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Apr 15 2019

 Guides 107
 Routes 588
 Photos 7,129
 Triplogs 488

67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Huachuca Peak Loop, AZ 
Huachuca Peak Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2019
Hiking12.70 Miles 3,580 AEG
Hiking12.70 Miles   8 Hrs   13 Mns   2.13 mph
3,580 ft AEG   2 Hrs   16 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Took advantage again of the not too hot weather and headed to the Huachuca Mountains. I wanted to hike up to Huachuca Peak. Not too much information on the Huachuca Peak Trail 121, the Peterson Trail 119 and the Lyle Canyon Trail 120. From last week’s hike I had a bit of experience with the Lyle Canyon Trail from the north to the Huachuca Peak Trail. Today’s hike would be to check out the existence of the rest of these trails.

The Lyle Canyon Trail from the south is 3.2 miles in on the Sunnyside Canyon Road .5 miles north of where the Arizona Trail crosses the Sunnyside Road. The trail starts at an unmarked spot along the road where an old two track heads off to the north. The trail is signed about 100 feet in on the trail. The trail is in good condition and easy to follow, it climbs 500 feet from the get go. Once on the ridge it is pretty much downhill from there to the Huachuca Peak Trail. It crosses Merritt Creek and the headwaters of Parker Canyon Creek. Merritt Creek had a trickle of water. At about 2 miles is the junction with the Huachuca Peak Trail. The Huachuca Peak Trail was fairly easy to follow for the first 2.2 miles. Stays pretty close to the creek bottom with one exception were it climbs the south slope of the canyon to avoid obstacles in the creek, namely a 30 foot waterfall. Was not running on this trip but the creek above was a running or maybe I should say boggy. Lost the trail at 2.3 miles in and headed in the direction I believed it was in, never did find it so I headed to the crest trail that would lead to the continuation of the Huachuca Peak trail to the peak. I will spare the details of this excursion because it is written up in the trail description for the Huachuca Peak Trail #121. This is a very interesting canyon that has it all, a trough at a Lyle Canyon Spring, a Waterfall, riparian forest and a plane wreck (a Drone to be exact). I also found the remains of an old log cabin thanks to losing the trail and scrambling on the hillside trying to find it. This canyon needs more exploring if not just to try and locate the trail to the crest.

Once on the Crest Trail it was about a half mile hike over to the continuation of the Huachuca Peak Trail. This trail was in good condition but there was still 1000 feet of climbing to do. About .3 miles in is Pine Park a really nice spot with a crazy looking water tank and a helicopter pad. I took a break here and had some lunch. The trek to this point took a lot out of me. A tenth of a mile from Pine Park is the junction with the McClure Canyon Trail, another route up to the peak but this one is from the south and starts on the Fort Huachuca Base. Views to the south of Miller peak are visible from this point. The climb to the peak is steady from this point until you cross the ridge just north of the peak. At this Ridge another trail from the east enters and this is the Rock Spring Canyon Trail also coming from on the base. From this point it is only .25 miles to the peak and the climb lightens up a bit. From the peak the views are spectacular in all directions as you would expect. The day was clear so it made it even better. On top is a foundation for a lookout that use to sit on top of this peak. Took a short break here and enjoyed the air show the crows were putting on for me. I got the impression they were showing off.

The trip down was back the way I came but when I got to the saddle between Lyle and Peterson Peak I headed down the Peterson Trail, also known and posted at the road below as the Crest Trail #103. There looks like a user trail that heads west from this saddle that may head up to Peterson Peak. I was told the Peterson Trail was steep and rocky but my first impressions were it was only steep. The trail was in good condition and only rocky in a few places. I spoke too soon though, for the upper half this was true but the further down you got the rockier it got. Toward the bottom of the trail it was even overgrown a bit, not enough that I ever thought I was going to lose the trail though. Good views to the south into Scotia and Garden Canyon from along this trail. At the junction with the Scotia Canyon Road is a sign posting this as the Crest Trail #103. I took the road 1.5 miles back down to my start point. I made one stop at Peterson Tank which is along the road. There are actually two earthen tanks one for cattle and the other fenced off for wildlife only. There is a 16 inch wide gap to allow hikers access to the wildlife tank. I had to wiggle a bit to get through with my pack. I guess if you are wider than 16 inches you don’t get in (guess that leaves a good portion of our population out).

Great hike with lots of deer and turkeys spotted along the way. I saw a herd of about 30 deer on the drive up Sunnyside Road. I assume deer come in herds. Also saw a bunch of turkeys along the hwy 83 near Parker Canyon. I know turkeys don’t come in herds so I will call them a bunch. Saw gobs of bear dung but no bear. This is proof bears do go in the woods. I will have to go back here some day if not just to find that lost section of trail. The description write up of the Huachuca Peak Trail # 121 has a little more information as to where it might be.
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.

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