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Chiricahuas: Monte Vista Peak - Johnson Peak, AZ
mini location map2020-05-07
20 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Chiricahuas: Monte Vista Peak - Johnson Peak, AZ 
Chiricahuas: Monte Vista Peak - Johnson Peak, AZ
Hiking8.80 Miles 3,133 AEG
Hiking8.80 Miles   4 Hrs   43 Mns   2.16 mph
3,133 ft AEG      39 Mns Break
1st trip
This was the first of 3 days of hiking in southern Arizona. I had never hiked in the Chiricahuas, and for my first hike I decided to hike up to Monte Vista Peak and Johnson Peak.

We started at the Morse Canyon TH, which is at the end of Turkey Creek Rd (FR 41). The drive in on the unpaved Turkey Creek Road is 11 miles, and when dry most any vehicle can make it. I was going about 50 mph for the first 5 miles or so on the road, but the road narrowed and was a bit rocky over the last 3 miles.

I did not expect to see many other vehicles, if any, at the TH but to my surprise there were at least a dozen vehicles there. It turns out that there lots of birders at the TH doing what birders do.

The Morse Canyon Trail is in pretty good shape and it was nice to hike on; however, there was a fair amount of deadfall to deal with on the upper part of the trail -- hopefully there will be some trail maintenance done before long.

Once we got to the end of the Morse Canyon Trail, we took the Turtle Mountain Trail to just below Monte Vista Peak, and then took a spur trail up to the summit. There were some nice views at the summit, so we hung out there for a while and had lunch.

On the way back, once we got to the junction with the Morse Canyon Trail we we went off-trail up to Johnson Peak. The climb was a bit steep, but it wasn't too onerous. There were some pine trees at the summit, which limited the view. However, there was a good view looking over to Monte Vista Peak.

We then descended down the Morse Canyon Trail back to the TH. We saw a couple of turkeys just before getting back to the TH -- that was the only wildlife that we saw all day.

Once back at the TH, we drove 40 miles or so on FR 42 up and over the mountains to Portal, which is where we hiked the following day.
 Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  Wild Turkey
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
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