On March 2/2014 we drove south from Catalina State Park to the Chiricahua mountain range. Planning on riding the Chiricahua monument the morning of the 3rd. There is no horse camping at the monument so we headed to the right of it on Pinery Canyon road. We drove just a little over 5 miles in to a dry camping area on the right hand side. The road will say no rigs over 40 feet but we were able to get in and out of the campsite with our large rigs. Then in the morning Alan Gillman came with his trailer and we loaded 4 horses drove 2 loads to the equine parking lot you see below on map. We had 8 horses all together.
Above in pink is the trail we rode. The last time we rode here we took the Mushroom trail home. It was a 17 mile loop in all, but because of all the rains they had in September last year the Mushroom trail is now closed to horses.
This time we rode a 10 mile loop starting at the Faraway Ranch (That Swedish immigrates at settled in at in 1888 Neil and Emma Erickson) to the Rhyolite trail that takes you through the beautiful wilderness on a gradual climb through oak, pine, & cypress trees. The beautiful blue Mexican Jay bird is all around as you ride through this forested area. You will here the beautiful sounds of the birds. We even saw a herd of Arizona white-tailed deer on the way up too.
Alan picked us up right at 9am at Camp. He had no problem finding our camp even though it though it looked like it was in the middle of no where LOL
To get to the Chiricahuas the Monument is 35 miles southwest of Willcox Arizona. From 1-10 take the 186 south to the 181. The entrance to the Monument is right there on the left if you go right it will take you down Pinery Canyon road to the camp area.
Ron, Sharon and I were on the first load into the Monument. Alan left his mule Foxy here for us to watch while he headed back for the second group in camp.
I walked over and took some pictures of the Faraway Ranch while we waited
Then second group was here in about 30 minutes.
Then we headed out.
Here is a shot of the group everyone but me. Alan Gillman, Ron Stolp, Edna and Darrell Brown , Irene and Ross Walker and Sharon Jackson.
Same place but this time I am in the picture on the far right
The first part of the ride takes you through the bottom of the Rhyolite Canyon.
This ride is one of a kind every corner brings more beauty
Sharon was our faithful leader up to the top of the monument.
Love this picture looking up the valley you can see as far as the Dragoon mountain range in the distance.
This is a beautiful shot of Irene Walker at the creek near the top.
Great shot of most of us.
Irene, Ross and Alan in tow.
Sharon says "You don't want to know how far down I am looking".
Heading into the Hoodoo's
Irene, Ross and Alan coming up what is called "Wall Street".
I followed Ron through "Wall Street".
Getting close to the top.
A look down on the Hoodoo's of the Chiricahua's
Another look back over the monument. Just breathtaking!!
Some hikers taking pictures of the Hoodoo's and the 8 horses heading their way.
Through some more Hoodoo's.
Yes it is a little edgy this is not a trail for any nervous riders. You must have sure footed animals.
Lunch break at the top.
Now the ride down
This is truly a "Bucket List Ride".
Now on to the "Cochise Stronghold".