If you begin at the northern trailhead on Forest Road #42, you will start out among scrub oak and yucca on a dry slope and climb 2,000 feet, first to Ida Saddle, and then to Barefoot Park. Vegetation along the lower stretches of the trail is stunted enough to provide occasional views of the rocky bluffs and forested slopes that hem in Pinery Canyon. Switchbacks are the rule along much of this part of the trail as it climbs from oak-juniper woodlands into a nature pine forest. The trail first passes through an old burn area which, in 1953, was the site of a large fire called the Ida Burn. The burn is marked with a sign. Nature is well on its way to reforesting the area.
Above the burn, one of the most impressive stands of pine trees in the Chiricahuas shades the trail and carpets it with pine needles. At Ida Saddle, you may choose to bushwhack your way along game trails and rough pathways over to the twin summits of Ida Peak. From the saddle, it's a fairly easy mile to Barefoot Park and the end of the trail.
Directions: From Tucson, Take I-10 east 81 miles to State Route 186. Turn south and continue for 23 miles to State Route 181. Turn east towards Chiricahua National Monument and drive 4 miles to Forest Road #42. Continue up 42 for 6 miles to FR 42C and the northern trailhead. Or, continue up FR 42, turn right at FR 42D and right on FR 357 to the southern trailhead.
Elevation: 6,210 feet
Ending Elevation: 8,280 feet
Elevation Gain: 2,070 feet
Distance: 3.7 miles
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Coronado National Forest, Arizona
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