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Apr 22 2019

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67 male
 Joined Jun 27 2015
 Tucson, Arizona
Eureka Ramsey Peak Loop, AZ 
Eureka Ramsey Peak Loop, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 22 2019
Hiking15.00 Miles 4,319 AEG
Hiking15.00 Miles   8 Hrs   3 Mns   2.28 mph
4,319 ft AEG   1 Hour   29 Mns Break15 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I wanted to check out the existence of two trails, The Eureka Canyon Trail #129 and the Crest Trail #103 from Fort Huachuca Gate #2 to the Scotia canyon Road at Gate #7. Started at the Sunnyside Canyon Trail Head along the Sunnyside/Scotia canyon Road. The Eureka Trail starts .5 miles in on the Sunnyside Canyon Trail where it crosses Sunnyside Creek for the first time. The trail is not marked at this junction but there is a Miller Peak Wilderness sign. The Eureka Trail follows an old road that goes to the Eureka Mine. The sign for the Eureka Canyon Trail is .1 miles in on this road. This trail is a steady uphill climb all the way to its junction with the Sunnyside Trail 3.5 miles up. At about half way in the trail leaves the road and heads uphill to the ridge just south of Eureka Peak. There is a rock cairn marking this location. The road continues on to the Eureka Mine about .2 miles. There is mine along the trail just below Eureka Peak and looks like an off shoot of the Eureka Mine that is about 300 feet below. The trail continues along the ridge to another mine site at 3.1 miles in. This is actually the site of a shack that is part of the Copper Glance Mine that is another .2 miles to the southeast. At the junction with the shack is the Copper Glance Mine trail that comes up from the Sunnyside Trail below. The Eureka mine trail continues its climb up the ridge and at 3.5 miles joins the Sunnyside Canyon Trail on its way to the Crest Trail. This trail is easy to follow and surprisingly in good condition for a trail that doesn’t get a lot of use. Good vistas to the north from various places along the trail. Huachuca Peak being the main attraction.

From here I headed up the Sunnyside Trail to the Crest Trail. I headed north along the Crest trail past the Pat Scott Trail junction then over to Gate 2 of Fort Huachuca. There is no gate there just a barbed wire fence, with an opening where supposedly the gate was. This is where I had to change my plans. There was no sign of a crest trail going down to Scotia Canyon Road. There was a trail heading to the northeast that I took a short distance and decided it was the Scheelite Canyon Trail and I definitely didn’t want to take this one. Not this time. Continued the search on the ridge but never found any signs of a trail. Changed my plans and headed back the way I came but took the Sunnyside Canyon Trail instead of the Eureka back to the start point. I will have to hit the crest trail from below someday to see where it connects up on the ridge. I can possibly do a loop with the sawmill Canyon Trail as part of it.

I decided to first hit Ramsey Peak, might as well since I am already up here. There is no trail to the peak but it is fairly easy trek up to the peak. The key is to stay off the ridge just to the north and east, this avoids the thick oak shrubs/trees that are on the ridge. There are numerous faint user trails along the way, find one and stay on it as long as possible. If you lose it find another, it makes the going a lot easier. The Peak is nothing spectacular, if you can get to a point that is not choked with brush there are great views over Pat Scott Canyon and the peaks of the Huachuca Mountains to the south. There appears to have only been two others on this peak this year according to the log. The peak is composed of a limestone that is Paleozoic in age and it was thrust over the Younger Mesozoic rocks. This is quite common in the mountains of southern Arizona. Whetstones are the best example. This occurred when Arizona was under compression. The basins sank when Arizona was later under tension causing the mountains to be a jumbled mess they are now. This is so exciting!

The rest of the hike down was uneventful, the trip down Sunnyside Canyon is scenic with still a trickle of water in the canyon from Sunnyside Spring on down. I ran into two separate Arizona Trail through hikers. If anyone has more info on the whereabouts of the crest Trail from gate 2 to gate 7 let me know.

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

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

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

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sunnyside Canyon @ AZT Light flow Light flow
average hiking speed 2.28 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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