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.
The 11-mi. Crest Trail is part of the 20.5-mi. Huachuca Mountains Passage (AZ Trail Passage 1) of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. Visit www.aztrail.org for additional information.