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Crest Trail #270A - Chiricahua Peak - 13 members in 27 triplogs have rated this an average 4.1 ( 1 to 5 best )
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27 triplogs
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Sep 25 2022
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 Guides 1
 Routes 12
 Photos 5,312
 Triplogs 4,329

65 male
 Joined Mar 16 2008
 chandler,az
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2022
johnlpTriplogs 4,329
Hiking13.50 Miles 4,227 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles
4,227 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Second day of our Chiricahua trip. Main goal was to hit the high point of the range, Chiricahua Peak, and add on extras as we had time and energy.
We started with a short bushwhack from camp to the Mormon Ridge trail. As we gained elevation the views opened up and were fantastic.
After a bit we crossed a talus landslide area about a hundred yards wide. There were no cairns or obvious signs of a trail on the other side. Taking the best looking possibility proved to be wrong. An hour later and after half a mile of difficult bushwhacking, we finally found the trail again.
Once we got to the Crest Trail we made our way up to Chiricahua Peak. Views are limited from the top. On the way to Paint Rock, the views back towards the peak are impressive.
It took some route finding to get through Paint Rock, then it was on to Monte Vista Peak. We got rained on by our own little private cloud that followed us all the way from Paint Rock to Monte Vista Peak. We took a break under the porch of the cabin at Monte Vista until the rain slowed.
We decided to skip Johnson Peak on the descent since we were running behind schedule and it was still raining. The descent down Morse Canyon was on nice tread in big forest. Not overgrown like most of what we had been hiking on all day. Great way to end a tremendous hike. :)
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Extreme above 8500 feet.
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Sep 25 2022
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 Guides 9
 Routes 395
 Photos 5,167
 Triplogs 3,587

64 female
 Joined Nov 17 2008
 phoenix, az
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 25 2022
trekkin_geckoTriplogs 3,587
Hiking13.50 Miles 4,227 AEG
Hiking13.50 Miles
4,227 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
this looked like a solid loop with two peaks, right from sycamore campground
got going around 0800 or so after coffee and breakfast with randy
cut straight up the hill to mormon ridge
nice trail with good views, right up until where we lost the trail crossing an avalanche/rock field
took us a long time to find it again, with plenty of bushwhacking and climbing around on loose rock
"someone" forgot to import the pieces to this loop, which would have been helpful ](*,)
trail found, we continued to the crest trail, then north to the chiricahua peak trail
took a little break on the high point, then retraced our steps to chiricahua saddle
headed for monte vista peak, with another route finding adventure near paint rock
the crest trail was very overgrown and hard to find in places
lots of sharp raspberry bushes and other pointy vegetation
it would have been nice to have shin guards
got a few sprinkles and then some light rain
at the peak, went partway up the tower then took a break under the cabin overhang until it stopped raining
steep descent down turtle mountain and morse canyon trails, finishing with a road walk
enjoyed the loop and fun to do something new
was surprised at how little traffic the trails seem to get - we saw no one all day
my phone died on monte vista peak, so i used @dixieflyer's stats for the remaining mileage
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hazhole
Nov 15 2021
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 Guides 81
 Routes 427
 Photos 5,493
 Triplogs 1,575

42 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Saulsbury Trail #263Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2021
LindaAnnTriplogs 1,575
Hiking15.06 Miles 4,556 AEG
Hiking15.06 Miles   9 Hrs   34 Mns   1.71 mph
4,556 ft AEG      46 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Started from the Saulsbury TH a little after 0700. The trail is in okay shape for the most part, but has a few areas of erosion from flooding. You have to pay attention in a few places to not lose the trail, but overall, was a pleasant hike uphill, with a good amount of early morning shade.

Once at the Crest Trail, we headed up the south side of Flys, and for once, the faint trail was easily visible to me. I like Flys, even though the views are limited, so we stopped at the summit for a break and snack before heading back down.

Once back on the Crest Trail, we headed south about a mile to the south side of South Flys. Took the south ridge north to the summit. All off trail, with lots of gopher holes, but not too much vegetation. Saw two white tailed deer. Quick stop at the summit, before retracing our steps down.

Continued south on the Crest Trail, then up to Chiricahua Peak. Short break before heading back down to the saddle. Went on the Crest Trail around the west slope of Chiricahua, then down Mormon Ridge Trail.

Mormon Ridge was a mixed bag. It was steep, narrow, and rocky in a lot of places and made for tiring hiking, even downhill. Some deadfall to contend with too. Other areas were slightly overgrown, and there were a few scree slopes to cross. Views were nice though, and some of the rock formations were neat. My least favorite trail of the day, but it wasn't terrible.

Once at the bottom, we walked the road back to the Saulsbury TH, finishing up around 1640. Saw no other people all day. Sunny, and slightly warm on Mormon Ridge, but generally nice temps otherwise. Good to see Matt again.
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If it’s above freezing, it’s too hot.
Aug 11 2021
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 Guides 187
 Routes 829
 Photos 9,801
 Triplogs 662

69 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Crest Trail #270, AZ 
Crest Trail #270, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Aug 11 2021
markthurman53Triplogs 662
Hiking9.44 Miles 1,604 AEG
Hiking9.44 Miles   5 Hrs   23 Mns   1.83 mph
1,604 ft AEG      13 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Ginny and I made a trip to the Chiricahua Mountains. The first day was along the Crest Trail from Long Park to Chiricahua Peak. We made some side trips to Headquarter Spring, Anita Park and Booger Spring. The weather was as expected monsoonish. Cloudy with the sound of thunder in the clouds above but no hard rain just a drizzle. It really was perfect hiking weather. Saw another bear along the crest trail near Anita Park but it didn’t stick around long enough to get a photo.
Chiricahua Peak Trail #270A was in good condition, better than when I was up here a few years ago. The clouds lifted for a short time while on the peak for a good view to the north (the only view because of the trees). We headed down the south side of the peak to the Ojo Agua Fria and Headquarter Spring Trail. Wild Flowers were everywhere.

Headquarter Spring Trail #362 is no trail at all but a log hop along a route that if you use your imagination it kinda looks like it may have been a trail in the distant past. We went about half way down and called it quits, got tired of doing the log hurdles. We didn’t need to see the spring anyway since it was so wet up here water was seeping from the ground everywhere.

Anita Park Trail #359 has a trail to the park, about .1 miles then nothing. We took a break at the park and the clouds above started rumbling again so we decided to head back toward Booger Spring, hopefully we will have better luck on this spring.

Booger Spring Trail #347 has a sign along the Willow Spring Trail and the trail though faint is fairly easy to follow. The trough at the spring had water in it from rain and the spring box is above the trough. The water looked a little off in the spring box, not sure if it was just dirt discoloration though. I saw no boogers at the spring, not sure how it got this name. We headed back to Long Park from here.

Chiricahua Mountains got a large rain storm the day before we got here so Cave Creek was running pretty full. On the way to Portal where we stayed the night we made a side trip to the Herb Martyr Camp ground. I was told the only place to see Winn Falls was from the Greenhouse Trail #272 but along the Herb Martyr Road were some good views of the water coming over the falls. The video below is of the falls. I also included videos of the Herb Martyr Falls and John Hand Falls along Cave Creek.
Winn Falls [ youtube video ]
Herb Martyr Falls [ youtube video ]
John Hand Falls [ youtube video ]
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Nov 28 2020
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 Guides 7
 Routes 160
 Photos 701
 Triplogs 199

39 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Snowshed & Greenhouse LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 28 2020
ShatteredArmTriplogs 199
Run/Jog17.60 Miles 4,674 AEG
Run/Jog17.60 Miles   5 Hrs   49 Mns   3.03 mph
4,674 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
Plan was to loop Snowshed and Greenhouse. Got started a little bit late, so brought lights just in case. Herb Martyr Trail was steep but pretty. Snowshed was not as steep, but rougher. Loved both; beautiful terrain up there.

We decided to do the out and back to Snowshed Peak. The first half is easy, then it gets overgrown. Looks like they've done some work on the first half.

Headed towards Chiricauhua via an alleged trail north of Aspen Peak, which my map shows but clearly does not exist in any meaningful form. Would have been easier just to go up and over.

Chiricauhua Peak was comparatively easy. I had been up from Rustler Park a few years ago, so nothing new.

Greenhouse Trail was cold. Creek was mostly frozen, as was Winn Falls.

Made it back to the car just as the sun was starting to set.
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Nov 15 2020
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 Guides 8
 Routes 12
 Photos 1,317
 Triplogs 491

57 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Jackson, CA
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 15 2020
toddakTriplogs 491
Hiking23.00 Miles 6,000 AEG
Hiking23.00 Miles   12 Hrs      1.92 mph
6,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Big counter-clockwise loop starting from Rustler Park. South on Crest > down Saulsbury > up Pole Bridge > then up Monte Vista, Chiricahua and Flys Peaks on the way back to Rustler. Saulsbury from Crest down to Saulsbury Saddle is unmaintained and faint in some places but follows a great route, then from the saddle down to Turkey Creek is smooth and easy. Good conditions on the other trails. Monte Vista is a fine peak, while view-less Chiricahua and Flys Peaks are relatively easy bags if you're passing by.
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Oct 24 2020
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 Guides 1
 Routes 80
 Photos 8,028
 Triplogs 3,070

60 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park THTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
Tortoise_HikerTriplogs 3,070
Hiking11.79 Miles 2,650 AEG
Hiking11.79 Miles   5 Hrs   57 Mns   2.06 mph
2,650 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linda and I had talked about doing this summit for awhile. She threw together some options and this day worked. Wally gave in to an early rise and we were on our way by 3am. Starting hiking around 7am with some nice temps. Tons of ferns in this area albeit all brown this time of year. Some nice pine forest but lots of evidence of past fires. There were some young aspen patches scattered throughout most of the hike. The ground in the off trail portion was soft and full of holes. Felt like gopher holes everywhere. Still not terrible hitting the two Fly peaks . Chiricahua was on trail. Not in the Supes but Wally Supes Farak still managed to find some potsherds 😱. Cool. The summits were all nice but the better views were actually on the trails along the way. Linda had 4 peak options but I only had 3 in me. Still a nice outing and the conversation and banter were quite enjoyable! 😳😁😂 Thanks to Linda for planning and driving and Wally for getting up so early and joining us! Like HAZ , you two rock!!
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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1 archive
Oct 24 2020
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 Routes 92
 Photos 5,551
 Triplogs 1,448

61 male
 Joined Mar 11 2003
 AZ
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park THTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
wallyfrackTriplogs 1,448
Hiking11.79 Miles 2,650 AEG
Hiking11.79 Miles   5 Hrs   57 Mns   2.06 mph
2,650 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 no routes
I woke up at 1:00 am left the house at 2:00 am and we starting hiking about 700 AM. Not my normal start but interesting. :lol: Linda had the plan so I could just kick back and go along for the trip. The weather was warmer than expected and the breeze cooled us down later on. I thought it might be cold but the temperature was nice and even a little warm at the end. The views were good and the trails fairly easy to hike. After hiking the Flatiron on Wednesday I wasn't sure if I'd do well at this higher elevation but I never really had any shortness of breath. Linda kept a nice steady (easy) pace and even took a detour so I could find some pot sherds. :lol: We were on Chiricahua Peak by 10:30 am and starting back before I even got tired out. A nice area and a good hike, I just wish it was closer. After reading a lot of her trip logs it was nice to hike with Linda and good to catch up with Denny again.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
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3 archives
Oct 24 2020
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 Guides 81
 Routes 427
 Photos 5,493
 Triplogs 1,575

42 female
 Joined Dec 24 2007
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park THTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 24 2020
LindaAnnTriplogs 1,575
Hiking11.79 Miles 2,650 AEG
Hiking11.79 Miles   5 Hrs   57 Mns   2.06 mph
2,650 ft AEG      14 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Denny, Wally, and I got started from Rustler Park a little before 0700. Cool and breezy, and very pleasant. Headed south on Crest Trail. Right away, four hunters pointed out two deer, then tried to tell us we’d encounter tons of hunters on our hike. Besides them, we saw exactly zero. Only saw two other hikers the entire day as well.

Enjoyable hiking on Crest. Only one downed tree, and the trail is kind of sandy/loose in a few places, but not too bad. Unexpected fall color was a nice bonus. At the turn for Flys Peak, we left Crest and headed up to Flys. Views are limited, but it’s a nice broad peak, with room to sit and relax. From there, we headed down the south side of Flys to reconnect with Crest. There’s a trail part of the way, but it fades out in places. No matter, because you can see Crest below you and just aim for the sign at the bottom.

At Crest, we immediately left the trail and headed off trail up to South Flys. While not too steep, there was a lot of downed trees and vegetation to deal with. At the summit, which was nice, I declared South Flys a one and done for me. After a few minutes looking around the summit, we headed down the south side of South Flys, and that was significantly better. Easy incline, very little vegetation. I reconsidered my declaration and decided that both and and down the south side is the way to go.

After that, we continued on Crest to Chiricahua Peak, where we took a snack break. Pleasant peak, again, plenty of room to sit and relax. For the return to the trailhead, we stayed on Crest the entire way, which made for easy hiking. The last mile seemed to drag a little since it was getting warmer and we lost the breeze, but at least that portion was mostly downhill.

Enjoyable day in a range I really like. Always good to hike with Denny and nice to finally meet Wally.
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foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Light
Mostly aspens, seemed like the oak was well past prime.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hillside Spring Dripping Dripping
Little bit of water in the spring box.
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Oct 02 2020
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 Routes 104
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 79

41 female
 Joined Oct 21 2016
 Tempe, AZ
Monte Vista Chiricahua & Flys Peak Loop, AZ 
Monte Vista Chiricahua & Flys Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Oct 02 2020
MAPTriplogs 79
Hiking17.50 Miles 5,251 AEG
Hiking17.50 Miles   10 Hrs   38 Mns   1.87 mph
5,251 ft AEG   1 Hour   16 Mns Break
 
no photosets
1st trip
Parked at Saulsbury TH (HC & probably 4wd needed for this road), cut over to Turkey Creek Road, & started hiking up Morse Canyon Trail #43 around 7:30 am.

Morse Canyon Trail is a good incline the entire way up but it is short, shaded under tall trees, and the trail is super nice & well maintained. I talked with someone from the Forest Service (who came up on a horse shortly behind me) and he said Morse Canyon Trail is the main route up to access & supply the lookout on Monte Vista Peak so they make sure to keep the trail well maintained. Continued over to Monte Vista Peak (don't know what trail it was but it was the one the FS guy took & still very well maintained) & took in the spectacular views for a bit.

From Monte Vista, I took Raspberry Ridge Trail over to Chiricahua Peak Trail. The Painted Rocks area of Raspberry Ridge is very cool but the views along the whole trail are pretty gorgeous, especially with Fall colors covering slopes. Chiricahua Peak Trail seemed like a never ending climb. The top is lovely though and lots of space to relax for a bit.

Down Chiricahua and on the Crest Trail over to Flys Peak. More lovely views and more Fall colors. I figured I would fill up a bit more just in case at Booger Spring because I liked the name. An older couple coming off the trail to the spring told me it was just dripping & there was a very heavy lid that they were barely able to open. I ended up turning around before making it to the spring and decided to visit Tub spring instead (which I didn't end up going to either but the couple told me that was just dripping too). Flys Peak was probably the least picturesque of the three but pretty to see the colors & views coming down.

Now for my big error - not listening. I told the couple I planned to take Saulsbury Trail & they said "that trail is crazy". They said it was very overgrown & that I shouldn't take it. I'm used to overgrown & we all have different versions of "crazy". Plus I was parked at the TH. Overgrown is one thing but this trail runs along slopes where the trail is gravely & worn down to a few inches where you really have to dig the sides of your feet in to keep a grip. Along these steep gravely sides there will suddenly be a tree or thick bushes to navigate around surrounded by fallout & dead branches - not fun. A little over a quarter of the way down the trail disappears completely & this was a pretty hot area to be trying to navigate in. I ended up following a wash to drop into the canyon I needed to exit through. Saulsbury added a lot more time to my decent & I should have taken a larger loop & followed the trail the couple suggested. Oh well. Lesson learned - Saulsbury sucks.

Great day. Got pretty warm though. I carried 3 L of water but refilling to get a total of 4 L would have been perfect.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Isolated slopes covered in yellows & oranges.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Booger Spring Dripping Dripping

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Tub Spring Dripping Dripping
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May 24 2020
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 Photos 1,241
 Triplogs 237

28 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Chiricahua Peak Loop, AZ 
Chiricahua Peak Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 24 2020
LJWTriplogs 237
Hiking21.14 Miles 5,720 AEG
Hiking21.14 Miles   9 Hrs      2.82 mph
5,720 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
I fixed a hike I did last summer by swapping Mormon Ridge for Saulsbury and turned it into a loop. Ended up on six summits: Little Baldy, Fly's, Chiricahua, Paint Rock, Monte Vista, and Johnson. Basically a longer version of the Chiricahua Peak - Monte Vista Peak Loop with, by my count, 7 obvious summits to choose from: these six and Raspberry Peak. Once on the crest of the Chiricahuas, the peaks never loom too far above.

Started at sunrise parked down E Turkey Creek Road by the Coronado NF sign. The road to Saulsbury involves crossing the running Turkey Creek, which denies access to all but those with a nice enough ride. Saulsbury is in fantastic shape to Saulsbury Saddle. Comes and goes for the middle portion, higher up is clear as well. Much prefer Sauls to Mormon. Nice forested canyon down low and better views higher up. Little Baldy Mountain is right off the trail and very much worth the effort. Not many bare summits in the Chiricahuas, so it's nice to have some panoramic views even if it's not one of the high peaks.

Round Park and the slopes of Fly's Peak are prepping for the summer wildflowers. Few monsoons and they'll be covered yellow. Fly's has the weakest views of the six. Fly's trail is gone from the south, except where it cuts through the aspens higher up.

Crest Trail was in great shape the whole way. Will be overgrown and spotty in the summer, but for now it's clear and smooth. Cut over Chiricahua Peak to Aspen Saddle on Crest 270A. Aspen Saddle has amazing views, enough to placate those disappointed by Chiricahua Peak. From Aspen Saddle Crest 270D heads to Chiricahua Saddle. Very uneven, and the trail disappears in parts come summer, but it's clear now. Worth it to, if nothing else, circle back to Crest that way.

The trip back from Chiricahua Peak to Turkey Creek is the best part of the loop. Crest Trail runs along the ridge right under Paint Rock. Passed it, then worked my way up from behind. Obvious route, sees more hikers than I thought. One wall to scramble up to make the summit. Best views of the day, easy highlight of the loop.

Took Crest down to Monte Vista. Great shape the whole way. Met a second pair of hikers on the summit. Tower unoccupied. More Crest to the saddle below Johnson Peak. Wasn't going to summit Johnson but I met a hiker who was thinking about heading up. Said if he's going I'm going, and we went up. Hundreds of ladybugs on the summit. Views are pretty good despite the trees. Neat little summit.

Morse Canyon in great shape and received recent maintenance. For one reason or another Morse gets the most help of the trails off Turkey Creek. Passed a couple campers who were hiking up to the saddle, exhausted, who asked about big views. Sometimes you can only shrug. Farther down, a group of birders were in town and had lugged out cameras with cartoonishly big lenses to photograph a bird that I guess hadn't been around those parts for twenty-odd years.

Nice to get down there while it's still cool. As a Phoenix resident, in season in summer usually just means beats the hell out of 100F by noon. Temps ranged from high 40s to high 70s. Not a cloud in the sky. Camp sites were packed for Memorial Day weekend, but the trails are never crowded.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Morse Canyon Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Saulsbury Canyon Light flow Light flow
3 archives
May 24 2020
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 Guides 70
 Routes 651
 Photos 10,844
 Triplogs 710

male
 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Flys Peak and Chiricahua Peak, AZ 
Flys Peak and Chiricahua Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 24 2020
DixieFlyerTriplogs 710
Hiking12.30 Miles 2,411 AEG
Hiking12.30 Miles   5 Hrs   47 Mns   2.71 mph
2,411 ft AEG   1 Hour   15 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Chiricahua Peak has been on my bucket list for a while, so I decided to finally hike it, and also went up to Flys Peak along the way.

We started and ended this hike at the Rustler Park TH.

I got turned around a bit at the start trying to take a shortcut to the Crest Trail, but we eventually got on track.

I was pleasantly surprised at what good shape the Crest Trail was in; ditto for the trails up and down the 2 peaks.

The views along the Crest Trail were fantastic, which made for a great hike. Both summits were nice, although there were a good many trees at the top which prevented having 360 degree views.

This hike is a keeper, and I plan to go back again. Snowshed Peak is still on my peakbagging list, so I will add it next time.
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wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
There were quite a few iris and lupine blooming in places.

dry Hillside Spring Dry Dry
there was a bit of moisture on the ground around the pipe coming from the spring, but no water was dripping out of the pipe
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Aug 21 2019
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 Photos 1,241
 Triplogs 237

28 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2019
LJWTriplogs 237
Hiking21.54 Miles 5,777 AEG
Hiking21.54 Miles   7 Hrs   15 Mns   3.19 mph
5,777 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
Wanted to do a loop and visit Chiricahua and Monte Vista Peaks and decided it wouldn't be too far out of the way to add in Fly's Peak. Because of the trail conditions/loss of mapped trails, this one was a more difficult than I anticipated.

Drove up Turkey Creek Road and saw my low tire pressure light came on. Parked at the forest boundary and couldn't hear any air escaping from the tires, so I figured I'd be fine. Left the car there and headed up the road.

Took Mormon Ridge up. This one is overgrown especially once the trail reaches the pines. Sharp bushes and grass crowd the trail. Wanted to take the trail toward Fly's Peak where it intersects with Mormon Canyon, but that stretch of the trail is gone. It would be possible to navigate along it's old course and what's left of the cut, but it is overgrown to the point of nonexistence and had serious deadfall. Decided to take the only available ascending trail toward Chiricahua Saddle. This section is very overgrown as well with minor deadfall, but it's there.

Took the Crest Trail toward Fly's Peak. Trail is very thin until Cima Park. After that the trail is wide and clear until Round Park. A lot of Wildflowers on this section of the Crest Trail. Made it to the sign for the Fly's Peak Trail to find that this one is gone too, but it's a simple walk up through the grass. The trail does appear toward the top, but most of the ascent from the south has been lost. Seems like the trails from the north are alright. Fly's Peak/Round Park is a beautiful area, but the views from Fly's were the weakest of the day's three peaks.

Backtracked to the Chiricahua Peak Trail which gets just enough traffic to push the grasses down and maintain a slim trail. Very quick ascent. The top is very peaceful, and to me it's worth the trip. I would say I was undersold on this one.

The trail off the peak to Aspen Saddle mostly does not exist anymore. It's an easy off trail walk down though, through some really nice forest. Chiricahua Saddle Trail/Crest Trail 270D is in bad condition. It's sliding off the mountain on the backside of Chiricahua and is woefully overgrown. Spent a lot of energy just trying to stay balanced. Had a hard time staying on the trail in parts. That said, the views from here are some of the best of the loop.

The Crest Trail from Chiricahua Saddle to Monte Vista is tricky. It's overgrown with grass, but the grade is mostly still there if you look hard enough. It fades in and out, never more than a thin strip between the grasses. Would be tough without GPS. Easy to get off trail here. This was perhaps the most beautiful section of trail.

Monte Vista LO was unmanned and locked. If it's open, I imagine it's one of the only peaks in the Chiricahuas where you can get above the treeline. Still a very interesting place worth the trip regardless.

Morse Canyon has been worked since I was here in late October of last year. It was the only trail that seems to have been worked in the past few years. It's currently in great condition. At the top of Morse Canyon there were ~30 5gallon water jugs covered in taped cardboard. I imagine those aren't left for desperate hikers.

Never seen so much bear scat on a trip, especially on Mormon Ridge and Crest around Chiricahua Saddle/Monte Vista. The bears in AZ aren't too fearsome, but I wouldn't do this without the peace of mind of having some kind of defense.

Being unfamiliar with the area, I wouldn't do this without some navigation system either. The area is properly remote. I didn't see a soul the whole day, and not one of the campsites was occupied.

Turkey Creek road is liable to hold water in two parts as well. I left just as the rain was starting to pour high on the mountains, and the water was flowing into these sections of the road even before the rain had come that far down. Would have been impassible by my passenger car. The road is extremely well graded though, and when dry it is good all the way to the end at Morse Canyon.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Substantial
Heavy wildflowers along parts of Crest and in Cima/Round Park, moderate the rest of the trip. None in Morse Canyon.
2 archives
Jul 26 2019
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 Guides 187
 Routes 829
 Photos 9,801
 Triplogs 662

69 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Chiricahua Peak Centella Point, AZ 
Chiricahua Peak Centella Point, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 26 2019
markthurman53Triplogs 662
Hiking12.22 Miles 1,732 AEG
Hiking12.22 Miles   5 Hrs   17 Mns   2.58 mph
1,732 ft AEG      33 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Chiricahua Peak was my destination for the second day of hiking with a side trip to Centilla Point. I had breakfast down in Portal so I didn't get to the Trail Head until 9:00. I still had plenty of time to get the 12.5 miles in and drive back to Tucson. Today will be a continuation of the Crest Trail to the high point in the Chiricahua Mountains, Chiricahua Peak at 9759 feet. Today the clouds were building up but I anticipated that like yesterday they would drift off to the Northwest. I Made it to the Peak by 11:00 and just as I got there and took my pack off it started to rain and hail and lightning. Not wanting to hang out on the highest point around during a lightning storm I abandon the break and headed down the peak. Instead of going down the way I came I thought I would go down the other side and meet the Crest Trail. There is supposedly a trail here but I only saw vague remnants of what looked like might be a trail. It was only .4 miles and the bush wacking was fairly easy. On my way up I ran into a black bear and its cub but it took off before I could get a photo, I thought by going down the other side of the hill I might run across them again but I didn't. Once back on the Crest Trail I broke out my poncho, I was already pretty wet but was concerned about my camera. The rain would continue on and off through early afternoon but nothing torrential and luckily most lightning was not air to ground. I do love lightning storms at 10,000 feet. I was able to finish up all the routes I intended to and the cloud cover/rain kept it cool and a bit muggy. I pretty much finished all the trails on the top of the mountain but there are quite a few that start lower down and head up to the crest. I will wait til Fall, winter or spring to do these. My list of trails to do keeps getting Larger not shorter. Looks like Pinaleno and Chiricahua Mountains in fall and spring and Superstitions in the winter.

The trails on this hike were in pretty good shape with the exception of the Bear Wallow Trail, it was a bit faint but once again with a careful watch, easy to follow. Tub Spring on the north side of Flys Peak was running. Didn't check Booger Spring or Anita Spring. Great views from all along the trail but if it is wide long views across the valleys below don't come during monsoon the humidity limits the distance you can see. Monsoon Season is a good time to see Rain storms passing over the valleys below or on nearby peaks and canyons. Raspberries were plentiful and strawberry plants were all around but no strawberries yet.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Benchmark
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Nov 13 2016
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 Photos 104
 Triplogs 47

29 female
 Joined Oct 17 2016
 Phoenix
Crest Trail #270A - Chiricahua PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 13 2016
peculiargalexyTriplogs 47
Hiking0.75 Miles 283 AEG
Hiking0.75 Miles   8 Hrs   30 Mns   0.09 mph
283 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Did this hike as a loop. Started out on Morse Canyon Trail to Crest Trail to the peak then back down Mormon Ridge Trail. The weather was nice and hot in Phoenix when we left but as soon as we got to the mountains it was cold (for me at least). Camped there overnight then headed up to Morse Canyon around 8 am. The trail was pretty easy to follow, covered in pine needles and shaded the whole morning- good on a hot day but bad in the winter. I was pretty cold most of the way up despite it all being uphill. Easy switchbacks all the way up, killer on the cardio though. Reached the top where the trail connected to Crest trail, a sign was waiting for us. Seeing signs marking the trails are my favorite thing. We were finally in the sun and followed Crest towards the next intersection to get to the peak. Got to explore the fire lookout tower as well. This area was where you could split off to go down to Rucker lake but we stayed at the top and followed the next trail towards Chiricahua peak. This was about 3 miles and went along the top of the mountains. Very beautiful views along the way. Finally passed the sign pointing down to Mormon Ridge and headed the last mile to Chiricahua Peak. There was frost along the trail as we hiked to the top but we finally made it. Still cold at this point and it was about 1 pm by now. Lots of trees at the top, so not the best view, but still an accomplishment. Super tired from all the uphill climbing so we headed back the way we came and came down on Mormon Ridge. This trail was more to my liking as it was a bit rougher and reminded me of the Mazatzals (and probably because I was only going down). Trail overgrown a bit with some scratchy bushes but not too bad. Easy switchbacks on the way down. Finally made it to the truck by 5 pm. Would definitely wear warmer clothes next time but in the sun it was fairly nice. The trails were very easy to follow. Crest could be kind of difficult sometimes but cairns along the way helped you along. Cannot wait to go back and explore these mountains further!
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5 archives
Apr 23 2016
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,442
 Triplogs 1,640

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Chiricahua Peak via Turkey Creek, AZ 
Chiricahua Peak via Turkey Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
John9LTriplogs 1,640
Hiking10.76 Miles 3,773 AEG
Hiking10.76 Miles   6 Hrs   38 Mns   2.16 mph
3,773 ft AEG   1 Hour   39 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Chiricahua Peak has been on my to do list for at least a year. Claire & I had plans to hike it back in September but the road to Rustler Park was unexpectedly closed so we stayed near the National Monument. After the trip I did some research and saw trip reports starting from the west side in Turkey Creek. This looked like a great option and we worked out all the details and hit the road on Friday afternoon. Our plan is to day hike on Saturday & Sunday and hit a variety of trails in the area.

Chumley, Claire, Kyle and myself left Phoenix around 1pm and made the drive to the Chiricahuas. We made good time and found ourselves at Sycamore Camp around 4:30pm. The established campground was about half full with four parties so we continued up the road and spotted a sweet site right next to the creek. The turn off was blocked with some medium size rocks and we weren’t sure if it was a legal site. Chumley and I both had the motorized use plan PDF on our phones and saw this truly was legal camping so we moved the rocks and drove down. The site is magnificent with a fire ring and lots of room for camping. We set up camp and then drove back down the dirt road to get cell signal so we could text FOTG our camp location and other important items. Did someone forget hiking shoes?!?!

Saturday morning started slow for everyone. FOTG and Jackie arrived around midnight and all of us took our time with breakfast and gearing up. Our group of six people and four dogs left camp around 9am and walked down the road to Mormon Canyon Trail. We hit the trail and started making our way up canyon. This is a really nice trail that parallels the creek most of the way. It’s a steady gain that had all of us huffing and puffing as we made our way up. We took short breaks when needed and continued the climb up. The trail eventually leaves the creek and makes a few more switchbacks before leveling off at a saddle that is the junction with the Mormon Ridge Trail.

We took a short break and discussed our options. The known route heads to the southeast before turning for Chiricahua Peak. I noticed an old trail on some of the forest service maps that heads to the north. I didn’t have any info on the trail and made a hand drawn route for us to follow. We decided to go for it and this turned out to be a mistake. The route was very overgrown with lots of deadfall. I felt bad for the dogs but we kept pushing through. We could see the trail cut but had a very hard time staying on it. About a third of a mile across the route was completely consumed by new growth so we decided to bushwhack straight up the mountain. The going was very slow and difficult as each step slid down about six inches in loose dirt. We eventually topped out near Anita Park and were glad to be on the Crest Trail.

Once on the Crest Trail we made the final push for Chiricahua Peak. This last stretch was fairly easy besides some deadfall to navigate. Once up top we took an extended break and enjoyed the summit. The views are limited from all the trees but I didn’t mind. The temps were perfect with a nice breeze and I enjoy the cool mountain air at elevation. After our break we looked for an alternative route down the east side of the peak but couldn’t find an established route. We didn’t want to experience another route finding fiasco so all of us, except Chumley, went down the way we came up. From there we connected to Chiricahua Saddle. This trail was in good shape for the most part other than more deadfall. Once at the saddle we met back up with Chumley and continued down.

Our group decided to split at the top of Mormon Ridge & Mormon Canyon. FOTG, Jackie & Kyle decided to stay in the canyon so they could water the dogs. Claire, Chumley and myself headed down the Mormon Ridge Trail which was in good condition for the most part. There was some deadfall but no major issues. We made relatively good time as we headed down. The sun was beating down and I wouldn’t want to climb this trail on a hot and sunny day. We eventually hit the road which we followed back to camp returning around mid-afternoon.

This was a nice day on the trails. I really enjoyed the Mormon Canyon and Mormon Ridge Trails. I also enjoyed Chiricahua Peak. It doesn’t have the expansive views like Mount Wrightson but is still a quality peak. My biggest takeaway is the vast trail system in this range. Trails are all over the place and I would love to explore more of them. A return trip is definitely in the plans for some point in the future. Thanks to Chumley and FOTG for both driving.
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[ checklist ] Intrepid Back Shot
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1 archive
Apr 23 2016
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 Guides 84
 Routes 695
 Photos 17,531
 Triplogs 1,704

49 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Crest Trail #270A - Chiricahua PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
chumleyTriplogs 1,704
Hiking12.46 Miles 4,205 AEG
Hiking12.46 Miles   6 Hrs   52 Mns   1.81 mph
4,205 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Great day hike to the top of the Chiricahuas! Nice intro to the range for me too since I had not previously been anywhere near this part of the state before.

First impression: The Chiricahuas are unlike other sky islands in that they really are a mountain range, rather than just a single primary peak. Lots of peaks, ridges, and valleys and a very well developed trail system. I was afraid that the Horseshoe fires had destroyed this entire island, but was pleased to find quite a bit of beautiful forest, some old growth pines, and areas of healthy regrowth. The fire scarred areas can be jarring to see, but there's also some beauty to be found from them too. The variety makes it interesting.

Things I learned: Turkeys can fly! We saw rafter after rafter of these enormous birds. Thanks to a little canine encouragement, I was impressed to see how easy a 40-lb chunk of thanksgiving feast can get off the ground. I wouldn't use the word "graceful" but nonetheless, they would easily qualify as air force pilots in a third world country. :)

Mormon Canyon #352
We headed up this canyon trail and it is a real gem. The climb is relentless, steep, and features no breaks, but the terrain is shaded, cool, and serene. Water flowing in the creek for the first half made for pleasant conditions for the pups. Only the very top section had burned, but the trail was well maintained, and the burn opened up some great views.

The north cut toward Crest near Cima Park
At the top of Mormon Canyon and the junction with Mormon Ridge 269 we opted to head for the Crest trail via a trail on the north side of Chiricahua Peak. This is a terrible idea. This trail has been abandoned. Fire damage, erosion, deadfall, and new growth has taken over, and this trail should not be attempted. I've seen varying sources name this trail as the continuation of either Mormon Canyon or Mormon Ridge. Either way, don't bother with this one.

Crest Trail #270
I eventually hit the Crest Trail well south of Cima Park after making a direct ascent for the ridge. The ridge has been badly burned, but the Crest trail has been well maintained and is a relative highway.

Anita Spring Trail
I wanted to check out Anita Park and Anita Spring, and didn't see any sign of a route to get there anymore. I eventually circled the rocky outcropping at Anita Park off trail and headed toward the spring I had marked on my GPS. Despite the burn, the spring looked and tasted fantastic. Good flow and a great source of water. From the spring, it was easy to follow the tread of the old trail back up to the Crest. The sign is missing but there's a post which I somehow missed on the way by earlier.

Chiricahua Peak Trail
The Crest trail traverses the east side of Chiricahua Peak and didn't look particularly well-traveled. I headed up the peak trail to meet up with the others who had gotten ahead of me while I had been exploring Anita. The peak trail is in fine shape and easy to follow despite the burn.

Chiricahua Peak Southeast Descent
Maps showed a trail descending the southeast slope of Chiricahua Peak, but after a quick search, the group came up empty, and didn't want to repeat the experience above Mormon Canyon, so they all headed back the way they came, while I decided to look for the trail. After not too long, I found an old cut to follow, and this side of the peak didn't burn so travel is easy even if there had not been a trail. I followed the easy track until I joined the obvious junction with the Crest Trail that traverses the east side of the peak. It looked much better traveled on this end.

Route Scout was telling me I was close to Headquarters Spring. I opted not to make the trip since it dropped farther down the hill than I was willing to go. Shortly thereafter I arrived at a sign for Ojo Agua Fria #361, which I also skipped. Now in wide open, sandy burn area, I looked for the trail that cut back to the west, and didn't see an obvious cut. But just a few steps later I reached the well-marked junction with Crest Trail 270D to Chiricahua Saddle ... where I was headed.

Crest Trail #270D
This stretch of the crest trail that traverses the southern side of Chiricahua Peak was some of the nicest high-elevation trail of the trip. The eastern end traverses a gravelly burned slope before entering unburned forest and traversing some great rocky landscape and unbelievable trail construction through a boulder slope. It drops easily to Chiricahua Saddle, where I headed north a hundred yards to meet up with the others who had just arrived from the other side of the peak to get here. It's a short stretch through some burn with a couple of deadfall obstacles descending to the north and the junction of Mormon Canyon and Ridge trails where we had been earlier in the morning.

Mormon Ridge Trail #269
Claire, 9L and I decided to take the ridge trail, while the others took the canyon back down. The trail is impressively built, and generally easy to travel. I would not want to ascend this way, and in fact, having now done it once, I would probably stick with the canyon trail on the way down as well. It descends just below a south facing ridge, so the flora is small and desert-like, despite the elevation. It is exposed to sun and warmed up nicely despite the strong winds we had endured all day. The area from just above the wilderness boundary to the bottom had received recent maintenance. There were a couple of sections that were so well maintained, I wondered if they had brought the "trail machine" out there!

Turkey Creek back to camp
The Ridge trail reaches Turkey Creek road about half a mile below where the Canyon trail begins, so to complete the loop you have to do a short road walk. I hopped along the creek instead, finding a couple of cascades, a neat section of narrows with a dam, as well as a natural waterfall. I then found the old road cut on the opposite side of the creek as the current alignment and followed that in a pleasant forest setting adjacent to the creek. There were signs of an old homestead too. I continued upstream to the waterfall just below our camp where I got to brush up on my Spanish before settling into a chair with an ice cold beer and newfound socks!

This was an extremely enjoyable day hike and—except for that short stretch of trail that doesn't exist anymore and can be easily avoided—is an ideal trip for anybody staying in the Turkey Creek area. Thanks to 9L for planning this one! :)
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Benchmark Snowman

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Anita Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
full and flowing. fresh, clear, and cold.
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Apr 23 2016
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 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

17 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Crest Trail #270A - Chiricahua PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
Tough_BootsTriplogs 755
Hiking9.10 Miles 3,530 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles
3,530 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
This was day 2 of a car camping trip in the Chiricahuas. It was my first trip to the area and I really enjoyed it. We had quite the hiking group on this trip-- 6 humans and 4 dogs. We took the Mormon Canyon trail up to the junction with the Mormon Ridge Trail and the Saddle Trail and took the ridge trail a ways. It was destroyed and took quite a bit of effort to get through. It was especially challenging for the dogs. We decided to bushwack straight up and made the steep ascent. It was tiring but we made it. We hit the top of the ridge right near the junction with the Crest Trail and the summit trail. We headed up and had lunch. Unfortunately because of the tree coverage, the views are not exactly spectacular but its still a worthy peak. We headed back down and took the Crest Trail around to the Saddle Trail. Us with the dogs decided to take Mormon Canyon back down where we knew there would be shade and water and the others descended via Mormon Ridge. Great hike!
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4 archives
Apr 23 2016
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 Guides 29
 Routes 329
 Photos 9,686
 Triplogs 920

40 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Crest Trail #270A - Chiricahua PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
FOTGTriplogs 920
Hiking9.09 Miles 3,537 AEG
Hiking9.09 Miles
3,537 ft AEG   1 Hour   21 Mns Break
 
1st trip
I got an invite from John for a car camping weekend in the Chiricahuas and I was quick to accept. I have always been intrigued by the Chiricahuas, but I have been too preoccupied with other areas of the state to make the long drive and commit to something in that area. This weekend's hikes offered a nice intro into the area, a county high point, great hikings and some quality camping in the pines.

Chiricahua Peak was tabbed for Saturday. I was very elated to know that I was going to stumble across another county high point in this hike and initially thought that might be the highlight of this hike. As it turned out, the peak was pleasant, but the views were limited and the real highlights of the hike were probably some stretches along the ridgelines and the lower portions of Mormon Canyon. The first couple of miles up Mormon Canyon Trail were very pleasant with running water a couple of robust springs and some nice stands of pine. The hike then becomes a bit of a relentless climb, but nothing too overwhelming and along generally well-kept trails.

We tried an alternate approach to the summit and took a trail with little beta on it and only a hand drawn route. After a somewhat promising start, it turned out to not workout at all for us. After losing any semblance of the tread and some time spent navigating the eroded slope, most of us made the decision to shoot straight up the seemingly less-overgrown over hillside to our ridgeline trail that led to the summit. The climb was tough, but for us it seemed like a better alternative than continuing our off-trail contour along the steep slope.

It was nice to see several surviving pines on the summit, but they do hinder the great views one might expect from a county high point. We enjoyed our time on the peak nevertheless and after an extended stay finally made our way down. We opted for the out and back return minus the alternate route because it offered more shade and guaranteed water for the pups. The hike down was a bit of a knee-jarring ride at times, but it went by quick even with a few stops to let the dogs have their fun in the water.

In the end Mormon Canyon Trail made the hike for me, but I was happy to knock out a high point and the views while limited were still certainly redeeming enough to warrant the climb. The burnt out sections were a bit of a bummer. However, I thought there were enough nice stretches of great forest and areas seemingly untouched by previous fires to keep the scenic factor pretty top notch. There are also some pretty promising signs of rebirth in some of the burnt out areas to keep one positive about the future of this area.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Mormon Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Mormon Spring Gallon per minute Gallon per minute
A very nice flow coming out of a larger pipe attached to an old concrete storage container, water from spring going into creek, which was flowing as well.
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3 archives
Aug 03 2013
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 Routes 1
 Photos 2,050
 Triplogs 425

43 male
 Joined Sep 16 2011
 Phoenix
Crest Trail #270A - Chiricahua PeakTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2013
VolcanoCLMBRTriplogs 425
Hiking0.75 Miles 283 AEG
Hiking0.75 Miles      45 Mns   1.00 mph
283 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
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The world is my playground!
average hiking speed 2.05 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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