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Hike For August 22:Pole Bridge, Turtle Mountain and Morse Canyon Trails.
Meet at the Silver Peak Trailhead at 8:00 am (AZ) / 9:00 am (NM)

Carol Simon (520) 558-2433 casimon@vtc.net
Jonathan Patt (575) 654-3281
Elaine Moisan (520) 5581308 emoisan2011@hotmail.com

2019-08-15 09-31-23

Six hikers drove up to Rustler Park, enjoying freshly graded roads much of the way up the mountain, and hiked south on the Crest Trail. Vegetation growth from the monsoons has made this section of trail very narrow and hard to see in places, with 5 foot tall ferns at times!

At the top of the basin above Rustler Park, we turned onto the Bootlegger Trail and descended towards Rock Saddle. The overgrowth continued along here, along with narrow tread, but we made our way forward, enjoying expansive views and an assortment of berries—raspberries, thimbleberries, gooseberries and elderberries—as we hiked. Reaching the junction at Rock Saddle, everyone opted to continue down the Bootlegger Trail and we headed out down the ridge. The day was overcast from mid-morning on, so temperatures were very pleasant considering the exposed terrain we were in.

We took things relatively slowly, marking the trail and doing some light brushing as we went. There are a lot of issues on this trail, including extensive deadfall, narrow tread and a lot of vegetation overgrowth, but we tried to keep the route at least visible as far as we went. Though we had intended to try and reach Rattle Rock Saddle, we were cut short after lunch by a slope covered in oak deadfall, rain, and the beginning of thunder rumbling overhead, so we opted to turn back and return the way we had come. While the storm built and thunder continued to sound around us, it started moving south away from us and didn't strike nearby, starting to clear up by the time that we returned to Rustler Park. Our total hike was about 5.5 miles.

Next Thursday, August 22, we will drive over to West Turkey Creek on the west side of the Chiricahuas and hike a loop with the recently maintained Pole Bridge, Turtle Mountain and Morse Canyon Trails. These trails climb high out of West Turkey Creek to the ridges above, with spectacular views of Monte Vista Peak, Brushy Canyon and the surrounding areas. Morse Canyon has been worked its entire length, while Pole Bridge may not be completely maintained, so be prepared for the potential of some deadfall and other potential issues in places, as well as other sections of excellent trail. This is an approximately 7.5 mile loop, with the option of continuing up to Monte Vista Peak from Morse Saddle for anyone feeling particularly energetic. Meet at the Silver Peak Trailhead at 8 AM for the drive over the mountain. Plan on a full day due to travel time.

2019-08-15 09-43-57

Improved tread in the switchbacks below Monte Vista.



We recently took the time to review safety items that hikers could carry to help either themselves or another hiker in the case of an accident, or when getting lost, or even just out later than expected. Our group has quite a good safety record (and we never lost anyone permanently) but accidents do happen and some of our hikes are in rugged, remote territory. Here is what we recommend everyone carry:

Space blanket

First aid kit

Matches with fire starter


Signalling mirror

Extra layers of clothing

Extra water

Extra food

Knife or multi-tool

Flashlight or headlamp with fresh and spare batteries

Map and compass or GPS

Hat and sunscreen

It is good if someone in the group has:

Lightweight splint


Duct tape

Cell phone

We have used almost all of these items in various situations. Prepare yourself to be part of a solution.


Chiricahua Trail Crew Volunteer Agreement


Screen Shot 2012-02-24 at 10.34.03 PM

The 62 Highest Peaks, Mountains, Hills, And Lookouts In The Chiricahuas

(Tabulated by Ray Brooks)


Photo Gallery Of Hiking Club - Click On Any Photo To Begin. Use Arrow Keys At Bottom Of Slide (Or Your Keyboard) To Advance Slide

Howard Topoff 2011