Bill Edwards, the District Ranger, very kindly sent us this update on Chiricahua Mountains trails maintenance that has occurred this year.
Trail and Spring Update
Zac Ribbing and a volunteer trail crew did a great deal of clearing of some of the upper trails during the week beginning September 19th. The Crest is clear from Rustler to Sentinel. A lot of good work was done on Upper Bootlegger, Crest 270b (Chiricahua saddle to Junction saddle), 270d (Chiricahua saddle to Aspen saddle), and Fly peak is clear on both sides to the peak. 270b still needs some work but they managed to get some of the biggest problem trees cleared.
If you know of a section of trail that needs work, particularly if it's a recent development, Zac would like to hear from you with the details. Zac's contact information is:
Coronado N.F. Border Zone Trails Foreman
office (520) 378-0311(no voice mail)
Cell (520) 559-1000
All springs encountered have been flowing great this year. Expect to find normal to above normal flows at the springs in the mountains as we come into the fall.
Many trails have been getting long needed maintenance this year and should continue improving throughout 2011. Work has been, and will continue to be focused in the Chiricahuas. The following will cover work accomplished, and projected areas of work into the spring of 2011. Most of the work to come will be funded by the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contracted through various conservation corps*, as well as from our dedicated volunteers.
#228 Raspberry Ridge – Lower end of trail was cleared last fall and upper end should be cleared in early September 2010. Work done with CREC* funded by State grant and ARRA, entire 4.6 miles when complete.
#243 South Fork – About the first 4 miles of this trail is in great shape due to many local volunteers, and fire crews in the area during the Horseshoe fire. The trail should see more work in the future with local volunteers (Portal area and Sierra Club).
#246 Snowshed – Lower end maintained by ACE* funded by State grants. Upper end, above Pine park, maintained by CREC funded by ARRA. The upper end of the trail still needs lots of work. It is now cleared of down trees and brush so one can at least find the trail much easier compared to recent years. More work will be aimed at maintaining this trail to complete the entire 10 miles of trail.
#247 Booger spring trail – This short trail (0.2 miles) was cleared with help from local volunteers and the Sierra Club in June.
#248 Greenhouse – This trail was maintained by CREC up to the “Cima Barn” funded by ARRA (4.0 miles). In addition the trail from the “barn” to the Crest trail junction was maintained by the Sierra Club.
#252 Jhus – This 1.1 mile trail was cleared by local volunteers in May/June.
#257 Bootlegger – The upper 0.7 miles of this trail was cleared from the junction of the Crest to the junction of the Rock Creek trail by local volunteers in June.
#270 Crest – The trail was cleared with help from local volunteers and Sierra club. The section of trail from Rustler to Aspen saddle (just past Chiricahua Peak) was maintained in June totaling 6.5 miles. More work is planned to get the trail cleared out to Monte Vista in September with ARRA funding a CREC crew. Also local volunteers may be able to clear out some of the trail past Aspen saddle in mid September.
#270a Chiricahua Peak – this 0.7 mile trail was maintained with the Sierra Club in June.
#275 Rattlesnake – This 4 mile trail was maintained with lots of help from a wide mix of local volunteers over the past year. Many volunteers came from the Tucson area and Portal area to make this possible.
#277 Middlemarch – This 2.3 mile trail located in the Dragoon range was brushed and cleared out by ACE in the early part of the year funded by a grant from the State.
#279 Cochise – This 5 mile trail in the Dragoons was maintained by ACE in the spring. Due to time constraints they could not get to all the maintenance needs from the “divide” to the end of the trail on the west side of the range. This would account for 1.5 miles of trail that still needs maintenance. Past work was funded by a grant from the State. At this time no work is planned on the last 1.5 miles of this trail.
#280 Silver Peak – maintained by CREC in the spring this 4.6 mile trail still needs work to the upper end of the trail and to sections in the middle to improve the out slope of the tread. Funding for this was provide by ARRA and will most likely see more work in 2011 using ARRA.
#333 Bear Wallow spring trail – This 1.0 mile trail was maintained with help from local volunteers and Sierra Club in June.
#334 Centella – This 1.9 mile trail was maintained with help from local volunteers and Sierra Club in June.
#337 Fly Peak – The first 0.7 miles of this trail has been maintained from the “Fly Peak junction” on the Crest trail. Sierra Club and local volunteers helped maintain this trail in June. More work may be accomplished in mid September with help from volunteers to get this completed.
Other plans for Chiricahua trails in 2010-2011:**
- NYC to work on trails in the Pine Canyon area and Witch Ridge area in 2011.
- Sign repairs with help from local pack stock to haul materials into the back country.
- Display map for office and Portal visitor center with color coded trail conditions that can easily be understood and updated. This map will not be for public purchase, its purpose will be for providing locals, fellow employees, volunteers and public with the most current information possible at a glance.
All of the springs encountered have been doing well this year. The big news this year is Sprung and Bellow spring are running well again.
Many of the main trails got cleared this spring to clear the mess of down trees from the heavy snow and high winds we had over the winter. The big news in trails here is the completion of the Arizona Trail from Oak tree canyon to the northern Forest boundary line in the Santa Ritas. Also this year the Arizona trail was officially designated as a National Recreation Trail.
#67 Gardner Canyon – Lower end of trail from trail head to Walker Basin trail junction was cleared by fire crews this spring accessing the Walker fire.
#77 Vault Mine trail- was cleared by CREC funded by a combination of State grants and ARRA.
#88 Madera Nature – Local volunteers in the Green Valley Hiking club cleaned portions of this trail in the spring.
#134 Super – This trail was cleared by CREC, funded by a combination of State grants and ARRA.
#136 Walker Basin – Trail was maintained by fire crews this spring after the Walker fire.
#140 Agua Caliente – This trail was cleared from Josephine saddle to Vault mine by CREC, funded by a combination of State grants and ARRA.
#144 Crest – Trail cleared by CREC, funded by a combination of State grants and ARRA.
#145 Florida – Lower end of trail was maintained by Wilmont State Fire crew. They also helped install the new gate on the fence line close to the Florida Work Center.
#149 Cave Canyon – Trail cleared by Wilmont State Fire crew.
#372 Old Baldy – Trail cleared by CREC, funded by a combination of State grants and ARRA.
# Carrie Nation Mine trail – Cleared by volunteers from the Green Valley Hiking club in early spring.
Other Plans for 2010-2011:**
- Wilmont State Fire crew to work on Gardner, Florida and others as needed.
- ARRA funds to work on Florida, Sawmill and upper reaches of Gardner.
Sierra Vista District:
All springs and seeps encountered this year have been doing well. Expect to find normal to above normal flows at the springs and seeps this fall.
Several of the trails have been receiving maintenance work this year on the east side of the Huachuca range. Expect to see more trail maintenance this fall as well as a large trash clean up effort in the Miller Peak Wilderness.
#102 Reef Townsite loop – This trail was brushed and cleaned by Scout Troop 444 this month. In the near future we would like to add some more signage to clarify some of the trail locations as well as fix existing signage.
#104 Lutz Canyon – Trail was maintained by CREC funded by ARRA early in the year. The crew was able to make good improvements to the trail above the old mine equipment site a couple miles up the trail. This trail still needs some work to the very upper reaches of the trail where it junctions with the Crest trail. This leaves less than a mile of trail work to go to complete this trail. This could be completed with a crew in October, however this would be the last task on there already full list of trails to maintain.
#106 Miller Canyon – Trail was maintained by CREC funded by ARRA early in the year. The crew was able to clear up the canyon about 2.5 miles or so. There is still a hand full of down trees in the last mile to Bathtub spring, however for hiker this should not be a problem. Another crew planned for October may be able to finish this trail.
#110 Ida Canyon – Trail was maintained by CREC, funded by ARRA early in the year. The crew maintained the trail from the Wilderness boundary to Bear spring. This leaves a short section of about a half mile from Bear spring to the junction of the Crest trail that was not worked. However this trail should be in fair shape, although there may be some down trees making it difficult for horses to navigate.
#111 Hunter Canyon – This 1.1 mile trail was maintained from Miller canyon to Hunter canyon by CREC, funded by ARRA. The crew was able to make some good improvements to the trail as well as repairing and replacing all needed signs.
#112 Oversite Canyon – This 2.5 mile trail was maintained about a mile and a half up from the end of the road. Work was accomplished by CREC, funded by ARRA. This trail is still in need of a lot of work in the upper reaches of the trail to junction with the Crest trail. It is not recommended to use this trail if you are not familiar with the area as there are many user made spur trails in the upper reaches of the trail. More maintenance will come, but most likely not until fall of 2011.
#122 Hamburg – Trail was cleared of downfall early in the year up to the junction with Pat Scott Canyon and Wisconsin Canyon.
#123 Pat Scott Canyon – Trail was cleared from the junction of Wisconsin up about a mile. This trail still has maintenance needs to clear it up to the junction of the Crest trail. Hikers would be okay to hike the trail but horses would have a difficult time navigating the trail. Horse riders would be better off using the trail up Wisconsin Canyon as it was in much better condition as of this spring.
#124 Clark Spring – This 1.6 mile trail was cleared by ACE and CREC, funded by a combination of ARRA and state grant funding. Also some brushing was accomplished by a local scout as an Eagle scout project. This work all took place in the late fall and early spring.
#125 Arizona trail (Scotia Canyon/East of Canelo Segment) – A short reroute of the trail near the road crossing of Scotia Canyon by the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) made this area of the trail much easier to hike. The work was done with volunteers from the ATA members in the local area. This reroute moved the trail off of a large hill that was heavily eroded due to road water run off and put it on a much nicer line on an old road bed in Scotia canyon. With the addition of new signs one should have no question where the trail is now.
#126 Old Sawmill Spring – This 0.7 mile trail was maintained by Scout Troop 444 in the spring.
Plans for Fall and 2011:**
- Heavy trash clean up project in the Miller Peak Wilderness
- Trail maintenance to Crest, Pat Scott, Miller Canyon, and Carr Peak trail.
- Extend Perimeter Trail from Carr Canyon to Ramsey Canyon. This short segment has many hurdles to cover as it passes over not just Forest Service land but State land and Nature Conservancy property. All parties must have proper clearances as well as addressed concerns of private landowners who still have property within the boundary of the Nature Conservancy.
- Trail maintenance to Guindani trail in the Whetstones.
*CREC = Coconino Rural Environment Corps
*ACE = American Conservation Experience
*SCC = Southwest Conservation Corps
*NYC = Northwest Youth Corps
** Please note- this is not a complete list of upcoming work plans, this is merely a list of projects in the near future that have the most realistic plans to compete at this given time.
Information provided by Zac Ribbing (Trails/Wilderness)