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Lower Rhyolite Lower Bonita Canyon Trails, AZ
mini location map2019-05-30
13 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Lower Rhyolite Lower Bonita Canyon Trails, AZ 
Lower Rhyolite Lower Bonita Canyon Trails, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 30 2019
markthurman53
Hiking7.55 Miles 820 AEG
Hiking7.55 Miles   3 Hrs   11 Mns   2.85 mph
820 ft AEG      32 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Last week I did the Upper Rhyolite Canyon Trail but didn't get to do the lower trail so on this trip I did the lower. The lower trail starts at the visitor center and goes 1.5 miles along Rhyolite Creek to the Sarah Deming Trail. Fairly easy hike with a steady gradual climb of 570 feet. There are great views both up and down Rhyolite Canyon. There was no water in the creek just occasional pools. I did see a bear along this trail, it was just moseying across the trail as I came around the bend. Didn't move off that quickly but with the heat I guess it didn't figure it warranted the extra effort. This is a good connector trail to the trails above that are in the more interesting area of the park. There is a shuttle service that will take you to the top so your car can be left down at the visitor center for a one way hike.

The second set of trails on this hike start from the visitor center and follow Bonita Creek downstream. The first is the Silver Spur Meadow Trail and the second the Bonita Creek Trail. These trails are more like nature trails that people visiting the park might do without doing anything too strenuous. There are a few old cabins/ranches along this trail and informative signs explain each. These trails are the kind you don't drive a long distance to go do but if you are in the area and have time to kill they are worth doing. I particularly liked Silver Spur Meadow because it was an oasis of green and being it was getting a little warm in the sun it was a welcomed area. My GPS said it was 95 degrees but in the shade it was probably in the low to mid 80s, quite comfortable. Since I'm in the sun with my GPS I'm going with the 95 degrees. I hiked these trails of the Chiricahua National Monument a little late in the year but for best results I recommend earlier in the spring, even winter.

Today's hikes complete all the trails in the Monument, I want to now move on to the Chiricahua Mountains. I have to figure out the best time of year and locate a cheappy hotel so I don't have to drive back and forth to Tucson. On this trip I took my Prius since all the trails were along paved roads. Much smoother ride than my jeep, so much smoother that at one point while I was lost somewhere south of wilcox I looked down and I was going 84 MPH didn't know the prius had it in it. Still averaged 50 MPG on this trip too.
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