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Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH, AZ

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Guide 21 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Safford
3.5 of 5 by 4
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4 miles
Trailhead Elevation 7,400 feet
Elevation Gain 1,380 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,579 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5
Kokopelli Seeds 11.9
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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4  2019-07-18
Ladybug Trail Turkey Flat
28  2016-07-15 AZHiker456
4  2016-07-07 fricknaley
6  2016-04-13 cactuscat
3  2014-06-23 fricknaley
22  2013-07-30 outdoor_lover
1  2010-12-10 PrestonSands
6  2010-11-24 SkyIslander18
Page 1,  2
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   May, Jun, Aug, Sep
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:02am - 6:27pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Fauna Nearby
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
No ladybugs, just lizards
by PrestonSands

Likely In-Season!
Ladybug Peak is a small peak compared to others in the Pinaleno Mountains (8780 feet), but its 360 degree views and cool forest make it a good day hike destination.

Wanting something longer than the half mile trail from Ladybug Saddle to Ladybug Peak, I decided to begin my hike at the Turkey Flat trailhead along the Swift Trail. I began following the Turkey Flat Trail uphill through the firs and gambel oaks, and enjoying the views of Heliograph Peak in the distance. At one point I spotted a small cluster of aspens hiding among the other trees below the switchbacks. After a 300 foot climb, the Turkey Flat Trail meets the Ladybug Trail in a saddle on Veach Ridge. Someone has constructed a nice rock sitting area here.

The Ladybug Trail began climbing up Veach Ridge, switch-backing up the rocky slopes on its way to Ladybug Peak. Passing under a vertical knife-like rock labeled 8359 on the topo map, the trail soon after entered into the dense fir forest of the upper Pinalenos. After a 600 foot climb up the beautiful, thickly forested ridge, I came to the junction with the Bear Canyon Trail. Turn right onto the Bear Canyon Trail at the junction. After about a tenth of a mile, there will be a little side trail taking off to your left (look for two old metal signs nailed to a tree that are being grown over by the tree). From here it is a short two minute hike up to the top of Ladybug Peak.

I was surprised when I suddenly came upon the summit; I'd expected it to be a little bigger. There were no ladybugs to be seen, only a few lizards who wanted nothing to do with having their picture taken. From the rocky ten foot by ten foot summit, I could see the town of Safford, the Chiricahua Mountains, Sulphur Springs Valley, the Galiuro Mountains, and Mt. Graham itself. After a short stay on top, I made a quick one mile round trip hike to Ladybug Saddle, where the Bear Canyon Trail meets the Swift Trail (highway 366). Arriving back at Ladybug Peak, I disappeared again into the dense forest, and headed back downhill to Turkey Flat.

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2006-07-05 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 of 15 deeper Triplog Reviews
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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Fall color hunt along the Swift Trail was the main focus for this trip.
Parked at Twilight and hiked up the Swift Trail switchbacks to Ladybug Saddle. Lots of color along the way, but about half of it is on the ground already, I was a little surprised at this early fall.
From Ladybug Saddle I took the trail up to Ladybug Peak. Arrived on top to find that the new ammo box register I placed up there after the Frye fire a few months ago was missing. WTF ..... why do people do this s**t?
On the way back down I stewed for a while about the box missing as I took the Ladybug Trail down to Turkey Flat. Ladybug trail was great! I rested for a bit on a rocky overlook for coffee, snickers & the views down before completing the trail down back on to the Swift Trail. A short walk along the road pass the cabins brought me back to Twilight completing the loop.
Except for discovering that my register box was missing, I enjoyed my morning on the mountain. The colors were great, the peak and trails were great and the weather was cold ..... I love the cold!
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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Swift Trail (366) has been re-opened up to Ladybug Saddle ..... again. Flooding continues to be a problem at Wet Canyon and has closed the road I believe 3 times now since the Frye Fire.

Headed up with the first stop at Wet Canyon crossing. And as pre-warned, ADOT has removed the old 1935 historic CCC bridge. Another historic Pinaleno structure lost forever :pk: ! The flooding at Wet Canyon has been violent and I along with a few others were shocked at the "new" look of the entrance to this most loved canyon/picnic area, but to remove the old bridge was IMO unnecessary & lazy. ADOT does own the road (and old bridge) and because of that can do as they please ..... whatever!

I then drove up to Arcadia CG and hiked down to Upper Wet Canyon. Again as the lower crossing, completely changed forever from the flooding, but in a good cleaned out/opened up way. Before/after pics won't be believed to those who know Wet Canyon. Then it was off to my main hike for the day up to Mount Baldy Peak.

Took Turkey Flat up, hung a right onto the Ladybug Trail, then off-trailed up to the peak. Took in the outstanding views on top, ate lunch & signed the ammo box register before leaving. Beautiful hike back down through the pines on this very scenic trail.

Last stop was on the drive back down to Noon Creek to check things out. This is the lowest burn area on this side of the mountain and all trails here are posted closed indefinitely, the picnic grounds are open.

Wildlife spotted - 6 white-tails, 4 Abert's, skunk, spiny lizards, butterflies and many vocal hawks & vultures up high.

:( & :x & :D

Mount Baldy Peak views -
[ youtube video ]
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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With a little bit of light left in the day, I felt compelled to make a quick detour on my way home from Safford. I made a beeline for the Turkey Flat trailhead, parked, and hit the trail, moving fast. I made it up to the first view of Mount Baldy 8359' on the Ladybug Trail in 15 minutes, as dusk chased away the last rays of sunset. I had a much needed, misty-eyed, one sided conversation with the fire-scarred Pinalenos, and then hiked back to the highway with a heavy heart. My mind recalled many good memories of times in the Pinalenos as I descended the Swift Trail. Good memories will continue to be made in these wonderful mountains.
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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Clockwise Loop.
Turkey Flat TH up to get it started.
Hung a right onto the Ladybug Trail.
Off-trail side trip up to Mount Baldy Peak, flipped a step boulder and lost some shin skin, but the amazing view down on Turkey Flat was worth it!
Ladybug Peak still holding plenty of ladybugs, long time register box was missing :(
Took the Swift Trail switch-backs down to complete the loop.

Mountain + AddSanz = :D
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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up in 48:30.

booked it up the swift trail after a long day working in safford. drizzly on my drive up but as soon as i hit the trail, wind picked up and blew the storm away. beautiful conditions on the summit. this trail is not getting much use lately. as expected i saw nobody. steep little sucker :)
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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haven't been up Ladybug in years. started at 5 and made it up in about 50 minutes. great trail and hike with sensational afternoon/early evening views. nice breeze on Ladybug Peak. Just me and the squatches out there tonight.

awesome after work hike :y:
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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Day 2 of my Pinaleno Camping Trip...Wanted to do some Hikes that I haven't done yet, and although I've done Ladybug Peak, I did it from the Saddle before...This was a little bit more of a Workout. I decided to go ahead and throw in Mount Baldy on the way back...Why? Because it was there... :D

Beautiful Morning and the Hike was going very nicely...Calm, relaxed, actually enjoying some nice Uphill... :sweat: I came to a little "bump" where it was stepping on Rocks going down...Of course, with a Trail I haven't been on, I'm not totally focused on the Trail, although my Foot Placement here was at least in my Peripheral Vision...I stepped off that last Rock, back on to level Trail...I thought I was stepping next to a small Gray Rock...OOPS! If that Twin-Spotted was known as an aggressive Species, my Trip would have ended with that Step...Less than 6" from his Head... :sweat: He was small, coiled up, sunning himself in the middle of the Trail...I think I scared him more than he did me! Instead of striking, he jerked the other way, while I did the "Rattlesnake Two Step"...He rattled his very small Button Rattle and started beating cheeks for the Rocks on the edge of the Trail...It drops off there and I think he calls it home...I somehow managed to get the Camera out and fired off a couple of shots, but definitely didn't have much time... :sweat: Very Cool Encounter, once it was over...My first Twin Spotted in the Wild!!! :y:

Continued on down the Trail, paying a little more attention to the actual Trail... :sweat: The Uphill was a nice little Workout...Got to a Saddle, started up more Switchbacks and came face to face with a White-Tailed Doe...Less than 20 feet away...She stared at me in disbelief for a moment and as I turned the Camera on, the White Flag came up and she quickly walked into the Brush...Could not get a clean shot after that... :(

Finished the Switchbacks and got up to the Peak...The Views were as nice as I remembered, albeit a bit Hazy...Not many Clouds, but still a Haze to the Horizon...Spent an hour up there, enjoying the Views, watching Birds come and go, including a couple that weren't all that common...Read through the Log, laughing at fellow HAZers...And then it was time to go...

Followed the Trail back down, poring over Preston's Description for where to start the ascent to Baldy...Found it and Off-Trailed it up to that Peak...Enjoyed the Views here and laughed at more Entries in that Register...Then it was back the way I came, onto the Trail and back to the Escape...Lots of fresh Bear sign along the Ladybug Trail, especially the closer you came to Turkey Flat...

Nice Hike, nice little Workout with a couple of breathtaking moments of excitement...I could easily see doing this Hike again... :)
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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I never get tired of this backyard favorite. Went to Ladybug Saddle, with a visit to Ladybug Peak on the way there and on the way back. Just enough snow left in places to make kicking foot holds necessary. The scent of wood smoke and pine hung heavy in the chilly night air back at the trailhead. In my opinion, the best smell combination on earth! :D
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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Had a freakin' cold good time Christmas Eve on The Mountain. Went to Ladybug Peak twice, on the way to Ladybug Saddle and on the way back. No one had signed the summit register since my last visit two weeks ago. Did a half mile on Bear Canyon Trail, too. The moist ground was frozen solid, with an inch of snow on north slopes. Snow and white firs: oooh, nice!
Ladybug Peak from Turkey Flat TH
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My Saturday hike plans ruined, I was determined to start the weekend off on a better note. I left work early at 3:30 pm, started up the Turkey Flat Trail at 4:10. Went to Ladybug Saddle, then made a side trip to Ladybug Peak to watch the sunset on the way back, and finished the hike by headlamp. Very quiet in the Pinalenos today, only saw a couple of other cars.

Permit $$

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

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To hike
From Safford, head south on U.S. highway 191. Turn west onto state highway 366 (Swift Trail). Follow highway 366 approximately 13.7 miles to the Turkey Flat trailhead at milepost 128. The parking area is a pull-off spot along the road, with room for maybe 3 cars.
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