Caves are for bats!
I have always been interested in the Whetstone mountains as I've traveled down AZ-90 to Sierra Vista and the Huachucas. I finally quit messing around and did some research and found that there is at least one trail there. It's a nice short loop that actually starts in Kartchner Caverns State Park, but 99% is in Coronado National Forest.
Guindani trailhead starts in parking lot and immediately comes to gate marking national forest boundary. Shortly enough you come to signed intersection pointing to your right for the Guindani trail. Hang right and follow an old jeep road for a while. You soon enter Guindani canyon and wash and start climbing along it. This is a nice riparian corridor with plenty of surprisingly green trees along the way and birds testing out their pipes. Before long the jeep trail ends and trail continues on as a footpath crossing over the wash several times. You will eventually climb out of the wash/canyon and come to a signed intersection: Guindani to left and Cottonwood to right (not sure where that goes just yet).
Anyway hang left and the trail starts switchbacking up the southern sidewall of the canyon. This is the only tough part of the hike, but it's easily manageable enough. After climbing, passing through a couple gates and enjoying the ever improving scenery you kind of stumble upon a saddle quite suddenly. I did not know what to expect here and was very pleasantly surprised to find excellent views all around - especially the southwest portion of the range, which is very scenic. Nice spot to hang around for a bit and eat a sandwhich.
It's all downhill the rest of the way with nice views of the Huachucas and Dragoons. Before long you are back at the original signed intersection where you started. Follow signs back to Kartchner and parking lot.
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.
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.
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