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Chiricahua Peak 9,742 - 6 members in 15 triplogs have rated this an average 4.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Aug 21 2019
LJW
avatar

 Photos 115
 Triplogs 122

25 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 21 2019
LJW
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 GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
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
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 487
 Photos 5,758
 Triplogs 404

66 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Chiricahua Peak Centella Point, AZ 
Chiricahua Peak Centella Point, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 26 2019
markthurman53
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
Partners none no partners
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.
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Nov 13 2016
extremehikerba
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 Photos 104
 Triplogs 47

26 female
 Joined Oct 17 2016
 Phoenix
Chiricahua Peak 9,742Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 13 2016
extremehikerbabe
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
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 278
 Photos 7,692
 Triplogs 715

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Chiricahua Peak 9,742Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
friendofThundergod
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
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
Apr 23 2016
Tough_Boots
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 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Chiricahua Peak 9,742Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
Tough_Boots
Hiking9.10 Miles 3,530 AEG
Hiking9.10 Miles
3,530 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
chumley
clairebear
friendofThundergod
John9L
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!
_____________________
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan
4 archives
Apr 23 2016
chumley
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 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,221
 Triplogs 1,421

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Chiricahua Peak 9,742Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
chumley
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
Benchmark

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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Profound observer
Apr 23 2016
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Chiricahua Peak via Turkey Creek, AZ 
Chiricahua Peak via Turkey Creek, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 23 2016
John9L
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.
Culture
Culture
Intrepid Back Shot
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1 archive
Aug 03 2013
VolcanoCLMBR
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 Routes 1
 Photos 1,968
 Triplogs 422

40 male
 Joined Sep 16 2011
 Phoenix
Chiricahua Peak 9,742Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 03 2013
VolcanoCLMBR
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
_____________________
The world is my playground!
Nov 09 2011
JuanJaimeiii
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 Routes 562
 Photos 7,617
 Triplogs 1,598

52 male
 Joined Jan 30 2011
 Chandler, AZ
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park THTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Nov 09 2011
JuanJaimeiii
Hiking11.50 Miles 2,300 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   3 Hrs   48 Mns   3.03 mph
2,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Back down in South Eastern Arizona enjoying some more hikes. The trails are all open again following the Horseshoe II fire but the devestation will be around for years.

It was a cold and chilly hike today with snow on much of the trail. The Park Service is doing a great job of clearing the downed trees and overall the trail itself was in great shape.

With so much burned the views really open up. I didn't stay long at the peak as the wind was blowing hard and my toes were saying "time to go"! When I reached my car around 5:30 it was only 35 degrees. Burrrr...
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May 13 2011
GrottoGirl
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 Guides 3
 Routes 304
 Photos 10,947
 Triplogs 1,252

44 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Crest Trail #270 - Wilderness to Monte VistaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 13 2011
GrottoGirl
Backpack24.14 Miles 5,798 AEG
Backpack24.14 Miles3 Days         
5,798 ft AEG41 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
SAHC - Group
RedwallNHops
Anita Park Backpack

Day 1: Rustler Park to Anita Park via Booger Spring, Ojo Agua Fria

I got up early to get a few hours of work in before heading off to the Wilderness. Joel had to work the full day, so I was going to be backpacking with a couple of friends from SAHC carrying all the gear. We drove up to Rustler Park and then hiked in to our camp. Along the way it was really smoke due to the Horseshoe 2 fire. I was happy not to have too much elevation change since I have asthma. I've been going to Anita Park every year since 2007 (in 2008 we visited it twice) and it amazes me the changes I see every year. There are many new crops of Aspen that are growing nicely along the crest trail. We stopped near Bootlegger Saddle to have a snack on the rocks. Near there the iris patches were getting ready to bloom. The wilderness boundary is showing more growth. Round Park is also full of iris plants. I decided to check out Booger Spring while the guys went on to wait for me at Cima Park. The trail had been cleared from Round Park. The cement tub was dry, but where the water comes out of the ground there was the main catchment which had over two feet of water which was covered by a cement lid (which was too heavy for me to lift). There was also some water draining on to the ground. All around were skunk cabbage - a great indicator of a spring. The rest of the old Booger Loop trail was overgrown and had a lot of downfall. I ended up having to use my GPS to get back to the trail near Cima Park. I did get in a visit to Cima Saddle. Anita Spring had barely 3 inches of water. It was the dries I had seen it in 5 years. The water was very concentrated and hard to filter. By the time we had about 3 liters of water the level had dropped to about 1 inch. We decided to get the rest of our water from Ojo Agua Fria, which I had bushwhacked to about 4 or 5 years ago. At that time it was a beautiful spring. I figured that since Anita still had some water, Ojo would too. My thoughts were based on the fact that the tank it drained into was a lot larger that the cement catchment at Anita. The trail to the spring is no longer signed as it leaves the Crest trail. After you leave the Old Headquarters Camp area you can still find the trail but one of the switchbacks is totally socked in with downfall. The spring was still there and we were able to get plenty of water for our weekend. On the way back, I found an old pocket watch - I've read that the Headquarters Camp was in use from 1908 - 1938 - maybe the watch is from that time period. That night we enjoyed the sunset from an old burn area close to camp. The remains of the trees make for interesting photos. Thanks to the smoke, the colors were very nice.

Day 2: Anita Park to Monte Vista Peak including Bear Spring, Paint Rock, Chiricahua Peak, and Chiricahua Vista.

In the morning, we went down to check out Anita Spring before going on our journey. Some of the water had been replenished, but we noticed that most of the water was avoiding the catchment and going down the drainage. We were waiting for Joel to show up so we didn't leave until 9:30 - which happened to be the exact moment that Joel arrived. We went ahead while he unpacked. After we left Chiricahua saddle we started to get views of the smoke from Horseshoe 2. It was a very dramatic scene. It was hard not to feel sad. The smoke was coming over over the crest in many colors due to the fire and the chemicals used to fight the fire. After Paint Rock, Joel caught up to us. We got up to Monte Vista Peak and the Lookout around lunch time. The Lookout ranger's dogs greeted us. The ranger invited us up to get a look at the smoke from the fire. Rumor has it that the fire was started by drug smugglers - which causes me anger. She was concerned about us staying at Ania - so she called in to see whether we should pack up and leave. She mentioned that they were closing the Crest Trail. She did get word back that we could stay the night at Anita. On the way back to Anita, we decided to check out Bear Spring. The water is flowing nicely there and the ranger had a jug collecting her water. We stopped at Paint Rock so that Joel and I could bag the Peak again. My last time on top was in April of 2008. Luckily, this peak isn't visited often so we easily found our old entry (Joel had been the last one to sign in which was in 2010). Paint Rock has great views in all directions. We could see the Lookout, Cochise Head, Chiricahua Peak, and the Crest where the fire was starting to come up and over. It's shocking what just a few hours can do. I talked one of the guys into going up to Chiricahua Peak. It's an uneventful peak, however, the views as you go up are great due to fires in the past. Don't forget to stop and take them in. We hung out in camp for a while and then I decided I wanted to check out Chiricahua Vista to see if there were any Claret Cups. I was lucky and there was one flower open. I then took the old route down to the junction with the Chiricahua Peak and Crest trails. When it got close to sunset, we headed out to our favorite sunset viewing area. We were not disappointed! The sunset was nice, as always.

Day 3: Anita Park to Rustler Park via Booger Spring

We headed back to the cars. We deviated so I could show the guys Booger Springs. We made it back to the cars in about 2.5 hours, which included a few stops. Along the last stretch, I checked on Hill Side Spring which is still producing some water, but not a lot.

Overall, I had a great trip to one of my favorite places. I hope that the Horseshoe 2 fire is contained quickly and that Anita Park is forever preserved (or if a fire passed through it's a good fire).
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Anita Spring Dripping Dripping
The water that is coming out of the spring is not going into the catchment. When we got water from the spring on Friday night, there was about 3 inches in the cement container. After a few liters it went down to about 1 inch that so we decided to go look for the rest of our water elsewhere. In the morning, it was back up some, but it is filling very, very slowly.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bear Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Good water here. The Fire Lookout Rangers collect their water from this spring.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Booger Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
It's hard to say exactly how much is coming out of the spring because most of it is contained in a covered catchment. But the water depth is over 2 feet.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hillside Spring Dripping Dripping
Not much water standing in the catchment.
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May 13 2011
RedwallNHops
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 Guides 1
 Routes 7
 Photos 237
 Triplogs 943

44 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Crest Trail #270 - Wilderness to Monte VistaTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 13 2011
RedwallNHops
Backpack18.00 Miles 2,000 AEG
Backpack18.00 Miles2 Days         
2,000 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
SAHC - Group
GrottoGirl
Overnight backpacking trip with dayhikes to Monte Vista Pk and Paint Rock.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
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Aug 30 2009
hhwolf14
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 Photos 832
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41 female
 Joined Oct 13 2007
 Loveland, CO
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park THTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Aug 30 2009
hhwolf14
Hiking18.00 Miles 1,282 AEG
Hiking18.00 Miles
1,282 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Did Fly's and Chiricahua Peaks with Marley. Attempted Monte Vista, but took a wrong turn (seems to be par for the course here), so will have to come back for that one.
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Sep 30 2006
azpeavy
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 Triplogs 129

58 male
 Joined Dec 17 2004
 Gilbert, AZ
Chiricahua Peak 9,742Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 30 2006
azpeavy
Hiking14.80 Miles 1,282 AEG
Hiking14.80 Miles   4 Hrs   55 Mns   3.01 mph
1,282 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Started at Rustler Park. The trail is a good mix of dense forest and open burn areas. The fire affected areas provide excellent views to the northwest. Best view lies between Cima Park and Anita Park. Deadfall still litters trail, especially on the Chiricahua Peak and Flys Peak trails. Hiked to summit of Flys Peak (9666) on return for an additional 586 ft of elevation gain.

There is a $5.00 parking fee at the Rustler Park Trailhead.
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Jul 10 2006
fricknaley
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 Guides 93
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44 male
 Joined Jun 20 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Chiricahua & Monte Vista Peak LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jul 10 2006
fricknaley
Hiking15.20 Miles 4,300 AEG
Hiking15.20 Miles   6 Hrs   30 Mns   2.34 mph
4,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
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PhilipMueller
With by buddy Philip for his first trip to the Chiricahuas... I think he was quite impressed. I sure was by this one. The weather ended up being great, though questionable at first. Almost stepped on a young rattlesnake at 9,200 feet. The lookout is currently being staffed by a very nice ranger, who seemed quite surprised to see us. She seemed to think this loop was a gem of the western Chiricahuas and I couldn't agree more.

Most of the downed trees have been cleared on the Crest trail. There is still some scrambling to do on the spur to Chiricahua peak. As RedRoxx noted below, the intersections are all signed, though some are in rough shape. Overall though, route finding is no problem.
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hi
Sep 22 1995
mazatzal
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 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,073

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Chiricahua Peak from Rustler Park THTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 22 1995
mazatzal
Hiking12.00 Miles 1,282 AEG
Hiking12.00 Miles
1,282 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
This was before the 2 (or 3?) fires that have hit Chiricahuas since then. There was one a few years before this trip. Great trail and views.
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average hiking speed 1.98 mph

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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