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Joe's Canyon Trail
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mini location map2016-04-02
36 by photographer avatarDevilChild
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Joe's Canyon / Yaqui Ridge / Coronado Peak, AZ 
Joe's Canyon / Yaqui Ridge / Coronado Peak, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 02 2016
Hiking9.02 Miles 2,683 AEG
Hiking9.02 Miles   6 Hrs   12 Mns   1.71 mph
2,683 ft AEG      56 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was an old hike but a memorable one so I figured it was time to post the route and triplog for it. I became intrigued with the National Park System's I Hike For Health Challenge and set out that day for a hardcore (for me) day trip. Leaving phoenix about 3:45 AM I arrived to Coronado National Memorial visitor's station about 8am to start my planned hike.

The plan: Start on Joe's Canyon trail head; hike to Yaqui Ridge junction then do an out and back on Yaqui Ridge; return to junction then hike up the steep side of Coronado Peak to the viewing station; hike down Coronado Peak to Montezuma Pass then return to the starting point back at the Joe's Canyon trail head. Oh and of course swing by the visitor station to retrieve my I Hike For Health pin.

I found the hike up Joe's Canyon very enjoyable with nice switchbacks and plenty of shade at the start that transitions to more switchbacks and less tree cover. Great views back towards the visitor's station and Montezuma Peak. Exiting the canyon places you on a generally level hike along the ridge towards the Yaqui junction.

Yaqui was a short out and back but worth it to see the start of the Arizona Trail and stand at the border. Total silence and absolute solitude at this point. Just me and relentless wind. The hike back up got my legs burning and my breath huffing while taking in wonderful borderland views.

Hiking up the South side of Coronado peak seemed questionable after start, the trail which seemed clear at the start quickly proved to be more of a trace through the grass and loose gravel. Worth it for the surprised looks on the faces of visitors at the viewing station to see me stumble up out of nowhere.

The hike down Coronado to Montezuma's Pass was very straightforward, made a quick stop to the registry and observed the highly militarized border patrol and forest service presence. Something only found in the Southern reaches of the state. Return to the visitor station to high five the ranger, get my pin, and grab some awesome books from the bookstore to start my long drive back to Phoenix with a giant smile on my face.
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