Chiricahua Peak to Monte Vista Peak Loop

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Coronado National Forest

Chiricahua Peak to Monte Vista Peak Loop is a 13.5 mile loop trail located near Elfrida, Arizona that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and trail running and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 13.5 miles Elevation Gain: 4,937 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly






Hike to range high point, visit historic lookout tower This is a great hike that will lead you through the heart of the Chiricahua Mountains. The hike starts out on the Mormon Ridge trail and follows it to its end, which is at the intersection with the Crest Trail. Follow the Crest Trail north to Chiricahua Saddle, then head on up to Chiricahua Peak summit via the Chiricahua Peak trail. After you've enjoyed your stay on the summit, head back down the way you came up following the Crest trail south towards Monte Vista Peak. The section of the Crest trail between Chiricahua Peak and Monte Vista Peak can be rough going at times and difficult to follow due to all off the downed trees from a recent (94') fire. At the top of Monte Vista Peak you will find a still functional lookout tower. Head back down, the way you came up, for another 0.5 miles to Turtle Mountain Trail and follow it west to Morse Canyon. Follow Morse Canyon for about 2.5 miles to Turkey Creek Road. Your car is parked about one mile further on down the road.

Mon Jul 30 2018

We took this route up to Monte vista peak starting up Morse canyon trail #269. This trail was awesome through high forest pine as you ascend. Really beautiful, shaded and easy to follow. Monte vista peak was Amazing as well as a stop over. We then took the crest trail which we found hard to follow at times. Very exposed (which would of been a problem as you will see) but a really cool path with great views. By about noon, we noticed darker clouds coming in as we were heading up to the peak. Had to hustle back down due to scattered thunderstorm. Funny enough, as we scrambled along Mormon ridge trail#269 away from the storm, we saw a bear right at the junction of upper mormon canyon trail and Mormon ridge trail. We took Mormon canyon trail #352 because we felt it was safer from the bear and the storm. It was ok but way overgrown with downed trees. The rain made it pretty miserable. Wouldn’t recommend that route. Overall, epic adventure but beware of quick moving storms.

Fri Jul 29 2016

Really great view of the valley at the top. There was a recent fire and the Forest Service doesn't come there but every 5-6 years according to an elderly fellow I met who hikes there often. There were 100s of downed trees on the path and the trail was overgrown and washed out in many areas. It would be very easy for the unwary to get lost. Also, lots of missing and damaged signs. I recommend a map, a compass and a general idea of where you are going if you do the whole loop. Lots of flowers, turkey, deer. Does not get too scenic until you approach the southern ridge. Check out Bear Spring if you go to Monte Vista. If you go directly from the tower across and over the man-made helipad you will find a pseudo-trail that leads down to a sign which points in the right direction. It's a steep climb down. Don't fall ;)