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Chiricahuas - South Flys and Snowshed, AZ
mini location map2020-06-17
27 by photographer avatarDixieFlyer
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Chiricahuas - South Flys and Snowshed, AZ 
Chiricahuas - South Flys and Snowshed, AZ
Hiking15.90 Miles 3,563 AEG
Hiking15.90 Miles   8 Hrs      2.35 mph
3,563 ft AEG   1 Hour   14 Mns Break
1st trip
Snowshed Peak has been on my radar screen for a while -- it is one of the Arizona 20-20 challenge peaks, which is an arbitrary list of the 20 highest "hikeable" peaks in AZ. Snowshed is the 19th out of the 20 that I have done -- still outstanding is Blue Peak, which is south of Alpine.

Since I was hiking to Snowshed, I figured that I would also hike up to South Flys Peak, which was along the way.

I started and ended the hike from Rustler Park, on FR 42D. After going about 2.5 miles, I stopped to take a quick break and step off the trail in order to do my part to keep Arizona green. I restarted the hike and looked down the trail and about 50 feet away was a bear in the trail. I stopped and slowly took a step back while staring at the bear. The bear saw me, and it took a u-turn and scampered back down the trail away from me, which is what bears should instinctively do. I was of course happy with the bear's reaction. I waited a couple of minutes for the bear to get out of Dodge, and then I continued hiking.

I continued on the Crest Trail until I go to Round Park, at which point I went off-trail up to South Flys Peak. There was a fair amount of vegetation to go through, mostly small aspen trees that were growing close together. In addition, there was a bit of deadfall to negotiate, and the closer to the summit that I got, the more the deadfall. I wanted to head toward Snowshed Peak, so instead of going back the way that I came I descended from the summit to the south and once again hit the Crest Trail going toward Chiricahua Peak.

I continued on Crest Trail 270B and then Crest Trail 270C until I got to a junction with Snowshed Trail #246. I took Trail #246 to Snowshed Saddle, which is about 1/2 mile below Snowshed Peak. From there the plan was to take Snowshed Peak Trail #364 up to the summit. However, there was one problem: Trail #364 does not really exist anymore. So instead of hiking on a trail, it was a bushwhack up the summit through some thick vegetation (mostly very thick small aspen trees), lots of deadfall, and some rock/boulder fields. It wasn't the easiest off-trail that I have done, but it wasn't the hardest either; however, I managed to make it up to the summit. As is typical of many peaks in the Chiricahuas, the views at the summit weren't the greatest. In the Chiricahuas, it is often more about the journey than the destination.

I went back the same way that I came until I got to Fly Saddle, below Flys Peak. Instead of continuing on the Crest Trail back to the TH, I took Long Peak Trail #42D for about 0.7 miles to FR 42D, and then took FR 42D for about 2 miles back to where I parked.

If I had it to do over again, I would have started the hike from the Long Peak TH, which would have saved about 4 miles of hiking. However, you'd want a high clearance 4WD vehicle to get from Rustler Park to the Long Peak TH.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Flys Peak Snowshed Peak
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Fire Burn Area & Recovery
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
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