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2016-12-27  
Paramore Crater & Red Hill, AZ
mini location map2016-12-27
32 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
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Paramore Crater & Red Hill, AZ 
Paramore Crater & Red Hill, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Dec 27 2016
AZHiker456
Hiking15.45 Miles 1,537 AEG
Hiking15.45 Miles   7 Hrs   2 Mns   2.35 mph
1,537 ft AEG      27 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Day 5
In planning some Chiricahua adventures, I noticed some formations on the topo to the SE that reminded me a lot of the Flagstaff area. Upon zooming in, names like “Cinder Hill” and “Paramore Crater” definitely got my attention… a crater site in SE AZ!?! A quick Google search led me to some additional links such as this one, arizonadailyindepen ... ona/, and Paramore Crater earned priority status on my bucketlist.

Using Route Scout, I’d mapped out several potential points of access, [not knowing which, if any, would pan out due to issues with private property and/or dirt road conditions]. I figured that the ‘worst’ case scenario [which proved to be], would be parking along Hwy 80, [making it a 6-7 mile, one-way hike to the Crater… not terrible at all given that I had some major mileage to make up if I was going to equal or better the mileage stats from my March of 2016 Chiricahua trip].

Although I never encountered any “private property”, “keep out”, etc. signs, [aside from on the entrances to some of the dirt roads which I did not utilize], I’ve opted to not post a GPS route out of respect for the private land owners in the area… I learned after the fact, [i.e. on my return trip from the crater], from two mounted border patrol officers, (one of them a fellow HAZ’er 8) ) that access to Paramore Crater from the Arizona side is pretty much shut off by private landowners and that special permission is typically required, [especially due to the illegal border crossings in the area]. They were super cool [and thought that Route Scout was awesome!]. Apparently some of the ranchers had seen me and called upon the Border Patrol to investigate. It’s comforting to know how responsive they are!

As for the Crater, it is absolutely beautiful and like nothing I’ve ever seen. Aside from some volcanic chunks of rock that are scattered throughout the area and one very small ‘strip’ of what looks like very fine-grained black sand, Paramore Crater looks nothing like the crater sites I’ve seen in the Flagstaff area, which tend to consist of massive chunks/boulders of lava and/or hillsides of fine-grained, blackish lava. Personally, I prefer the craters in the Flagstaff area because I found them more unique / interesting, [if I encountered Paramore Crater not knowing it was a crater site, I would have thought it was a massive dried up lake]; but with that being said, Paramore Crater was still really neat and totally worth the 6.5+ mile, one-way hike to reach. And, while I RARELY repeat hikes and am NOT a fan of backpacking because I hate carrying around extra weight, I would totally do a backpacking trip to Paramore Crater in a heartbeat, [assuming backpacking is permitted there]; enough said! The crater site is quite large and has so many little side drainages feeding into it and many peaks surrounding it to explore/bag.

On the way back from the Crater, I needed a bit more uphill and decided to hit up the small summit of Red Hill, [along with a few neighboring, unnamed hills].
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