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Chihuahua Hill - Bisbee, AZ

no permit
79 11 0
Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Douglas
2.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,318 feet
Elevation Gain 578 feet
Accumulated Gain 700 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 5.8
Interest Peak
Backpack No
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
30  2016-12-26 AZHiker456
15  2015-02-15 winotron
22  2013-03-24 RickVincent
12  2010-02-25 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Nov, Apr, Oct → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:05am - 6:23pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Geology Nearby
Named place Nearby
nice view, nice little hike
by PrestonSands

Overview: Chihuahua Hill is the familiar red hill with the "B" on it, above Bisbee, Arizona. Its summit affords great views of the town of Bisbee, the Lavender Pit, and the surrounding area. A well traveled informal trail, popular with the locals, provides a short hike to the top of Chihuahua Hill. This hike makes for a nice little side adventure, if you are roaming the streets of Bisbee. This trail also makes a convenient starting point for other hikes in the hills above Bisbee.

Note: The trail to Chihuahua Hill is entirely on private land, so please be respectful, so that the kind land owners continue to allow people to hike across their land.

Hike: The trail begins at the end of OK Street, which is the easternmost street in downtown Bisbee, paralleling Brewery Avenue. There is no public parking available on the one lane OK Street, so park at the free public lot on lower Brewery Avenue, which is located one block up from Naco Road/Main Street. Take the stairs up to OK Street from the public lot, or just backtrack to Naco Road and follow OK Street.

Follow OK Street to its end in just under a half mile, and then continue up an old concrete driveway for a hundred feet or so to a red metal gate that reads "Posted-No Trespassing". Just before the gate, our trail climbs the rocks on the right. It is a bit indistinct at first, but soon becomes a definite trail. Within a very short distance, the trail forks, with the left branch traveling along a fence. Stay on the right fork. The trail climbs along the rocky western slope of Youngblood Hill, reaching a trail junction at a quarter of a mile, which is marked by cairns and a small white wooden cross anchored into the hillside (gps coordinates: 31.45001 N, 109.91169 W). Turn right and take the spur trail straight up the hill. This spur trail tops out on the summit of Youngblood Hill in 0.15 miles, next to an elaborate shrine and large white cross, which is visible from the streets of Bisbee below. There are a few scattered benches and numerous rocks from which to admire the bird's eye view of the town and the surrounding mountains.

To continue on to Chihuahua Hill, which is the next hill to the south, continue following the trail southeast along the crest of Youngblood Hill. The trail drops off the southeast corner of the hill near a very large cairn, and makes a brief, steep descent on loose rock to a road located in a saddle between the two hills. Take this rocky abandoned road south, which climbs the side of Chihuahua Hill. As the road nears the top, there is a nice view to the south of Mexico and down into the Lavender Pit. Poke around among the trees for a clear view of Bisbee some five hundred feet below. Enjoy, and return the same way.

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.

2010-02-28 PrestonSands
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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
Chihuahua Hill - Bisbee
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Stayed the weekend in Bisbee with my girlfriend, and we decided this hike would be a good way to spend an hour or two. The weather was completely overcast again, making for a nice day but not nice photos. We were a little confused where this hike started, but I loaded up the route and realized that walking down OK Street was actually part of the route, since there's no public parking available anywhere along OK Street. It was cool walking and seeing all the colorful houses along the way. We walked to the very end of OK Street and the beginning of the trail was pretty obvious on the right, though unmarked.

This trail might be short but it is actually fairly steep. Kind of like climbing the Mormon Trail at South Mountain. Very rocky terrain. The views of Bisbee open up pretty quickly. Just before the top of the first hill, Youngblood Hill, we came upon a small Buddhist shrine under a tree. A couple minutes later we were at the top and came across a much larger Catholic shrine. I'm not a person of faith, but I always like seeing stuff like this. I appreciate the effort and the dedication it took to build something like this up here, and it was a really nice spot. We stayed there for a little while.

We could see the trail continuing down and then up over to Chihuahua Hill. It turns into an old 4WD road at this point and isn't particularly exciting. It was another 100 ft or so climb. Honestly, Chihuahua was pretty much a bust. Nothing up there, and there's pretty much no view through the trees. You get a pretty good view of the Lavender Pit just before the peak, but that's about it. I feel like Youngblood is really the destination on this hike, and it didn't even seem worth going over to Chihuahua. Still a nice hike if only for Youngblood, and I'm glad we did it. We headed back down the way we came and enjoyed the rest of our day wandering the streets of Bisbee.
Chihuahua Hill - Bisbee
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Chihuahua Hill via 114 Steps

I woke at 6am up with the intent up strolling around old town Bisbee. Next thing I know, I'm hiking up a mountain. Must be my natural calling. It was those darn steps, all 114 of them, that led me out of the city and up towards Chihuahua Hill.

I was innocently walking down OK St, minding my own business and enjoying the eclectic artwork that adorned the streets and walls of Bisbee. Cyclists dressed in their tights, a lady walking her old dog, a janitor cleaning the sidewalks in front of St Elmo Bar were the only people I saw this early morning. I roamed the streets, the alleyways and hidden narrow walkways carrying my Canon and a sack of lenses. The streets of Bisbee are quiet at this time of day and I enjoyed my directionless wander through the pre-dawn solitude.

Then came those steps. A glance to my right was all it took. I saw the lady I had seen earlier, walking her dog. She was far away near the top of the steps, but easily seen in her bright orange shirt. I watched her and her dog disappear to the left and decided to follow.

A mild case of OCD kicked in and I started counting the steps. 1, 2, 3, 4.......113, 114. I was at the top of the steps. Heart beating a little faster than when I started. The lady in orange and her dog were gone, and I was standing in familiar terriroty; a dirt trail on the side of the mountain. After a couple hundred feet and a few switchbacks I now realized that I was no longer strolling through Bisbee. I was hiking. Never planned on it. This was going to be a non-hiking weekend touring Southern Arizona, tasting wines, perusing over-priced art and artifacts, dining in historic buildings and drinking with friends "old west" style.

The trail towards Chihuahua Hill runs along a thin ridge lined with red rock and scree that looks unnatural, blown to bits, I assume, by years of mining these hills. Stay on the trail and you are fine. Step off trail onto the scree covered slopes and you may find yourself on your rear end. I stayed on the trail, constantly looking over my shoulder at Bisbee which was slowly starting to reveal itself from behind the shadows of the hills.

As you near the top of the hill, the trail intersects with a much larger path that resembles a single lane dirt road. I made a right turn at the road and headed towards the summit. Views of the Lavender Pit, mining operations, Mexico and the Town of Bisbee are the prize at the top. The landscape up top is dirt, jagged red rock and short bushy trees that somewhat interfere with your views. There is also a large area of white paint covering a 6 foot by 12 foot slab of earth. My unscientific hypothesis is that this was left over paint from the painting of the "B" just below the summit. Why waste energy lugging excess paint down the hill? Just pour the rest out up top. I don't know, maybe someone just dropped a full 5 gallon bucket up there.

I snapped a few shots of Bisbee which had almost completely risen out of the shadows before returning back down the way I came. My stomach soon reminded me that I wasn't supposed to be going this far on my morning "stroll." A bottle of water would have also been a welcome addition to my belt pack. I made it back down the trail to the 114 steps that turned my morning stroll into an impromptu hike. Just to be sure, I counted them again. 1, 2, 3, 4.........113, and yep, 114.
Chihuahua Hill - Bisbee
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Mrs. big_load and I took this quick jaunt to stretch our legs and enjoy the views over town. It was a cool morning, but still sweaty in the sun on the way up. We enjoyed the cool breeze at the shrine on Youngblood Hill, which I liked better than Chihuahua Hill for its range of views.

To add some distance, we went up Brewery Gulch onto the apparently unnamed trail into Wildcat Canyon. There were a bunch of check dams along the way, some with CCC inscriptions, and a big stone and concrete tank along with some oddly-placed foundations along the way.
Chihuahua Hill - Bisbee
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I did this one as the beginning segment of a hike to Mural Hill. I had only gone as far as the top of Youngblood Hill the previous weekend, and I wanted to do the rest of this hike. The view from the south side of Chihuahua Hill out to the Lavender Pit and Mexico is totally worth it!

Permit $$

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Tucson, drive east on I-10 to Benson. Take exit 303 (business loop) to U.S. Highway 80. From I-10, take U.S. Highway 80 east for approximately 50.1 miles to the Old Bisbee exit, exactly 2 miles past the highway tunnel. Take the Old Bisbee exit, which quickly meets Naco Road at a stop sign. OK Street (where the hike begins) is straight ahead at the stop sign (OK Street looks like an alley). To access the free public parking lot, turn left onto Naco Road, and go one block to Brewery Avenue. Turn right onto Brewery Avenue, and follow it about one block to a large parking area on the left, across from St. Elmo's Bar. Start hiking! (see hike description for more details)
page created by PrestonSands on Feb 28 2010 1:44 pm
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