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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.

Clark Peak Trail #301, AZ

Guide 29 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
  3.5 of 5 
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Difficulty 2.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance One Way 6.5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 9,000 feet
Elevation Gain -1,829 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,766 feet
Avg Time One Way 3.5-4 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 12.39
Interest Peak
Backpack Yes & Connecting
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42  2019-10-18
18  2019-07-13 RedRoxx44
22  2018-06-09 rwstorm
15  2018-05-27
West Riggs Traverse
17  2018-05-27
West Riggs Traverse
6  2017-08-19 CanyonWanderer
102  2016-07-16
Blue Jay Peak
4  2016-06-04
Clark Peak
Page 1,  2,  3,  4
Author RedRoxx44
author avatar Guides 5
Routes 0
Photos 21,553
Trips 615 map ( 3,413 miles )
Age Female Gender
Location outside, anywhere
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep → 7 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Early Autumn
Sun  5:12am - 7:31pm
Official Route
9 Alternative

Amazing views!!
by RedRoxx44

Likely In-Season!
This trail exceeded my expectations. Mt. Graham and the Pinalenos are a spectacular sky island, with beautiful riparian trails and thick forests, scarred some by fires, as seems the norm in Arizona. It lacks a "ridgeline" trail system, most trails being up and down the mountainside. This trail has not escaped fire but is the closest to a ridgeline system. The views are fabulous. You start at the end of the dirt road on top. Unless you have 4wd and want to go through a few semi-permanent mud holes, ignore the small sign for "Clark Peak TH" and take the main road a little over three miles to the dead end, which happens to be the TH you want.

I only covered a little over 8 miles of this trail to Taylor Pass and did some off-trail ridge walking to see more views. The forest service recommends a 2-day trip to do an out and back of the almost 14-mile trail, which terminates on West mountain. I am not sure why. The part of the trail I hiked on was in fair shape, rollercoaster-like in elevation gain and loss, minimally overgrown. The trail grew faint as it descended the side of a ridge to Taylor Pass. Some other use-trails in the area go to great dry campsites or great view lunch sites. The trail starts at 9000 feet, skirts Clark Peak (look for a couple of cairns for a short walk up to the summit) at a little over 10,000 feet, then drops about 2000 feet to Taylor Pass in the 7000's; where I turned around, then climbs to West Peak at 8600 to meet an old FS road. The route is waterless, so you must carry all water. Several damp dirt areas look quite spring-like if they were dug out.

The hike goes through an old burn, with abundant flowers when I was there, healthy forests, wanders by beautiful rocky cliffs, through a vast open meadow of ferns, and to a newer burn area streaked with the red slurry near Taylor Pass. When I was here, I ran into about ten forest service firefighters near Taylor Pass, resting on their packs, eventually going downhill to do some mop-up work on the aftermath of this newer fire (several months back). Views west include the Galiuros, Rincons, Catalinas, Santa Theresas', Sulphur Springs Valley with all its' farming plots, etc. Views east of Safford playa and the mountains backing that area. It was hazy initially, then clearing on my hike out as big dark clouds started to roll in.

There are some connecting trails to FS roads that come out of Pima et al. if one wanted to do a long car shuttle. Or get dropped off at the top and picked up at the bottom somewhere. Better though to camp up top and do this trail as an in and out. You won't get tired of the views, that is for certain, lots of variety on this trial, and a new favorite for me.

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2006-07-17 RedRoxx44

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.

Permit $$

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

Map Drive
FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

To hike
From Safford, drive south 8 miles on US 191 to AZ 366 (Swift Trail). Turn right (southwest) onto AZ 366 and drive 29 miles to the Columbine Visitor Information Station. Continue along FR 803 (Swift Trail) about 5 miles to the Riggs Flat turnoff and then another 2 miles to the trailhead at the end of FR 803. The last 12 miles of this road are narrow and winding. This trailhead is not accessible from November 15 to April 15, when the Swift Trail is closed for the winter. Early or late snow may extend the inaccessible season.

Or, take Forest Road 286 south from the town of Pima. Follow this road 12 miles to the Forest boundary, continue 15 miles farther to the West Peak lookout. The last 2 miles of this road may require a high clearance vehicle; a 4-wheel drive is preferable. The trailhead is alongside the road just before it arrives at the lookout. During the winter months, snow conditions may close access to this trailhead.
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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