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Cintura Hill, AZ
mini location map2016-12-31
40 by photographer avatarAZHiker456
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Cintura Hill, AZ 
Cintura Hill, AZ
Hiking avatar Dec 31 2016
Hiking9.25 Miles 1,851 AEG
Hiking9.25 Miles   5 Hrs   57 Mns   1.66 mph
1,851 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Day 9
I woke at around 5 AM when my 6th sense alerted me to the fact that it was raining and therefore might be a good idea to leave the John Hands Campground where I had car-camped for the night. I’m not sure how much rain is typically needed for the creek crossing [that is required to access this campground] to become impassable, but there was a good amount of water flowing over the crossing the night before when there was no rain. Not wanting to take any chances of not being able to get out, I headed back down FR 42A and luckily had no trouble [the creek crossing had about the same amount of water flowing across as the night before].

When I finally got cell service in Portal and pulled up the weather apps, things did not look good for Southeastern Arizona. Bisbee seemed to have one of the better forecasts, and with rain in the works, I liked the idea of staying at lower altitudes. Thus, I left the Chiricahuas and headed back to Bisbee. I’d drawn up routes for several peaks in the area and was planning to park at Brewery Ave again and start with Mural Peak… but when I reached the 3-way intersection of Highway 80, W Double Adobe Rd, & N High Lonesome Rd, I couldn’t resist trying my luck down the more remote N High Lonesome Rd…

…no dice to the first dirt road that I tried thanks to private property; but the second dirt road I tried, [which was less than 2 miles after the first one] worked out like a charm: there were no “private property”, “do not enter”, etc. types of signs, it was easy driving for my Forester, and there was a fire ring / small area to park about 1/2 mile down. This parking spot positioned me perfectly to bag Cintura Hill via its fun-looking NE ridge; and best of all, it beat the pants off having to deal with parking in the cramped & busy downtown area of Bisbee.

Relative to the nearby ridgeline I had done a few days earlier [ triplog ] [the one running SE from UN 6374], the footing along the ridgeline to Cintura Hill was a bit better. While still filled with tons of rocks that are the perfect size for twisting/breaking an ankle, there was slightly less grass, resulting in slightly better visibility, [which made a huge difference]. The ridgeline was also routed; nothing to the point of feeling like a full-blown trail; but having a fairly defined route was certainly helpful. And to top things off, there was much less catclaw which was very nice.

The views were quite beautiful and they just kept opening up, the higher up I got on the ridgeline. However, after about 2 miles in / about 0.70 miles to go before reaching the summit, some wind gusts picked up with frightful force; to the point where I contemplated aborting the adventure and making a beeline back to my vehicle. Luckily it was just temporary, [either that or I ended up changing direction / moving to an area that was more shielded from the wind].

Like many of the UN summits / prominent points on this ridgeline [and other ridgelines I’ve hiked near Bisbee], the highpoint of Cintura Hill has a large summit cairn; but unlike the three named summits I did near downtown Bisbee [Youngblood Hill, Chihuahua Hill, & Jones Hill], I found a register on Cintura Hill. Prior to my signing it, the first [and also the most recent] signings were from November 20, 1994 [Bob Martin, Mark Nichols, & Richard Joseph].

From the summit of Cintura Hill, I spotted a sweet looking drainage to the South, [which Route Scout topo helped me to identify as Mexican Canyon]. There was also a trail/jeep road running parallel with the canyon. I decided to incorporate one or both into my return trip, particularly the canyon.

I descended Cintura Hill via its SW ridge, which is extremely well routed and has some fun boulder crags to negotiate. Just under 1/2 mile after having departed from the summit, I came to a small saddle area along the ridge and decided to leave the ridge at that point and head Southward toward Mexican Canyon. Although it took less than 0.60 miles to reach the canyon from the saddle area, the extremely poor footing [loose, tons of rocks, & very poor visibility] made it feel like an eternity, even with some excellent animal routes. However, reaching the canyon was totally worth the shitty descent; Mexican Canyon was just spectacular. There were rocks [and boulders] of every color of the rainbow and then some, or so it seemed. In addition to the many colors, there were also some really neat shaped boulders, as well as a few beautiful pools of water. And the footing in the canyon was just unbeatable: a few areas of stepping/leaping from boulder to boulder, but mostly just soft sand that is total heaven for tired legs/joints!
Summit Register Log

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Mexican Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Some pools here and there; definitely enough to filter from.
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