From its southern trailhead at the top of Montezuma Pass, to the northern Forest boundary at the edge of the Fort Huachuca Military Reservation, this skywalking pathway provides access to the highest ridges and some of the most outstanding features of the Huachuca Range. Since the Crest Trail forms the backbone of the trail network that crisscrosses these mountains, one would not be far off the mark in saying that all trails lead to it. This important connector also serves as the prime access to a number of spurs which lead to points of special interest such as the summits of Miller Peak (9,466'), Ramsey Peak (8,730'), and Pat Scott Peak (8,800'). Another spur leads to Bond Spring. Views are marvelous all along the Crest. On a clear day you can see all the major mountain ranges of southeastern Arizona, including the Chiricahuas, the Santa Catalinas and the Pinaleños–home of Mt. Graham. Portions of the trail also offer views of the broad grasslands of the San Rafael Valley to the west and the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico. Because the Crest Trail offers such a number of different access possibilities, Forest visitors frequently use part of it to complete loop trips incorporating two or more other trails. Loops that include portions of this trail are most easily made via the Carr Peak #107, Hamburg #122 and Comfort Springs #109 trails or the Oversite Canyon #112 and Ida Canyon #110 trails. If you’re willing to set up a shuttle, you can put together just about any combination you choose. This trail passes through a variety of habitats from desert grassland to mixed conifer; however, much of the area has been burned in wildfires, both human-caused and natural. As you might expect of a mountaintop trail, it also has its share of switchbacks and steep grades. Portions cling to rocky outcrops where the way had to be dynamited, and others wander across almost level areas.
Less than half of the 11.0 mile trail was affected by the 2011 Monument fire. In October 2011, CREC (Coconino Rural Environment Corps) maintained about 5 miles of the Crest Trail. Most of the work was focused around Miller Peak where work was done to rebuild switchbacks and remove overgrowth of trees. Currently working on replacing burned signs located at junctions.
At a Glance
Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness. See the Wilderness section of this guide for more wilderness rules and ethics.
Sierra Vista Ranger District
Directions: Drive south 13 miles out of Sierra Vista on AZ Highway 92 to the Coronado Memorial Road (FR 61). Turn right (south) and continue 8.2 miles through the Coronado National Memorial to the top of Montezuma Pass. The trailhead is across the road from the parking lot.
Top of the mountain trail . Many different accesses. Biological diversity . (Miller Peak #105, Bond Spring #113, Pat Scott Peak #114 \& Ramsey Peak #118). USGS Map(s): Montezuma Pass, Miller Peak