overlooking the Huachucas and San Rafael Valley. Coyotes were active and they came a little too close for comfort that evening, no doubt interested in my food hanging high - or as high as possible - in a nearby juniper. Short stories by Ed Abbey kept me company that evening, refueling my mind for the next day.

    Passage 3 started the next morning pre-dawn as I made my way down the ridge and across Canelo Pass road. West of Canelo Pass I took my pack off and meandered along the saddle before descending into Meadow Valley. I'd seen lithic scatters along other saddles similar to these and I was sure I'd find some cultural evidence here at this point between two viewsheds. On to Meadow Valley's amber waves of ... grasslands. The trail was well marked through this area as singletrack merges with old two-tracks and back to singletracks, along a finger ridge and down into the head of Red Rock Canyon toward Down Under Tank (which was full to overflowing). The section past the exclosure area begins to get tricky as flooding has erased trail signs through the wash on the way to Red Rock Ranch. It's fairly easy to see where one needs to go however and other than a few moments of wandering I was able to find my way to the ranch and the windmill. It was near this point that a Sonoran Coralsnake crossed the trail in front of me -- a rare treat indeed. Beautiful.

    With some difficulty (re: navigation) I was able to find the trail that eventually leaves the wash of Red Rock Canyon and heads south toward the saddle and Harshaw Rd trailhead. Grateful to find the road into Patagonia I trudged the 2 miles into town, finding cold beer and good food at Velvet Elvis and a comfortable bed at Stage Stop Inn. The next morning, after coffee and a good breakfast in town I headed north on 1st Ave in Patagonia and along Temporal Rd, 7 miles to where my supportive, wonderful girlfriend picked me up at Temporal Gulch.

    BT

    Foliage
    Aspen near peak at high elevation (8,500ft) between Miller and Carr Peaks in the 'Chooks. Sycamore starting to change in the mid-elevation spots along riparian corridors: Sunnyside Canyon, Scotia Canyon, Parker Canyon, Red Rock Canyon. Cottonwoods just starting to turn in above mentioned mid to mid-low elevation (4,000 - 5,000) canyons.
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    Met up with Richard and Bob at the No-tell Motel in sprawling Sierra Vista (home of the first McDonalds drive-thru. The drive-thru was created to serve Fort Huachuca soldiers who weren't
    permitted to get out of their cars while wearing fatigues) Sunday morning (I was a little late :oops: sorry). They had already cached a vehicle near Parker Lake the night before (thanks, guys!) so we went directly to the Montezuma Pass Trailhead. Bob and I did the first section to Mexico and back while Richard got an early start on the Crest trail. We met back up again and, with a few revisions to our plan, Bob and I set off up Crest and Richard went on to switch the shuttle vehicles and hit the last 4 miles of #1. The Crest Trail just climbs and climbs! Felt like I was hiking out of GC!

    As we were ascending Crest Trail, the elevation started to affect me. I did all I could to keep up with Bob, begging him for breaks as much as possible. We decided to skip Miller Peak which I now regret. Once the trail leveled off more or less, we enjoyed hiking through some nice tree cover with a few peeks of Parker Lake and Sierra Vista way down below. At one point we came upon two deer just off trail. One took off but the other stuck around and allowed us a few pictures. Then he suddenly darted towards us and then took off down the slope! We looked to the opposite side of the trail and just caught the tail end of a bobcat scurrying off! Not sure how long the bobcat was there but I think we ruined its lunch! We kept our eyes open for cats after that but all we came up with was a big turkey, whom Bob seemed to communicate with quite well. Bob would let out a turkey call and the bird replied several times. Funniest thing all day!

    The last part of the trail kind of dragged on a bit as it follows an old mining road and then, as you exit the wilderness, becomes a usable road. Great hike overall though! Thanks for setting this up, Bob! And the Gatorade! And thanks for driving and setting up the shuttle, Richard!
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    Carr-Miller Combo
    you all know that i love to hike, right? and you guys know that i love flowers, right? well, this hike took the cake. i have to say that this day ranks right up there with the best day EVER on the trails.

    we were staying at ramsey vista campground in the huachuca mountains for our mutual friend's (teambarstool's) birthday camp out, so we were able to get an early start at our 12-mile journey.

    originally i suggested just doing carr peak, then southpawaz (bobby) suggested just doing miller, then i suggested both when i figured out just how close i was to having my personal best month EVER in both mileage and AEG (i just needed 8.2 miles to beat my sept. 2010 record and 2843 AEG to beat my august 2010 record). bobby agreed and we had a plan.

    little did i know just how wonderful this hike would be. i knew there would be ups and downs both ways, but i knew the crest trail is fairly even - but i knew there would be a little pull up to carr and the pull up to miller. i do need to mention, at this point, that the majority of the trail we were at least waist high in pretty yellow flowers. :budrose:

    other things to note on this hike: on the way up, between carr and miller on the crest trail, we ran into a border patrol agent hauling out a few marijuana plants, or at least that's what i think they were since i've never actually seen one. :A1: we texted our friends down at the campground who said there was law enforcement :gun: waiting for the guy at the trailhead. also on the way back from miller peak, when we were just about at bathtub springs, i noticed a bear, who immediately skedaddled without so much as one pose for the camera. [-X this was my first time running into either border patrol or a bear on the trail - so very exciting!

    i had a great time on my journey, with a grin ear-to-ear for most of it as we hiked through the flowers. :GB: it was a great day, with great company. many thanks to bobby for coming along!

    i have a 360 video from miller peak here: http://youtu.be/uP5ozgVDfFU
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    Again, never a dull moment with JJ. Things started out with a nice drive down to Parker Canyon Lake where our hike the next day would conclude. John's plan was to find someone to shuttle us up to the trailhead near the Mexican border. We drove by the campground near the lake, but there were only three sites occupied and none of the people looked promising for a shuttle ride. Next we drove by the end of the AZT #1 segment. There are a few houses nearby so John tried knocking on a door. After nicely framing our story of hiking the Arizona trail and needing a ride, for which we would pay a nice sum, it was obvious that these folks were not too interested in helping with the shuttle. Then we happened by a cabin where Geno and his wife were enjoying a libation on the 4th of July. Geno explained he is a canoe guy and knows all about shuttles. He has done the Verde River many times. Geno agrees to take us back to the trailhead the next afternoon. We tell him we will be there about two o'clock, and if we are not there by four to assume that the rainy weather has prevented us from hiking. John and I felt relieved to have found a shuttle. Next we wanted to check out the gravel road up to Montezuma Pass and the trailhead. It is 19 miles from the lake to the pass. Once we got about 5 miles in the Jeep started making a loud rattling noise. We thought it was a damaged mount for his transmission. It turned out to be one of his front brakes. A bolt that holds the caliper bracket on had fallen out. At that point the wheel would not spin in a forward direction. Fortunately the Jeep could still travel in reverse. John tried a couple times to put a small branch in the bolt hole to support the caliper. After a short distance the branches would brake off, so we gave up on that idea. By now it was dark. Not many good options were available, so we decide to start driving backards to Sierra Vista where we might be able to get a bolt the next morning. It was tough driving backwards in the dark. Hard to see and hard on the neck from turning and looking out the back window. After a while we teamed up on the driving. John steered while seated looking out the back window and I ran the gas and brakes. This worked great until we failed to negotiate a tight corner and got pinned up against a guardrail. Easy to get off if you can drive forward. We could not. After about 15 minutes we finally got far enough away from the guardrail to continue on our jouney. We soon discovered our ony hope of making it to Sierra Vista was to go through the base at Fort Huachuca. We arrived at the west gate at 11 PM. Suprisingly, the guards did not draw their weapons when we rolled in backwards. They were ready to allow us to drive the 8 miles through the fort with a MP escort when somebody higher up decided the risk of accident was too great. We were stuck at the west gate. Our only two real options were to get a cab or a tow. We opted for the cab. Once we got a room in Sierra Vista, John decided we'd be better off towing the Jeep to the dealership instead of taking a cab back to Fort Huachuca with a new bolt in the morning. John got back with the Jeep at 1:30 AM. We slept untill 6 AM, ate some breakfast, and walked to the dealership to get a bolt when they opened at 7 AM. When I arrived John was talking to the parts guy who was telling him they didn't have a bolt. Bummer. He said one of the mechanics might have something in his toolbox, but he was with another customer. Our window for geting to hike the AZT was closing rapidly. We needed to start hiking soon or we wouldn't have a chance of finishing by 4 o'clock, and getting a ride back with Geno. After waiting 45 minutes without seeing the mechanic, John jumps up from his seat and says let's go. While we were waiting, the mechanic had found a used bolt and made the repair gratis! John left him a nice tip and we were on our way. We knew we had to average over 3 mph to finish hiking by 4 PM. No peak bagging or breaks allowed. We strolled up to Geno's place a few minutes before 4 o'clock. Genos was still waiting for us! Geno and I had a quick beer and we were on our way. I had my doubts at times, but Geno was able to keep his vehicle on the road and delivered us safely through a driving rain to the waiting Jeep at Montezuma Pass. Quite an ordeal for a hike. Never a dull moment. The hike itself is awesome. Mountains, trees, mines, flowers. Beautiful. Thanks to John for his perseverence, enginuity, and generosity to make this hike happen. :)
    Huachuca Mountains - AZT #1
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    A 2 hour drive from Tucson East side. Passed up 2 wild turkey and 3 deer just after the park service office on the way to the TH.
    6:30 AM (40 min post sunrise) arrival: Montezuma Pass; 6600' Hit the trail south. Steep downhill with at least 3 trails leading to border. The marked trail is probably the easiest. Duh. :o +3 deer on descent. Double-back for a steep ascent with a good view of the challenge ahead.
    8:30 AM we returned to the Montezuma Pass TH. My 20+ year older accomplice had to stop many times on the ascent/double-back. Crest Trail is across the parking lot.
    9:15 AM Approx. 1.5 miles up Crest Trail. Left behind accomplice after I denied his request for a sherpa and a mule. He decided to walk west on Montezuma Canyon Rd. He was vomiting a little. So I figured it was for the best. I shall call him Scat. Passed up 2 mine shafts and a hiker before the first big tall ridge/boundary.
    10:45 AM; 8100' A couple of miles past Millers Peak Wilderness Boundary. It was getting hot on the east facing slopes. The sweat was burning my lips. The heat waves were blasting off the mountain. And I stopped to reapply the sunscreen. And down a protein bar. The climb was still pretty steep.
    12:00 noon 9200' I made it about half way up the Miller Peak trail. I looked out west and realized I had a long way to go. So I started back on Crest Trail.
    1 PM Bath Tub Spring. The map doesn't show the spring located on the trail. It is directly on the trail. Cold. Flowing water in a tub. I drank about 50 oz and refilled Camelback with no iodine or filter treatment. It was good clear and cold. 5 days later. Not any sickness.
    2 PM Bear Saddle. The wind was howling fast. Probably 50 mph.
    3:15 PM Sunnyside Canyon TH. Sunnyside canyon had lots of downhill switchbacks in the beginning. Then it followed a wash that had plenty of stagnant water that I was unable to utilize. The Mud Spring well was dried up and filled with gravel. 2 more deer crossed the wagon trail that is Sunnyside Canyon Trail.
    Approx. 5 PM Scotia Canyon TH The trail follows forest roads and goes through a few ranches. Most of the trail is marked well. But this section had me scratching my head a couple of times. The West TH of Scotia Canyon had a dead calf rotting beside it. :scared: I decided to take Montezuma Canyon Rd to Parker Canyon. It was shorter and I was famished. My delightfully caring wife met me on W. Coronado Trail @ 7:15 PM

    Permit $$
    None

    Coronado Forest
    MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
    Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    You can not drive to the trailhead at the Mexican border. The closest you can get by vehicle is Montezuma Pass, then take the AZ Trail (see AZ Trail Passage 1 description) to the Mexican border and the southern end of the AZ Trail. To drive to Montezuma Pass from Sierra Vista, take US Hwy 92S, then turn right (S) on to Coronado Memorial Drive (after Coronado National Memorial sign), then guide right (W) on to Coronado Road which quickly becomes W Montezuma Canyon Road and takes you to Montezuma Pass (signed; parking lot on the left).
    page created by joebartels on Jan 08 2010 7:33 pm
    2+ mi range whistle
    blow it like you mean it
    help comment issue

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