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Saulsbury Mormon Ridge Loop, AZ
mini location map2019-11-18
29 by photographer avatarmarkthurman53
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Saulsbury Mormon Ridge Loop, AZ 
Saulsbury Mormon Ridge Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 18 2019
Hiking12.09 Miles 3,758 AEG
Hiking12.09 Miles   7 Hrs   44 Mns   2.10 mph
3,758 ft AEG   1 Hour   58 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
I headed back to the Chiricahua Mountains after a short break to Lincoln National Forest in Cloudcroft. This hike was on the Saulsbury Trail up to the Crest Trail near Chiricahua Peak. Returned on the Mormon Ridge Trail. I was planning a two day trip but reduced it to one because of an incoming storm. This will probably be the last hike up to the crest until early next spring, this storm is suppose to bring snow above 7000 feet and the crest is above 9000. I don't do snow hiking anymore if I can avoid it, I will leave that for the younger people. Great hike with almost 3800 feet of elevation gain.

Saulsbury Trail #263
The Saulsbury Trail is in fair condition and fairly easy to follow. There are a couple areas along the slopes above Saulsbury Saddle that the trail has a downhill slant to it making it a little harder to walk on and requiring a bit more concentration. It appears that the bears and deer do most of the the trail maintenance because there were a lot of droppings and the trail is narrow like a game trail. This is a steady uphill climb as should be expected for a 5.1 mile and 3200 feet of elevation gain. The only breaks are at the half dozen or so small saddles that are encountered before hitting the crest trail. Great views South, West and North from this trail. I do not believe I encountered any dead fall but I'm sure there were a few. The fact that I don't remember attests to the fact that they weren't an issue. To the north of the upper Saulsbury Trail (above Saulsbury Saddle) is Rock Creek and to the south is Saulsbury Canyon and later North Ward Canyon.

Upper Mormon Ridge Trail
This section of trail shown on old topo maps that goes from the Crest Trail Near Cimi Park to Mormon Ridge at the junction of Mormon Canyon Trail Does not exist anymore. From Google earth I could see a potion of this trail and with the GPS route I decided to give it a try. I never found a trace of it except for a short 50 yard stretch where it crosses over a ridge. This was a trek down loose dirt and rock and a crawl under groves of aspen tree sapling, deep gorges of upper Ward creek and near the junction with Mormon Ridge a log hop. Luckily the thorn bushes were not an issue. I'm still pulling thorns from my legs and fingers from the hike down Rattlesnake Trail to Rock Creek 2 weeks ago (gives me something to do while watching TV). The .8 mile stretch took me an hour. I remember one area in the aspen groves that I reminded myself out loud "go slow and easy because if anything goes wrong they would never find me." On the upside the views were terrific.

Mormon Ridge Trail #269
I was delighted to see that there actually was a trail, I had planned some extra time to do the 3.7 mile Mormon Ridge Trail in case it was another bush wack. The Trail is in fair condition very little dead fall but a bit overgrown, nothing terrible though. I only got off trail once where the first switchbacks occurred on the upper portion of the trail but was quickly remedied when I had a hard time locating the trail and then checked the GPS. This trail is on the south side of Mormon Ridge so it could be a bit warm, even with the cooler temperatures I was a bit warm at times. This trail ends at a signed junction on Turkey Creek road. From Turkey creek it is a short .5 miles back to the car.

Great hike. I could not of asked for better weather. Clear dry weather made for great views of the Huachuca, Dragoons, Santa Rita's Rincon, Dos Cabezas and Pinaleno Mountains.
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