Crest Trail #270 Wilderness Bdry to Monte Vi


The Crest Trail is actually a system of trails, spurs and side loops that sits like an inverted letter “Y” on the central ridge of the Chiricahuas. To make the job of describing this trail network a bit more manageable, we have broken it up into three parts. This guide page describes the trail from the northern boundary of the Chiricahua Wilderness to the foot of the upside down Y’s southwestern leg on Monte Vista Peak. About 2.5 miles from the Wilderness boundary, the trail reaches Junction Saddle. The southeast fork of the Crest Trail #270 goes to Sentinel Peak. (A guide page entitled "Crest Trail #270 (Junction Saddle to Sentinel Peak)” describes the southeastern leg). Between the Wilderness boundary and Monte Vista Peak, the Crest Trail offers access to a land of diverse forests, wildflower clad meadows, soaring overlooks and some of the highest summits in the mountain range. Particular features accessible along this section of the Crest include Flys Peak, Anita Park, Chiricahua Peak and the unmatched views of Monte Vista Peak. Centella Point, Winn Falls, Anita Spring and Booger Spring are accessible via spurs or connecting trails. Another aspect of this trail is its pleasant character. Much of it wanders along a wide and easy to follow trail, cushioned with pine needles and shaded by tall trees. The gradient is moderate, and grassy parks and distant vistas appear with pleasing frequency. Even the wildlife seems cooperative. It’s a good place to see Coues white-tailed deer, a variety of songbirds and the retreating shadow of a shy black bear. Numerous side trails provide plenty of opportunity for added adventure.

At a Glance

Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: 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. Pack and saddle stock are not allowed overnight in campgrounds.
Operated By: Douglas Ranger District
Information Center: Douglas Ranger District   520-364-3468

General Information

Directions: From Tucson, take I-10 east 81 miles. Turn right (south) on AZ 186 and continue for 23 miles. Turn left (east) on AZ 181 toward Chiricahua National Monument and drive 4 miles, then turn right (south) on FR 42. Continue up Pinery Canyon 12 miles to FR 42D. Drive about 2.5 miles to the Rustler Park Campground. The main access to this trail is via the Barfoot Lookout to Wilderness boundary segment of the Crest Trail from Rustler Park Campground (see that page of the guide). This trail can also be reached from a number of connecting canyon trails. Forest Roads 42 and 42D are gravel roads suitable for passenger vehicles. Open from April through November, they are not plowed and are usually closed following early or late season snowstorms. These roads are rough and dusty and may be muddy and slick after a rain



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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
6.3 miles

  Elevation : 
8,500 feet - 9,600 feet