Fife Canyon Trail #273


Hoovey Canyon, Green Canyon, and Fife Canyon trails all branch off the 4-wheel drive road that leads down Pine Canyon from the Methodist Camp turnoff. From different points along that road they climb the side canyons for which they are named to the top of Witch Ridge. Because of the status of these trails as primitive, they are unmarked and kept open mainly by the traffic that passes over them. Maintenance on primitive trails is limited to repairing environmental damage and removing blow-downs, so be ready to backtrack if you lose the route. Each of the canyon trails starts by following an abandoned jeep track up a major side drainage of Pine Canyon up the north slope of Witch Ridge. As they climb, jeep tracks give way to trails, which stay with the streambed as the gradient steepens. At some point even the trails disappear. From this point on, these trails might be better described as routes. To follow them all the way to the east-west running Witch Ridge Trail #260 requires exercising some pathfinding skills and perhaps even ascending the last pitch of the slope on hands and knees through the underbrush. Witch Ridge Trail also can be very difficult to find. It is most easily located from the Green Canyon Trail or Hoovey Canyon Trail junctions east of the Rattlesnake Trail. These trails provide a good opportunity for the recreationist who is proficient in the use of a map and compass and is interested in getting away from more crowded trails along the Chiricahua Crest and in Cave Creek and Rucker canyons.

At a Glance

Usage: Light
Restrictions: Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness.
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 6 miles to FR 42C. Turn right (south) on FR 42C and then right again (west) on FR 357. All of these trails are accessible from FR 357. This is a 4-wheel drive road. Forest Road 42 is a gravel road suitable for passenger vehicles. This road is open April through November. The road is not plowed and is usually closed following snowstorms. This road is rough and dusty and may be muddy and slick after a rain.



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Day Hiking

Secluded and remote, forested setting, pathfinding experience. Watchable wildlife. 4.2 miles in Wilderness. USGS Map(s): Fife Peak, Rustler Park
Elevation desc5,400 - 7,400 feet
Difficulty Level: More Difficult


Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
4.6 miles

  Elevation : 
5,400 feet - 7,400 feet