Chiricahua Wilderness


The Chiricahua Wilderness is home to a fascinating diversity of both plant and animal life, as well as some of the Southwest’s most spectacular geology. Climaxed by 9,797 foot Chiricahua Peak, this 87,700-acre Wilderness covers the upper slopes and inner canyons of the largest mountain range in the “Sky Island” region. Here, you will find views international in scope set in an area that supports a variety of birds and other wildlife, some of which are more commonly thought of as denizens of subtropical habitats in Mexico or Central America. This natural cornucopia attracts nature lovers from all over the world. The sharp ridges, high peaks and deep canyons of the Chiricahuas once served as a home and refuge to Chiricahua Apaches led by Cochise and Geronimo. Later, the area attracted prospectors, loggers and ranchers searching to find fortune or a home with elbow room in America’s far corners. Today, the Chiricahua Wilderness with its extensive system of trails provides an opportunity for nature lovers to engage in a more gentle quest, one of self-renewal, inspiration and personal discovery.

At a Glance

Restrictions: Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness. Please abide by Wilderness rules and observe NO TRACE! ethics.
Closest Towns: 100 miles east of Tucson, 40 miles northeast of Douglas, 45 miles southeast of Willcox, 45 miles southwest of Lordsburg, New Mexico. (Straight line distances, not road mileages.)
Water: Water available in most canyons along the Crest year-round. Purification of water recommended
Operated By: Douglas Ranger District
Information Center: Douglas Ranger District 520-364-3468

General Information

Directions: FR 42D to the Crest Trail #270 at Rustler Park; FR 42 to South Fork Trail #243 near Portal; FR 74E to Rucker Trail #222 at Rucker Recreation Area. Trails in Wilderness: Major trails are the Crest #270, Rucker #222, and South Fork #243. Other trails include # 43, 221, 224, 228, 246, 247, 248, 263, 264 & 352.



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  Elevation : 
5,200 feet - 9,797 feet