Portal, AZ - Rodeo, NM

Serving The Communities Of Portal and Rodeo  (www.portal-rodeo.com)

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Chiricahua National Monument hike report 5/16/24:

This week we drove over Onion Saddle and down to the Chiricahua National Monument.  The drive is long, and the dirt road is getting rather rough from all the visitors we’ve had this spring.  We were pleased to see New Mexico locust trees in bloom - bright pink flowers against the light green leaves.  

The 10 of us crowded into two vehicles and drove to Massai Point.  Clouds built up several times and we wondered if we should have brought rain coats or umbrellas.  There had been a slight drizzle as we crossed the mountain top but during the hike there were only a couple drops the whole day.  The breeze and clouds kept the temperature perfect.

The trail was in better shape than last year.  The tread in several sections has been rebuilt and fallen rocks cleared off the path but much work remains.  Monsoon rains and lots of boots have left the trail down cut for long sections and many  water bars appear to be non-functional.  It will be a long and expensive process to upgrade the miles of trail should the Monument be upgraded to Park.

The blooming Claret Cup Cactus and Indian Paintbrush were a stark contrast to the brown and gray rocks along the trail. A beautiful Madrean Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis knoblochi) made an appearance and most of us also got to see coatimundi.

We are happy to report the balanced rock is still balanced, Punch and Judy are still together, the duck is still on the rock, and Thor’s Hammer is still at the ready.  There is no shortage of beautiful photos of the Chiricahua National Monument:  


While the rest of us rested at the visitor center our morning drivers were shuttled back to their vehicles at the top of the mountain.   It was about a 7.5-mile hike for most of us.


Next week we will meet at Silver Creek trailhead at 8 AZ, 9 NM.  We will drive up to Onion Saddle, park, and begin our hike there.  We’ll travel north on the Shaw Peak Trail to the Jhus-Horsefall Saddle then down the Horsefall Trail to Pinery Canyon near the old sawmill site.  This trail involves some uphill climb at the beginning then lots of decent.  We will have pre-positioned a shuttle vehicle at the end of the trail to bring us all back up to Onion Saddle.  Bring lunch, water, hat and good boots.  This trail doesn’t get lots of hikers and we often find fallen trees and rough-narrow stretches. 

hike report from Al, photos from Elaine 

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

(Tabulated by Ray Brooks)

(Form Necessary To Work With Trail Crew)

Download - Complete - Mail

To volunteer with the US Forest Service, fill out an application. If accepted, a Volunteer Service Agreement specifying the task(s) will be sent to you.
DOWNLOAD THE FORM. Print it, fill out, sign in block 23, and date. You can scan a signed document and e-mail it toArmando Arvizu at:             armando.arvizu@usda.gov

You can also mail the form to Armando at the Douglas Ranger District Office:

1192 W. Saddle View Rd.  Douglas, AZ 85607

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Hike For May 23 - Shaw Peak Trail To Jhus-Horsefall Saddle To Pinery Canyon 

Meet:  Silver Peak Parking Lot at 8:00 am (AZ) - 9:00 am (NM)

Carol Simon  (520) 558-2433  casimon@vtc.net 

Elaine Moisan (520)558-5204 emoisan2011@hotmail.com