for free!
triplogs   photosets   labels comments more
Snowshed Trail #246 - 6 members in 9 triplogs have rated this an average 3.8 ( 1 to 5 best )
9 triplogs
login for filter options
Sep 02 2022

 Photos 72
 Triplogs 14

 Joined Sep 15 2020
 Phoenix, AZ
Greenhouse Trail #248Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 02 2022
Hiking14.00 Miles 4,790 AEG
Hiking14.00 Miles
4,790 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Day 1 - Climbs, thorns, snakes, bears, oh my

My first day actually started on Mt Lemmon, about 5 miles away from the Marshall Gulch trailhead. I woke up early, hiked out, and made the drive over to the Chiricahuas. As I turned on to Noland Road from the interstate and approached the Chiricahuas, I knew that this was going to be a special place. It was a beautiful day and the road was in great condition. As I got close to Portal, Cave Creek crosses the road and was flowing nicely which gave me comfort that the various creeks would be running. My original plan was to start at Herb Martyr Campground and hike up Greenhouse Road to Greenhouse Trail and, ultimately, end the night at the cabin near Cima Park. I had gotten a later start than anticipated, though, so wanted to see if I could drive up Greenhouse Road a bit to knock off a mile or more and at least 500 feet of the elevation gain on the first day, as it was a big climb. For the most part, Greenhouse Rd is in good condition and could be made by any SUV. It's tight in some sections and there's a chance you might get some pin stripes, but it's in good condition until about a mile in. I also saw a small bear in one of the clearings, but he didn't try to get in my way. Smart bear. At that point, the road crosses Greenhouse Creek and it gets a bit bouldery. I didn't have much an issue with my lifted outback but I did have to reposition some rocks in a couple of spots and had some tire spinning. Fearing it would get worse, when I saw an area that looked ok to park for a few days right at the creek crossing, I figured that was good enough and I'd start the hike from there. Turns out the rest of the road after crossing the creek to the actual TH is like the first part and just fine for any SUV probably, so the only part of that road I would say really needs clearance or AWD/4WD is that section that is about 1000 feet long.

It was about a half mile to the trailhead and while it was just a half mile of forest road, it was interesting: two groups of deer spotted, old bear scat mixed with still steaming bear scat, one snake (signs of what's to come). Once to the actual trail, I could see that this was going to be an interesting climb. As I started what would ultimately be 2700 feet of gain, I could sort of kind of see the trail but I mostly saw vegetation. It was thick, but mostly soft grass so not the worst thing in the world. Then I saw another rattler. Well, to be fair, I never actually saw this one, I could just hear it right off trail. After backing off and giving it a few minutes to see if it would move... it didn't. So, I climbed up the hill to the right a bit in waist high grass hoping I wouldn't find a friend of his and let him have the trail. As I made it to the wilderness boundary and the approximate 15 million switchbacks, the vegetation only got thicker and there was little sign of trail in most spots. If anyone wants to frame me for murder, I left about 5 gallons of blood there so I'm sure you can figure out something. I would not recommend this trail in shorts and this is coming from a guy who only hikes in shorts, overgrown trails and all: this felt like nearly an off trail excursion in a lot of areas.

Eventually, I made it to the Winn Falls viewpoint which was flowing quite nicely and I could hear loudly even from that distance. Loud enough that I almost stepped on yet another black rattlesnake because I couldn't hear it's rattle. Noped out of there real quick and got back on "trail", anxious to get the last bit of climbing out of the way. Eventually the trail meets up with Cima creek and what bit of trail you have disappears almost entirely to brush and deadfall. This next mile to the cabin took almost an hour as I figured out the best path but was an enjoyable hour if nothing else. Cima Creek was flowing beautifully and there are tons of little slick rock waterfalls and fun little chutes that it flows through to keep things interesting. I made it to the cabin around 7:30 or so, set up my tent, and started a small fire to relax by for a little bit before bed. The forest service has carved a couple of big logs as benches which left a ton of good firewood making it easy on me.

Day 2 - Fog, snakes, snakes, snakes, aspens

I woke up early to the pitter patter of rain and looked outside to see the entire area covered in fog and some fierce winds. What I thought was rain was actually moisture collecting on the trees above me and then being blown off by the wind. This made for some great horror movie vibes but did get me thinking about my plan a bit. Originally, I had planned on hiking north on the crest trail this day and making a 10 mile loop, ending back in the same spot or maybe another mile or two south. After checking the weather report again, it looked like things were only going to get worse in this area that day and night so I made the decision to hike on down Snowshed to drop some elevation and just play it by ear. I made this decision in the great forest service outhouse by the cabin. Truly fantastic.
The first few miles were brutal with the wind whipping the trees into my face but also beautiful. I dipped down to Anita spring real quick to check it out and then I climbed up Chiricahua peak to be met with... well, nothing. I couldn't see anything more than a few feet in front of me due to the fog. Don't worry though, because there was another black rattlesnake in the trail. Joy. This one gave me fair warning, though, which was nice of him. The wind and fog continued until hitting Aspen saddle where the trail starts to turn East. Of note, there is some good camping at Aspen Saddle that is tucked away in the trees; I took a break behind the treeline to get out of the wind and they did a great job of blocking it. I went south on crest to check out eagle and juniper springs and right at the trail split, it seemed like a light switch was thrown and the fog dissipated and the wind died down to a much more manageable level. The views from here to Herb Martyr are just absolutely insane and I found myself stopping often to take pictures/record/stare. Eagle spring is somewhat sketchy to get to; it seems there's been a lot of erosion and it's a fairly steep path with lots of small rocks. I scooted it on my butt. Juniper was a lot easier to get to and it just off the trail. There are three catchments, all have seen better days, but all had water of one variety of algae or another. I refilled here and while it still had a slight brown color to it, it tasted fine.
Guess what else I saw here? I guess black snakes gotta drink, too, because it was just handing out on the rock where a seep is coming through. We were pretty far from each other, though. I asked how it's family was, it didn't answer which I thought was rude, but whatever.
The next few miles are more just descending, beautiful views, and stopping when you hear a rattlesnake next to you to see where it is and realizing it's 6 inches from your foot on the side of this mountain making you an olympic track star. Sounds monotonous, but this one wasn't black like the rest, so it added a little spice.
Eventually I made it to Herb Martyr trail which was a nice change of pace. Well, the pace was still DOWN but now we're in green trees instead of rocky mountainsides. I was able to move much faster on this section and was making the plan to just pick a spot at the campground potentially for the night. I knew when I was getting close: the scent of hot dogs and burgers could be smelled from a mile out. I eventually made it there around 6. I found a spot right outside of the campground by the creek that had obviously been used for tents before and just pitched mine, which became more interesting than it should have. Halfway through, I feel someone smacking my back. I turned around ready for anything to see... a 12 year old boy. Who was immediately mortified and let out a small, "I thought you were my dad", before running away. No, small child, I don't believe I am. That was the first person i saw since setting out the day before, though. Then I checked out the vault toilet in the campground. Review: 5 star. Think they had cleaned it for labor day as it was spotless, the toilet paper was fresh, and it smelled like lysol.

Day 3: Just a quick 1.5 mile hike out along forest road. Nothing special but still a pleasant area. Found a family car camping right near mine which surprised me but it's a beautiful spot, so I get it. Drove out to the National Monument for some more hiking.

Final Thoughts: This is an absolutely beautiful, phenomenal, amazing, and remote area. It's also extremely rugged, tough, and affected by fire. These factors result in a trail that at times is trying to throw you off the mountain due to erosion and, other times, trying to separate your legs from your body with the vegetation. I also saw more wildlife in this one trip than I have seen on many trips combined including two bears, a scorpion, snake after snake after snake, a couple coatis, 6+ herds of deer, and all sorts of birds I haven't seen before. I would recommend the area and these specific trails to anyone wearing pants in decent physical condition and I will be going back soon.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Winn Falls
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Jun 28 2021

 Guides 187
 Routes 829
 Photos 9,801
 Triplogs 662

69 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Snowshed Herb Martyr Loop, AZ 
Snowshed Herb Martyr Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 28 2021
Hiking11.07 Miles 2,691 AEG
Hiking11.07 Miles   7 Hrs   17 Mns   2.03 mph
2,691 ft AEG   1 Hour   50 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
On day 2 of my hiking trip to the Chiricahua Mountains I Hiked the Snowshed Trail and Herb Martyr Trail returning via the Snowshed Basin Trail. This was an 11.1 mile hike with 2700 feet of accumulated elevation gain. Wasn't sure if I was up to this hike today with being worn out from yesterday and having to do damage control on both of my heals. Once I got started I was determined to finish up this loop hike.

The lower part of the Snowshed trail up to Cypress Saddle was steep and require a lot of standing breaks to to allow my legs a rest. Good views all along this trail down lower Cave Creek and Silver peak, Mount Sceloporus and Cathedral Rock. The trail is in good condition and easy to follow but I could see that at times the grass and brush could obscure the trail. Once past Cypress Saddle the trail follows along the north side of the ridge and appears to level off a bit and the walking easier. Fossil Saddle is 5 miles in and at 5.2 the Junction with the Herb Martyr Trail and Pine Park. This intersection is signed. I took a half hour break here. While resting here a very low flying jet screamed by and buzzed Chiricahua Peak. The forest is so quiet and then all of a sudden a defining roar of a jet that that took maybe 3 second to disappear over the mountain. then after the echo's died away the forest was back to quiet like nothing happened. That must be a kick in the pants doing that. I would of liked to video it but it was so fast it was over before I could even think about getting my camera. I wanted to contact the pilot and tell him I wanted a do over. Probably wouldn't do it anyway because I'm sure it was a marginally legal stunt. Reminded me of when I was in my early 20s along with a friend of mine, we were dangling our feet off the east cliff of Mount Whitney when two F4 Phantoms flew just hundreds of feet over the top of the peek with AB burning. Me and my friends both looked at each other and at the same time just said a very slow "WOW" (we were doing some of mother natures stuff). Before we could finish the elongated wow those jets flew over Owens Valley, past Inyo Mountains and were heading down Panament Valley. Very impressive. Well enough of memory lane.

The hike down the Herb Martyr trail was beautiful, The pillowy clouds with the shadows cast across the landscape made for some pretty scenery. The Trail is in excellent condition and appears to get a lot more use than the lower Snowshed Trail. Actually if I was going to go up to the crest via the Snowshed Trail I would use the Herb Martyr instead of the lower Snowshed Trail. There are some nice views of the upper Cave Creek Canyon along this trail.

The temperatures were in the mid 70's for most of the trail but at the high elevation the sun was intense (never seemed to be behind one of the many clouds in the sky). On the Snowshed Basin trail for the last 2 miles the temps were in the mid 80's with a high humidity. I was glad to get back to the jeep where I had some salty pretzel sticks and a root beer. I almost gave up on this hike as I was heading up the lower Snowshed Trail, I'm glad I stuck it out.
Jun 26 2021

 Routes 104
 Photos 1
 Triplogs 79

41 female
 Joined Oct 21 2016
 Tempe, AZ
Snowshed Trail #246Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 26 2021
Hiking12.90 Miles 3,923 AEG
Hiking12.90 Miles   8 Hrs   14 Mns   1.72 mph
3,923 ft AEG      45 Mns Break
no photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Stayed at Sunny Flat Campground Friday night. Great little campground with all the views! Started hiking around 5 am Saturday morning on the Herb Martyr Trail #247. It felt a little chilly for us Phoenix folx but we warmed up with our first few steps. Herb Martyr is up up up up up with a few short breaks of level ground. The trail is in fantastic condition and is a beautiful foresty trail with dirt and pine needles. Little to no tripping hazards allow you to actually look up and enjoy the surroundings.

We intersected with Snowshed Trail #246 around 3 miles. Snowshed continues the climb up a little more gradually. The views along this entire stretch are incredible. Snowshed Trail is also in great shape. There are a few eroded areas where footing requires you to pay attention but nothing major. Deer Spring is visibly dripping across the trail but not dripping enough to access with a container or to drink. We didn't scramble up to see if there is anything holding the spring water but there was a lot of green visible along the upper slope.

We reached the saddle and started up a visible peak trail marked with cairns. The trail disappears quickly and we hopped up the rock-covered sections to make our way up. There are sporadic cairns along the rock areas. Even with no trail, it is not a difficult peak hike. The new growth are mostly Aspens and are easy to move through. The peak has incredible views on the far east side. There was a nice breeze & temps felt good at the peak around 9:30 am.

We headed down & immediately felt an increase in temperature just at the saddle. Going down was fast but definitely had the eastern morning sun on us the whole hike. We reached the intersection of Snowshed/Herb Martyr trails & took a break. I checked my thermometer there & it said 85 deg. That point is around 2,000' from the trailhead and the trailhead temp was 93 deg when we got back to the car so that checked out. The hike down Herb Martyr was easy and we got some more shade from the trees. A couple nice pools of water in the creek to splash water on our faces was appreciated toward the end of the hike.

This hike was absolutely gorgeous, straightforward easy trails, and good elevation gain to make you work for it. We had large brimmed sun hats on, sun protective clothing, saltstick tabs, and I brought almost 4L of water for myself. We felt good at the end...definitely hot but not delirious hot. I wouldn't recommend this hike in the summer without extra preparation though. There is no protection from the southern sun unless it's a cloudy day and we didn't see another person the whole hike. Also, surprisingly not a lot of wildlife either aside from birds. That was a huge difference from the South Fork of Cave Creek just below that was teeming with wildlife!

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Spring Dripping Dripping
Jun 02 2021

 Photos 1,241
 Triplogs 237

28 male
 Joined Jun 02 2019
 Phoenix, AZ
Snowshed - Paint Rock Loop, AZ 
Snowshed - Paint Rock Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 02 2021
Hiking20.77 Miles 5,317 AEG
Hiking20.77 Miles   7 Hrs   9 Mns   3.12 mph
5,317 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
1st trip
Route Scout Route Recorded  on Route Scout Popup | MapDEX
A friend and I needed to get away. Hadn't made a trip down to the Chiricahuas this spring yet, so off we went. Wanted to repeat a loop from last year from Turkey Creek, but with lightning in the forecast around 11am, and since I've never been East of the Crest, we drove down through Portal with dive-bombing birds and neurotic jackrabbits flashing through the high beams trying to make sunrise. Figured this loop would be shorter, but I'm not sure it was. My friend lounged around Herb Martyr CG where she enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells of the wilderness while I disappeared for 7 hours and offered my body to it as a sacrifice. Went clockwise.

Herb Martyr Trail in superb shape. Sunrise views of Sanders Peak that nearly dropped me dead. A mile from the top took a break to catch my breath and heard footsteps out in the brush north of the trail. Bid hello from below, half dozen more slow steps and silence. Kept going, and didn't see anything. Trail climbs into a patch of old growth conifers near the jct and Pine Park. Really pretty area, and the last trees until Snowshed Peak.

Snowshed trail to saddle and up. Went straight up and bumped into a decent trail that climbs the ridge. Followed it most of the way down. It's often overgrown or covered over with deadfall, but it beats wading through the aspen. Summit views okay, but the forest of fir and pine on the summit/ridge is worth the diversion. Back to snowshed and took that around Aspen Peak. My favorite views in the range are probably looking across Rucker Canyon to Paint Rock, Raspberry Peak, and Monte Vista. Long time to admire from the Snowshed/Crest jct to Chiricahua Saddle. Trails in good condition to that point, although the end of Snowshed near Crest is soon to disappear in the ferns.

Short out and back under stormy clouds up Paint Rock. Probably my favorite summit in the range I've been on and the worst place to be with a chance of lightning. Fun climb up to the summit, but the views were a little hazy. Back to Chiricahua Saddle with a short break under the trees. Brilliant forest around Chiricahua peak. In the burn areas where the fir and pines are gone aspens are growing in. Decent trade off. Around the peak with huge views north toward Graham, Dos Cabezas, etc.

Got to Cima Park and headed down Greenhouse. Wanted to be there before 11, got there at 10:30. 10:50 heard the first thunder and was happy to be off the crest of the mountains. Greenhouse was my favorite new trail of the day, old growth forest and big views toward Silver Peak and Portal lower down. Wound back around with Basin Trail. Good road walk between the trails. Basin had unexpectedly good views. Cut down to the TH with Ash Spring Trail through some of the tallest junipers and sycamores I've ever seen. Didn't see anyone on the hike, 60s just about the whole time.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
4 archives
May 22 2021

 Photos 392
 Triplogs 25

35 male
 Joined Apr 01 2018
 Phoenix, AZ
Herb Martyr Trail #247Tucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar May 22 2021
Backpack17.00 Miles 4,756 AEG
Backpack17.00 Miles4 Days         
4,756 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
First exploration of the Chiricahua Wilderness! A fun adventure with my brother, whom I'd not seen in more than a year. Hopefully this log will be helpful for anyone seeking to plan a backpack into this area. There doesn't seem to be too many HAZ logs for these parts.

Here's a breakdown of our trip:
Day 1: Car camp at Herb Martyr Campground
Day 2: Hike up Herb Martyr Trail, dry camp at Pine Park (near Snowshed Trail junction)
Day 3: Camp at Anita Park
Day 4: Camp at Cima Cabin
Day 5 Hike out on Greenhouse Trail

Day 1
We drove from Phoenix to Portal on a Saturday afternoon. We car camped at Herb Martyr Campground. It was about half full (ie 2 other groups). There are some nice open walk-in sites, bear-proof trash cans and a toilet, just no running water.

Day 2
We started our hike from the campground parking lot on the Herb Martyr Trail (which is marked "Basin Trail 247" at the TH). The hike takes you up into the mountain at a steady pace. Our goal was to dry camp at Pine Park, just 3 miles, but 2200 feet in elevation gain. We each carried 6L of water and it took us 2.5 hours. Set up camp and enjoyed time soaking in the views and the sunset.

Day 3
We continued on Snowshed Trail on our way to the Crest Trail. This section of the wilderness was badly burned in the Horseshoe II fire in 2011. It is very exposed, hot and dry, but being between 8000-9000ft elevation the breeze kept us cool enough. We planned to fill up water at Deer Creek, which seemed to be running slowly, but I misread the map and thought it wasn't the right spot so we kept going. Skipping the spring would haunt us a bit later as we started running low on water after last night's dry camp.

At the trail junction on Snowshed Saddle, we attempted to find Aspen Trail #246A to take us around Aspen Peak on the northeast side, but we couldn't find the trail amongst all the young aspen trees. Rather than go all the way around to the southwest side, we opted just to go off-trail straight up and over Aspen Peak and down to Aspen Saddle.

From Aspen Saddle we ran down to Headquarters Spring, which I had read on a local blog was fairly reliable. But alas, the spring was bone dry. Rather than trying our luck at Ojo Agua Fria (an extra mile round trip), we opted to go over to Anita Park and see if we could find water at Anita Spring. As luck would have it, there was a perfectly nice cool pool of water waiting for us at Anita Spring. Thrilling.

We opted to camp at Anita Park that night, next to a nice young grove of Aspen Trees that gave us protection from the wind, which eventually died down. The camp spot was also pretty safe as far as any potential treefall from the many dead ponderosas in the area. Total for the day ~6 miles (Pine Park to Anita Park w/ spring hunting).

Day 4
Leaving Anita Park we took the Crest up to Cima Park. There are some incredible views on this section of trail. At Cima Park we took the Greenhouse Trail down, attempting to find Cima Spring and a potential place to camp on our last night. Where Cima Spring is marked on the map, there was a spring box but it was dry. We continued on maybe just 0.5 mile further and came to a couple idyllic forest service cabins with an amazing camping area, fire ring, clean pit toilet and spring box full of water. It was set in an unburned section of pine forest, which is fairly rare in this area. What a find! We camped here, of course. We also enjoyed a nice day hike up to Round Park for lunch.

Day 5
We finished off the Greenhouse Trail and a bit of primitive road hiking to finish the loop to the car at Herb Martyr. Greenhouse Trail is only about 4 miles but it drops about 3000 feet. There is a neat viewpoint of Winn Falls, which were dry this time of year (late May) but I'm told are often icy and running in early spring.

Overall, this is a really cool place, as long as you are OK with hiking up steep mountains, scrounging for springs at times (as we do in AZ) and walking through some pretty heavily fire damaged areas. We experienced tremendous solitude -- after leaving the campground on Sunday we didn't see another soul until returning to the car on Wednesday. That was pretty special.
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Campsite

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Anita Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Nice clean pool in the side of the hill. Was refilling itself slowly.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cima Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Full spring box, located just below Cima Cabin. Has a lid on it, need to lift it up. See photos in triplog.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Spring Dripping Dripping
Dripping from the side of the hill

dry Headquarters Spring - Chiricahua Dry Dry
Just a dry tub. Very disappointing.

dry Winn Falls Dry Dry
Not running at all
2 archives
Nov 28 2020

 Guides 7
 Routes 160
 Photos 701
 Triplogs 198

39 male
 Joined Nov 30 2015
 Phoenix, AZ
Snowshed & Greenhouse LoopTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Run/Jog avatar Nov 28 2020
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.
2 archives
Nov 12 2020

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Crest Trail #270 - Barfoot Park Rd to Jct SdlTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 12 2020
Backpack36.00 Miles 9,700 AEG
Backpack36.00 Miles3 Days         
9,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Given how far the Chiricahuas are from the Valley, I've only had a chance to visit once before, on a brief backpacking trip with my family. My plan was a bit diffuse initially, but I ended up deciding to use the Crest to backstop two loops, one east, one west: Herb Martyr and Mormon/Saulsbury. Given the colder temps we've been having (finally), I decided to camp low to stay warm.

Day 1. Started at Bootlegger Park. Started immediately on the Crest Trail, which has had some work done on it over the last couple years. Several years back it had been washed out in portions. It's now solid, and no overgrown. I was struck at how slow that area has been to come back from fire. I took a hike over Flys Peak, which does not improve on the crest itself in terms of views. Anita Spring is full. Unsure of what kind of water I'd be seeing at Herb Martyr, I overfilled. I'm the poster child for the backpacker who has incredibly expensive lightweight gear and screws it all up with overly conservative water carries. So it goes. After Anita Spring I continued on the crest to Snowshed Trail. Snowshed is thin, angled and exposed. There's very little post-fire growth in this area, leading to notable erosion. Pine Park is lovely, however, and the Herb Martyr Trail was perfect in all respects. After crossing Cave Creek (flowing nicely), I continued around on FR713 to head towards Greenhouse Trail. I found a nice campsite. Hadn't seen a soul all day (even at the Herb Martyr Campground).

Day 2. The hike up Greenhouse was steep. Winn Falls is flowing slightly. Cima Creek was flowing and I was able to refill my still-ample water supply. I encountered my first (and only) backpacker heading down from Chiricahua Saddle to Mormon Ridge. Route finding was generally fine on Mormon Ridge but I did manage to briefly get off trail towards the beginning, and was glad for GPS. I'll note that Mormon Creek had a ton of deadfall at the start, so I opted for Mormon Ridge instead. There was ample water in Turkey Creek where the Ridge Trail connects to the road. I curved around and headed a bit up Saulsbury, but was gassed from the morning's climb.

Day 3. Saulsbury up to Saulsbury Saddle is relatively well-maintained and easy to follow. The stretch from the Saddle back to the Crest Trail has need seen attention for a while. I frequently had to course-correct with GPS, and push through overgrowth, deadfall, and brambly evil. It's also steep, though that might have been my legs giving out. Once back on the Crest I had a quick walk over to Flys Park and took that road back to Rustler Park. Given how much I struggled up the second segment of Saulsbury, I was ready for some easy hiking.

I'm truly bummed that it's such a drive to get to the Chiricahuas. Living in the Valley, it's tough to commit. I look forward to getting back there in another couple years. I'd like to start out of Rucker on the south side to do some more exploring.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Anita Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Anita Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Tank is full and clear.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Deer Spring Dripping Dripping
Spring was dripping across the trail. Did not go up to spring - a bit sketchy post-burn.
2 archives
Sep 17 2020

 Guides 187
 Routes 829
 Photos 9,801
 Triplogs 662

69 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Snowshed Basin TrailTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Sep 17 2020
Hiking7.62 Miles 989 AEG
Hiking7.62 Miles   3 Hrs   10 Mns   2.41 mph
989 ft AEG15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Since it was a bit warm (Or I'm turning into a whimp), Rather than tackle the Snowshed Greenhouse Canyon Loop I decided to save that for a cooler day and instead did the lower Snowshed Trail, Snowshed Basin Trail and the lower part of the Herb Martyr Trail. I started at the Snowshed Basin connector Trail along FR42A .3 miles to the junction with the Snowshed Basin Trail and headed east toward the Snowshed Trail #246. I could not find the trailhead for the Snowshed trail along FR42 so I continued on the Snowshed trail down to its start point on FR 42. Now I know where it's at. I returned the way I came to the junction with the connector trail and continued west on the Snowshed Basin trail to the Herb Martyr Trail #247. I spent a little time at the Herb Martyr Junction trying to figure out how todays trail connects to yesterdays trail. On the return trip I stopped off at John Hands Falls which is about 100 yards off trail. This falls like the Herb Martyr Falls were once dams along Cave Creek but have since filled with gravel. The flow in Cave creek was slow especially for monsoon season (the one that bypassed us this year).

This is a fairly level trail with minor ups and downs. The majority of the AEG on this hike was along the lower section of the Snowshed Trail #246. I did see a King snake along the trail. It was a small one and I thought it might be a coral snake and since I can't remember how the rhyme goes I left it alone. When I got home I determined by the color bands that it was a a friend of Jack. Once again lots of friendly deer, it's like being in a national park. From the trailhead along FR 42A to the Herb Martyr trail is a nice walk and a good way to spend a couple of hours. Finished this hike around noon and time to head back to Tucson.
Fauna [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Kingsnake

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cave Creek Canyon Light flow Light flow
Light flow in some areas
Jun 17 2020

 Guides 70
 Routes 651
 Photos 10,844
 Triplogs 706

 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Chiricahuas - South Flys and Snowshed, AZ 
Chiricahuas - South Flys and Snowshed, AZ
Hiking avatar Jun 17 2020
Hiking15.90 Miles 3,563 AEG
Hiking15.90 Miles   8 Hrs      2.35 mph
3,563 ft AEG   1 Hour   14 Mns Break
1st trip
Snowshed Peak has been on my radar screen for a while -- it is one of the Arizona 20-20 challenge peaks, which is an arbitrary list of the 20 highest "hikeable" peaks in AZ. Snowshed is the 19th out of the 20 that I have done -- still outstanding is Blue Peak, which is south of Alpine.

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

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

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

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

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

If I had it to do over again, I would have started the hike from the Long Peak TH, which would have saved about 4 miles of hiking. However, you'd want a high clearance 4WD vehicle to get from Rustler Park to the Long Peak TH.
Named place
Named place [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Flys Peak Snowshed Peak
Meteorology [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Fire Burn Area & Recovery
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
average hiking speed 2.13 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.


end of page marker