We hiked this trail this past June, and it is definitely the shortest route to the top of Chiricahua Peak. However, it may not be the fastest. There is so much trail maintenance needed on this trail, it's a shame it's not been done. Since the wildfire that went thru here years ago, the area is pretty devastated. Tons of downed trees and leaning trees, & dead trees everywhere. A couple of days with a few chainsaws and this trail could be seriously revitalized. Very slow going when you have to crawl under, and over all the fallen trees. A little disconcerting too. It's not super difficult in terms of steepness, nor length. There is one stretch of this, once you climb out of the canyon and traverse along the first big switchback, that is back into old forest like you expect from Southern Arizona's island ranges. Then it moves back into a burn area as you make your last climb to the top. The views are really good now of course, as all the tress that were there, are gone. Interestingly enough, the peak does have a little shade as some of the trees were spared right on top. Forest fires are weird for sure. Not highly recommended due to the obvious, but with some improvement, it could be brought back to a well used trail.
Good trail. We picked this hike out of the Falcon Guide for the local area. The last 2/3 of the hike have not been rehabbed from the 2011 fire. Your best bet is to hike up to the saddle out of Turkey Creek and either turn back or go up to Monte Vista Peak.
I haven't hiked EVERYTHING around here, but I love everything I've seen--even the NM isn't usually crowded, and the recreation areas surrounding (Turkey Creek etc.) are usually a great place to get away from the world and get lost in some amazingly beautiful mountains and rock formations.