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Jul 25 2019
markthurman53
avatar

 Guides 187
 Routes 741
 Photos 8,338
 Triplogs 567

68 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Buena Vista and Flys Peak, AZ 
Buena Vista and Flys Peak, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jul 25 2019
markthurman53
Hiking11.39 Miles 2,788 AEG
Hiking11.39 Miles   5 Hrs   38 Mns   2.16 mph
2,788 ft AEG      22 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
My first trip into the Chiricahua Mountains (not counting Chiricahua National Monument) and I was impressed. I think I liked it more the the Pinaleno Mountains. The only down side was the 12 mile dirt road up and the 13 mile dirt road down to Portal. The up side is it means less traffic. This mountain has enough trails to keep me occupied for years to come, kind of like the Superstitions in that respect. On this trip I spent two days hiking the trails along the crest but later in the year when it cools off a bit the lower trails will become a little more doable.

On the first day I started along the crest Trail at the Barfoot Road Trail Head. The trails along the crest are not well maintained but They are in good condition and easy to follow, Well signed with very little overgrowth and a minimum of dead fall across the trails. I'm sure lower down on the mountain the trails are rockier but up here they weren't. Forest regrowth after the fires years ago (not sure what year) is coming along nicely even though the scars of the fire can still be seen. It looks like the recovery cycle is doing better here than in the Pinaleno Mountains, but that could be a subjective statement.

My first side trip was up to Buena Vista Peak to the Barfoot Look out. There is no look out there just the foundation. In keeping with the peak name there are great views. Barfoot Park below and Barfoot Peak to the north along with Cochise Head and Dos Cabezas. Mount Graham would be visible if it weren't monsoon season. From the peak I headed down to Barfoot Park and Barfoot Spring, very pleasant area. The name Barfoot is a bit strange, I wonder if it is some southern mountain mans pronunciation of bear, like Bar Wallow, I'm going bar hunting or does a bar poop in the woods. I headed back up to the crest trail and headed toward Rustler Park. Never understood why they call these high mountain meadows parks, I always expect to see slides and swings and always leave disappointed.

I took the Bootleggers trail near Rustlers Park down .7 miles to the Rock Creek Trail and took that back up to the Crest Trail at Bootlegger Saddle. These trails are a bit faint and in need of maintenance but with a good eye they are easy enough to follow and every so often a rock cairn will reassure. Both these trails will need further investigating but will have to wait for cooler weather as they head down the west slopes of the Chiricahua Mountain.

Back on the Crest Trail I headed to Flys Peak. The Crest Trail from Bootlegger Saddle passes along the west side of Riggs Peak and then to Flys Saddle. At Flys Saddle four trails intersect, Long Park Trail, Centella Trail, Flys Peak Trail and the Crest Trail. Flys Saddle is covered in young aspen trees about 10 to 20 feet tall, part of the recovery process. The Flys Peak Trail is .8 miles to the summit. Not terribly great views from there because of the trees but the view along the crest to the South is Pretty Good. Raspberries and flowers were numerous. I was able to eat all the berries I wanted this time, I had no doctors procedure that required that I not eat things with seeds in them. On the return trip I headed back down the Crest Trail to Rustlers Park and took the road back to the start point along Barfoot Road.

The weather cooperated nicely on this hike, cloud build up but no rain. Temperatures in the mid 70's. Looks like a couple areas got rain the night before but didn't look like too much. There was water at Barfoot Park at the spring but along the Crest Trail I didn't see any. Probably at some of the named springs along the trail but I didn't check them out. I will take the 13 mile dirt road down the East side of the Mountain to Portal and stay at the Portal Cafe and lodge. I was really impressed with Cave Creek on the way to Portal, magnificent rock formations. This will be an interesting area to hike when the weather cools off. The Portal cafe had excellent food and eating on the patio in the evening added to the enjoyment. Tomorrow I head back up to the crest and hit Chiricahua Peak.
_____________________
Jun 05 2014
SE AZ Hiker
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 Photos 149
 Triplogs 7

male
 Joined Apr 06 2014
 Hereford
Crest Trail #270, AZ 
Crest Trail #270, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jun 05 2014
SE AZ Hiker
Hiking6.00 Miles
Hiking6.00 Miles   4 Hrs      1.50 mph
20 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I left the house at about 4:30 pm on Weds, June 4 headed to the Chiricahua Mountains - another one of my favorite places. I arrived outside of Rustler Park after 7 pm. Rustler Park is closed so I found a flat spot near there and pitched my REI Camp Dome 2. It's a nice tent - not really a backpack tent, but works well for car camping.
It was a clear night and the stars were impressive. The only bad thing was the wind blew pretty hard all night. I was in an area with quite a few burned trees and every time I got to sleep, something would hit the tent and wake me up. I had Desert Solitaire loaded on my Kindle and would read a chapter or so each time I woke up - turned out to be a pretty good night.
Was up fairly early and loaded tent and stuff into the jeep. Headed out on the Crest Trail - I decided to take Bootlegger Tr since I have not been that way. There were some very nice views to the North, West and East. Fairly open hillsides on the first mile or so of Bootlegger Tr. I came to an intersection with Rock Spring Tr #259 and it said the Crest Tr was 3/4 mile. I had to get back to town early so I decided to head towards the Crest Tr. It was a brutal 3/4 mile - felt like 5. If there was a trail I never really found it. Very steep and loose rocks. Made it to the saddle and Crest Tr. I decided to have a snack and cook some coffee. It was a beautiful spot. I was relaxing having some hot coffee thinking what a lucky person I am to be able to do this. So far this morning I had seen a couple deer and a Great Horned Owl. I heard something behind me and turned around to a very large bear standing about 30 yards away. When I stood up, I think I confused the bear. I said, "bear, you need to go on about your business." He looked at me and chomped / snorted a couple times and walked off. In the excitement I got my phone out and started taking pictures...unfortunately I had moved it to video, so I took about 10 one or 2 second videos. Once I figured it out I took a very poor video of the bear walking off - I loaded it on youtube. You can see it here http://youtu.be/5PgYBG8qMdQ
I know it's a terrible video, but a very nice Chiricahua Black Bear. I finished breakfast and hiked back to the jeep and headed home for some family stuff. It was a very nice, short trip overall. Even if you are not going to hike, it's worth the drive to head up there to Rustler or Barfoot Lookout area. Rough, rugged, beautiful country.
Fauna
Fauna
Bee Fly
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Hillside Spring Dripping Dripping
Very little water in the box. Like all of Az, we need RAIN!
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average hiking speed 1.83 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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