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San Pedro Trail, AZ

no permit
165 18 2
Guide 18 Triplogs  2 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Sierra Vista
3.1 of 5 by 9
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Distance One Way 26.4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,977 feet
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
23  2016-05-03 topohiker
9  2015-03-08
Fairbank Loop Trail
18  2013-03-01 MAVM
14  2013-01-11 MAVM
6  2012-12-18 MAVM
30  2012-11-12 RedRoxx44
11  2012-08-23 MAVM
21  2012-08-01 MAVM
Page 1,  2
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   Nov, Dec, Feb, Mar
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  6:06am - 6:24pm
0 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby

The San Pedro Trail is a long distance trail that parallels the river though most of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. It is a nonmotorized trail, open to hiking, bicycling and horseback riding.

Fairbank Section
Trailhead: Fairbank, north to Willow Wash
Length: 2 miles
Points of interest: Ruins of Grand Central Mill

Charleston Section
Trailhead: Charleston, north to Boquillas Ranch, or Fairbank
Length: 5.8 miles to Boquillas, 8 miles to Fairbank
Points of Interest: Ruins of Millville and Boston Mill, Boquillas Ranch

Clanton Section
Trailhead: Hwy 90 across from San Pedro House, north to Escapule Rd
Length: 3.6 miles
Points of Interest: Ruins of historic Clanton Ranch

Del Valle Section
Trailhead: San Pedro House, south to Hereford Rd
Length: 8.5 miles

Hereford Section
Trailhead: Hereford Rd or Waters Rd
Length: 2.5 miles

Palominas Section
Trailhead: NCA entrance just south of Hwy 92, south to Mexican border
Length: 4 miles

Connector and Loop Trails

The following trails connect points of interest to the San Pedro Trail.

  • Curry Draw
    Trailhead: Murray Springs parking area, east to San Pedro Trail and River
    Length: 1.6 miles to San Pedro Trail, 2.2 miles to San Pedro River
  • San Pedro House Loop
    Trailhead: San Pedro House
    Length: 1 mile
    Points of Interest: San Pedro River and Kingfisher Pond
  • Presidio Santa Cruz de Terrenate Interpretive Loop
    Trailhead: On Kellar Rd, off Hwy 82
    Length: 1.2 miles to ruins of Spanish fort built in 1776

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2018-07-14 HAZ_Hikebot
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    area related
  • 100 Classic Hikes - 2007
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    100 Classic Hikes - 2007

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 Triplog Reviews
San Pedro Trail
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Started at Fairbank a bit after sunrise - trying to beat the heat - and after a few minutes wandering around the historic site set off on the San Pedro Trail. Took a side trip to the cemetery - lingered at the Grand Central Mill - continued on to Willow Wash. At Willow Wash I crossed the wash and took a trail on the east side of the river to just south of the Contention Ruins area - fairly certain there were Mountain Lion tracks along the trail. At the Contention area I turned around and took the river bed back to the Highway 82 bridge - most of this section was dry (and hot!) but there was eventually some flow. Headed along the north side of the highway eventually following a fence to the old rail platform under near the highway and then back thru the Fairbank historic site to the car.

San Pedro Trail
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San Pedro RNCA - Murray Springs TH

Once again, I engaged the San Pedro RNCA via the Murray Springs TH and made way towards the Hereford Bridge TH to the south. Running my urban wheel-set on a ride that was entirely trails (mostly single track) - mixed with extended hiking (4 miles) - that would prove to be an effective bike-hiking type of workout.

The weather, hazy sun then overcast with light to moderate winds throughout...a bit of a capricious headwind, had little effect on the upgrade ride to the south. The San Pedro RNCA being a menagerie of surfaces with extended heavy-sand in places throughout - was even more erroded here and there than earlier in the month - lots of soft top dirt that was more firmly compacted last time - plenty of resistance throughout! I was pleased with the overall performance, both hiking / riding split at about 15/85% - got one flat tire coming into the half-way point, and took time-out to perform a protracted 30' repair followed by a 30' afternoon nap :zzz: on the new picnic tables at the the Hereford Bridge TH - Good times & training! ;)
San Pedro Trail
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San Pedro RNCA - Murray Springs TH

I ported in via the Murray Springs TH and made way towards Hereford Road to the south, turning back a couple miles north of the Hereford Bridge TH. I decided to experiment with running my urban wheel-set on a ride that was entirely trails (mostly single track). That mixed with extended hiking (4 miles) during the ride would be a good motility-type workout on such a beauty late winter day.

The weather was idyllic for being out with just a bit of a pronounced headwind on the return back north. Surprisingly the bike did excellent over all terrains, considering the more blacktop aligned wheel set...the San Pedro RNCA being a menagerie of surfaces with extended heavy-sand in places throughout. I was pleased with the overall performance, both hiking and riding split at about 20/80% - this trail is such a wealth to have in the region! :D
San Pedro Trail
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Murray Springs -

I engaged this mid-afternoon cold weather hike from the Escapule TH toward Murray Springs - recently becoming aware that this lush perennial water source was undocumented on HAZ, and thus with said impetus set out to witness this sources winter flow. I had last laid eyes and boots across this flowing creek over five months earlier during the monsoon in early August. Needless to say, every time I've ever trekked through the region has necessitated the need to cross the abundant flow coming from Murray Springs. With clean unadulterated spring fed water sources in the San Pedro at a premium - Murray Springs deserves to be highlighted - as taking water from the tainted mining run-off of the San Pedro River directly is to be avoided if possible.

I found the area below the pronounced cottonwood stands to be the most consistent source of the spring itself. Given the existence of what I have now verified as the town of Tombstone's old well maintained (there is obvious new bolting hardware visible) aqueduct piping system (see photos) from the Huachuca Mountains that dominates the audible water sources cascading location - this seems the best location to pinpoint the springs origin or there-abouts. Though the cottonwood stand above would document that the likely possibility of seasonal seeps and such exist in the vicinity - I did not have the luxury to plumb this possibility further at this time.

Murray Springs arises in the gorge running from below the Clovis Site / Murray Springs entrance to the San Pedro RNCA accessed from N. Moson Road just over a mile north of AZ Hwy. 90 east of Sierra Vista. I intend to begin using this arterial entrance to the riparian zone more frequently this winter, and will further document the area for the HAZ site as well.
San Pedro Trail
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San Pedro Trail - Palominas TH

I took a late afternoon drive out to the southern extreme of the San Pedro Trail. The steel-gray muted light locked onto the hidden sunset - as the next weather system slowly rolled into the border region - with a pleasant light breeze and temps hovering around 60F providing a soft backdrop to attempt to hike a reasonable pace on the flatter terrain that the SPT riparian area offers. This being my first logged / documented hike in some months - further indicating that recent and ongoing PT for the L5 continues moving in the right direction. With this injury flatter hikes are often more difficult than steeper terrain... :D
San Pedro Trail
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I went to the San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area to do some intensive trail riding / training on my 29er MTB - with several different surfaces available, both double & single track as well as the old railroad bed. I focused on two different TH access points - The NE TH (for climbing and downhill looping + single track woods riding) and the Fairbank TH (for multiple surface looping) south of Hwy. 82 - I knew that given that it was a Thursday I would have the river valley pretty much to myself to train off-road.

The San Pedro River remains quite swollen and muddy - a crossing by foot or bike was out of the equation. The single track trail in the wooded areas by the riverside were completely overgrown and thus added to the tactical potential when riding them at speed. All in all this was a very satisfying outing with plenty of variation - I went home wanting more, and feeling fortunate to have such lands available for personal usage!

TrainingPeaks: TSS@290 IF@.85 Avg. Heart Rate @150 bpm - Total

I am only logging 'Bike' outings that entail known trails or true off-road bike-packing types of rides...
San Pedro Trail
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From Escapule TH (Clanton Ranch Section) toward Hereford (Del Valle Section) and back with some looping - Single Track with some Double Track...Mud, Mud and more Mud - Heavy Rains have taken their toll and the flooding shows as the over growth, shifting sands and erosion are apparant for the durance of the route - a heavy storm the night before last left standing water and mud throughout! Slow going - I hiked about 2 miles of the route as well. Road Runners could be seen numbering 5-10 at a time sprinting down the trail, pacing me well south of San Pedro House in the Riparian. Vermilion Flycatchers were also abundant! I scared up a Diamondback in the late afternoon on the trailside (a hissing / rattling fit sooo loud I didn't go back) after just missing a Baby DB Rattler 50 feet prior in the middle of the trail! Trail conditions made for a real riding adventure close to home as no one had been down this route since the last storm the tracks were well preserved and abundant...riding past most of them in awe, as some were just huge for the area - Ocelot, Jaguar??? Hard to say, not knowing - Bobcats are most prolific and easy to see consistently in the Riparian Zone.

Nearly 45 percent of the 900 total species of birds in North America use the San Pedro at some point in their lives -- and more birds use it now than ever before. In 1995, the American Bird Conservancy recognized the San Pedro as its first "globally important bird area" in the United States, dubbing it the "largest and best example of riparian woodland remaining" in the Southwest.

Of course, the San Pedro is renowned for its biodiversity beyond birds; it is also home to 180 species of butterflies, 87 mammals and 68 reptiles and amphibians. Jaguars and ocelots have been seen in the San Pedro River basin, which is also critical to the long-term survival and recovery of southwestern willow flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, loach minnow, spikedace and Huachuca water umbel.
- The Center for Biological Diversity ... index.html

TrainingPeaks: TSS@314 IF@.90 Avg. Heart Rate @156 bpm = an average 64+ mile ride on moderately flat pavement.

San Pedro Trail
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Started at Fairbank in the early afternoon and hiked north past the cemetery to Grand Central Mill where we took a break. Continued on to Willow Wash and crossed to continue on to Contention. Looked at the mill site and saw the artifacts left by the town site. Saw two white tailed deer and tracks of a large cat and a lot of dogs. After leaving Contention, we crossed the river and took the road to the first rail road bed. We then followed the rail bed south until we came to the sand washes heading west to the second rail bed to find the Y 78 benchmark on the bridge for the rail bed. Finished the hike by exiting by way of the Presidio Terrante Trail.
San Pedro Trail
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Backpacked the Charleston section of the trail, from Charleston to Fairbanks(8 miles) and then back(another 8). Left friday evening around 5pm and returned the following day around 4pm. There is alot to see along this trail; Charleston ruins, Millville ruins, tons of petroglyphs, Boston mill ruins, the ranch, Fairbanks ghost town, the San Pedro River, and of course illeagals. Crossed paths with 7 illeagals, 5 of them ducked of the path and hid until we passed and the other 2 just waved at us. The trail was fairly simple and flat aside from a few small hills. We got to see some deer and even a ringtail. The trail was quite cool near the river yet rather warm on the rest of the trail.

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Map Drive

To hike
Varies based on where you begin and end your desired hike. One of the many posted GPS Routes should give you an idea.
1 TB Flash Drive... $40
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