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Turtle Mountain offers a primitive route to the summit of soaring Monte Vista Peak out of Sycamore Canyon. It can be combined with the Monte Vista Trail #221 and the Brushy Canyon Trail, in appropriately named Brushy Canyon, to form a loop through this high and scenic region of the southern Chiricahuas. The Turtle Mountain Trail is exceptionally steep in a number of places, especially where it climbs up and over the rocky rim of Sycamore Canyon. At times you may feel that the trail's name is derived as much from the pace you are setting in traveling as it does from the shape of the nearby mountain.

After you climb out of Sycamore's inner gorge, scramble to a steep saddle and curve around the northwestern shoulder of Turtle Mountain, 9,357 foot Monte Vista Peak comes into view. When you reach its summit, you will find a panorama that stretches well into Mexico and encompasses much of southeastern Arizona and a healthy chunk of southwestern New Mexico.

To make a round trip of your hike, just drop down the Monte Vista Trail into North Fork Canyon.

This trail is designated primitive and does not receive maintenance. It is not recommended for stock use.

Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness Areas.

Directions: From Douglas, Take Leslie Canyon Road north to Rucker Canyon. Stay on the main road, which becomes FR 74 at the Forest boundary. Continue on FR 74 for 5 miles to FR 74E. Turn left on FR 74E and drive 2 miles to FR 4244. Turn left and drive to the end of the road.

Elevation: 6,010 feet

Ending Elevation: 9,240 feet

Elevation Gain: 3,230 feet

Distance: 6.6 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.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.