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At the turn of the century, Sunnyside Canyon was filled with the hustle and bustle of a couple of copper mines, a sawmill and a busy community. Now, it is a quiet haven for bird watchers and nature lovers. The trail that leads into this mountain valley, which was once called Glance Canyon, follows what remains of an old wagon road. The road provided access to the community of Sunnyside as well as the Copper Glance and Eureka mines. Sycamores and Ponderosa pines shade this easy going pathway as it wanders up the canyon. Trailside riparian habitat, nourished by the seasonal flow of the canyon's intermittent stream, provides a home and foraging area for a variety of colorful songbirds and other wildlife. At several points along the trail, evidence can be seen of the mines and dwellings that existed here when as many as 80 people called this pleasant area home. Watchable wildlife and historic ambiance make the lower reaches of the Sunnyside Canyon Trail an excellent place for a leisurely outing. For those who enjoy more of a strenuous outing, it continues on to high vistas and connections with other trails that wander deeper into the backcountry. As the trail nears the head of Sunnyside Canyon, it climbs a series of switch backs that eventually take it to a junction with the Crest Trail #103 high in the Huachucas. Views along this stretch of the route are stunning and reach well into Mexico. After enjoying the panorama, you can either head back the way you came, or set out on a longer trip along the Crest Trail and any of its numerous connectors.

Directions: From Sierra Vista, Drive 13 miles south of Sierra Vista on AZ Highway 92 to Coronado Memorial Road (FR 61). Turn right (south) and continue through the Coronado National Memorial to Montezuma Pass. From this 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 about 2.5 miles to FR 204. Turn right on FR 204 which ends in 0.9 mile at the trailhead.

Elevation: 5,950 feet

Ending Elevation: 8,475 feet

Elevation Gain: 2,525 feet

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.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.