Cima Cabin from Rustler's Park
Trailhead: Rustler's Park
Length: 9 miles roundtrip
Wilderness Area: Chiricahua Wilderness
Journal: "A Weekend in Paradise"
Directions to Trailhead:
From Wilcox, drive southeast on SR186 to SR181. Turn left and go east 4 miles to Pinery Canyon Road (just before you enter the Chiricahua National Monument). Pinery Canyon Road is also known as FR42. Take FR42 to Onion Saddle. Turn right onto FR42D and go 2.5 miles to the Rustler Park TH.
From the parking area, the trail stars across the road. The trail climbs moderately up and around the Rustlers Park camping area and you can hear the campground activity from the trail. Within a half mile the trail begins a more aggressive climb as it heads for the ridge line. By the time you reach the ridge, you can no longer hear the campground. At 1 mile the trail junction with the Rattlesnake trail enters from the right. A gentle time and six tenths of a mile further you will reach Bootlegger Saddle. From Bootlegger Park the trail passes through a old burned area an climbs to Long Park.
At 2.5 miles from the trailhead you reach a trail interchange and the Wilderness Boundary. To your left is the end of closed FR 42D, Trail #334 and also the north route to the top of Fly's Peak. At 9667 feet, Flys Peak is the second highest mountain in the Chiricahuas. To the right the Crest Trail continues. We stayed with the Crest Trail and .5 miles later reached Round Park and the south end of the route to Flys peak.
Staying at or near the ridgeline, the Crest Trail continues and a 4.2 miles from the trailhead, it reaches Cima Saddle and the junction with the Greenhouse trail. The Crest Trail continues another 1.4 mile to the top of Chiricahua Peak. We chose to descend the Greenhouse trail and .3 miles down this steep trail we reached our turnaround point at Cima Cabin, a Forest Service maintenance cabin.
On our return trip, I climbed up and over Fly's Peak. The south trail was well maintained and switch backed moderately up to the peak. There is a very nice park at the top, but there is no view due to the thick trees. The north route was much in need of maintenance and had numerous downed trees. When we reached the junction we took FR 42D back to Rustler Park. This old jeep road was steep and rocky. In the area near Rustler Park, the road has been closed by the Forest Service and numerous downed trees blocked the road and made hiking difficult.
Our loop was 9 miles in length.
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