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U.S. Forest Service

Peloncillo Mountains

Peloncillo Mountains banner scene. Photo by Scott Surgent at

Peloncillo Mountains map. The Peloncillo Mountains form a long arc to the east of the Chiricahua Mountains. At many points, particularly near the center of the range, these mountains are more a collection of isolated mountaintops than a true mountain range.

Scattered oak woodlands. Much of the southern part of the mountain range that is national forest supports scattered oak woodlands. Photo by Chuck Hathcock at

Typical vegetation and scenery. This is typical vegetation and scenery for the Peloncillo Mountains. Photo by Chuck Hathcock at

Desertscrub and grassland. Vegetation in the central and northern part of the range is mostly desertscrub and grassland. Photo by S. Torrez at

High Point: Gray Mountain, 6,928 feet

Elevation Change from Base: 2,428 feet

Vegetation at Highest Elevations: Pine-oak forest; evergreen oak woodland

The Peloncillo Mountains form a long arc from just south of the Mexican border to near Clifton in Greenlee County, Arizona, a distance of about 100 miles. The mountains are relatively dry and low-lying, but they are the only range in the Sky Islands that form a continuous connection from the Sierra Madre in Mexico to the Mogollon Rim of central Arizona, providing a meshing of diverse habitats from subtropical to temperate and an important regional wildlife corridor. The southern part of the mountain range is managed as part of the Coronado National Forest.

Special Places:

  • Peloncillo Mountains Wilderness: The 19,440-acre Peloncillo Mountains Wilderness is located in the northern part of the mountain range about 9 miles northeast of San Simon, Arizona, in Graham, Greenlee, and Cochise counties. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The wilderness with its rugged mountains and canyons offers outstanding opportunities for primitive recreation, including hiking, backpacking, rock scrambling, hunting and sightseeing.

Special Plants:

Astragalus cobrensis var. maguirei

Hymenoxys ambigens var. neomexicana

Packera neomexicana var. toumeyi

Further reading:

  • Kondor, R. 2002. Peloncillos: A place of stark beauty and solitude. Restoring connections: Newsletter of the Sky Island Alliance 5(4):6. (PDF)