Miller Peak Wilderness
Named for the highest peak in the Huachuca Mountains, and is the highest and southernmost peak in the United States. This Wilderness encompasses 20,190 acres and was established in 1984. The Miller Peak Wilderness lies between the city of Sierra Vista and the Mexican border in the southern half of the Huachuca Mountains. The Miller Peak Wilderness is a land of sheer cliffs, soaring summits and deep canyons. In these diverse life-zones lives an amazing variety of wildlife including over 170 species of birds (14 species of hummingbirds). Seventy-eight species of mammals have been observed in the Huachuca’s including coatimundi, javelina, black bear and mountain lion. Over 60 species of reptiles also can be found here. Seventeenth-century Spanish Captain Juan Mateo Manje referred to these mountains in his expedition journal as Sierra de Huachuca, or Huachuca Mountains. The name was most likely taken from a nearby Piman village. Once cloaked in pine and fir, fires have converted much of this area to predominantly oak and grass vegetation with mixed conifer and aspen stands at higher elevations. Many sheer cliffs rise hundreds of feet above the canyon floors. At least 21 trails lead through the Wilderness from its eastern, western, and southern boundaries. The Arizona Trail traverses this wilderness before reaching its southern terminus at the U.S./Mexican border. From the Crest Trail (11.5 miles) one can reach the top of Miller Peak. Throughout the area, visitors may encounter evidence of the region's bygone mining and ranching days. Trails here climb from 5,200 feet to as high as 9,466 feet at the apex of Miller Peak, and offer some of the most dramatic views in the Southwest.
The Huachucas are rich in history. These canyons, cliffs, and forests are littered with the remains of various late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century mining booms that all eventually went bust. Today, the gold rush has been replaced by a recreation rush which is adding a new chapter to the history of the Miller Peak Wilderness.
At a Glance
|Restrictions:||Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness.|
|Closest Towns:||The Miller Peak Wilderness is 86 miles southeast of Tucson. The wilderness area is adjacent to the communities of Palominas, Hereford, and Nicksville which offer gas stations and few restaurants. Approximately 10 north of Nicksville on Highway 92 is Sierra Vista. Sierra Vista has a population of approximately 50,000 residents. It has most modern amenities offering lodging, restaurants, gas stations, and shopping, to name a few.|
|Water:||Water available year-around at a limited number of springs & streams. Purify water before drinking|
|Operated By:||Sierra Vista Ranger District|