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Huachuca Peak is the usual destination of travelers along this trail loop, but Lyle Canyon and Peterson Peak are worthy of interest as well. Huachuca's 8,410' summit is actually outside Coronado National Forest boundaries, on the Fort Huachuca Military Reservation, at the end of a 1.5 mile spur trail. No special measures must be taken to enter the fort, other than to remember that camping is not permitted here. You should also take note that areas of the fort are sometimes used for military maneuvers, which can include the firing of live ammunition. You can travel the loop in either direction, but most start out along the Lyle Canyon Trail. This way you walk down, instead of climbing up, the steepest, rockiest part of this slope. Starting out in that direction also gets you into the fine riparian area along Lyle Creek earlier in the hike. After leaving the trailhead, the Lyle Canyon Trail visits a couple of other canyons before it enters the drainage for which it's named. Once the trail drops into Lyle Canyon, about
2 miles from the trailhead, the Huachuca Peak Trail branches off up canyon while the Lyle Canyon Trail turns downstream towards a junction with the Brushy Creek Road. Continuing along the loop, the Huachuca Peak Trail stays with Lyle Canyon for about 2 miles, taking advantage of the cool shade of the pleasant stream side setting before starting the serious part of the climb to the Huachuca summit. As you cross the Forest boundary and enter the Military Reservation, you'll pass the Peterson Peak Trail junction. Remember that place for the return trip. Views from Huachuca Peak have been described as some of the most notable in the Huachucas. The return trip along the Peterson Peak Trail offers good views as well.

Directions: From Sierra Vista, Drive 13 miles south of Sierra Vista on AZ Highway 92 to the Coronado Memorial Road (FR 61). Turn right (south) and continue through the Coronado National Memorial to Montezuma Pass. From the pass, continue on FR 61 about 8.4 miles to FR 48. Continue northwest on FR 48 and drive 3.1 miles to FR 228. Turn north on FR 228 and drive 2.5 miles to a fork in the road. Beyond this point you'll need a four-wheel drive vehicle with good clearance. Follow the left fork 0.5 mile to the Lyle Canyon and Peterson Peak Trailhead. From AZ Hwy. 92 it's a total of 22.7 miles to the Lyle Canyon Trailhead.

Elevation: 5,980 feet

Elevation Gain: 2,430 feet

Distance: 7.5 miles

Usage: Light

Difficulty: Strenuous

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Coronado National Forest, Arizona

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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