Copper Canyon Trail, Hiking Trip #48
Date: May 31, 2018
Goal: Hike Copper Canyon to crest
Weather: Beautiful, slight cloud cover. Start temp: 67 at 7:10 AM. Projected high: 94
Trail: Copper Canyon to crest
Hiking Partner: Scott Weiss
Distance: Projected 1.6 miles until trail hits washout then bushwhacked to crest (unknown)
Start Elevation: 5,906 Ft.
End Elevation: Same
Elevation Change: 945 Ft.
Calories Burned: 967 (at end of hike all trails showed twice but next day showed half. Not sure why???)
Do It Again: Probably not (see below)
Comments: To get to Copper Canyon you again have to drive to the south end of the Huachuca Mountains, over Montezuma’s Pass and then down the back side of the mountain, only a short drive. Not near as far as Bear Canyon. Just after passing over Montezuma’s Pass, we saw a Coati Mundi (actually, we only saw the tail as it crested the brim of the road and was gone).
The trailhead is right off the road, so no need to drive miles back to the trail head, as with Bear Canyon. There is a really neat rock outcropping right at the trailhead.
As you climb up the mountain, there are spectacular views
The trail was actually an old mining roadbed and would be a ball on a Can Am or Razor, with the exception that it turns out the trail is: Bad News, only about a mile long. Good News, it has an elevation gain of almost 1,000 feet over that mile! So, it is very steep! Very Steep! The mine goes back about 45-50 feet.
I went to the back of the mine while Scott stayed outside to make sure that we would get out alive (actually, he does like being inside mines). Anyway, inside the mine there were recent signs of illegals, using it as a place to stop over. Once we had checked out the mine, we tried to go to the crest, but immediately after the mine the roadbed/trail ceased to exist. There was reportedly a flood after the fire of 2011 that washed out part of the trail. In an effort to find the trail, we bushwhacked straight up the mountain for about a quarter of a mile. However, the dirt was loose and steeper than the trail had been, plus there was a large rock wall in front of us. We saw no easy way around, so we decided to go laterally hoping to find the trail; but, after about a quarter of a mile of this, we gave that thought up, too. We wondered where the illegals had gone to get out of there, NOT BACK DOWN, THAT’S FOR SURE!!!
Moving back down, we checked out the area just above the mine and found where the old miners had blasted out an area.
The green in the picture is copper and the holes are for blasting. On the way up to the mine, we had passed a spot that looked like there might have been another mine because of mine tailings; but after searching the area and sliding all over the mountain, we gave this up and just headed back down to Scott’s truck. This was probably our shortest hike but it was VERY interesting and VERY steep! We only covered 2.4 miles, round trip!!
After the hike, Scott wanted to go to the Ghost Town of Sunnyside. It was early so we headed there. On the way, we passed a deer (so, animal wise, this was a good trip as we briefly saw a Coati Mundi and a deer. There are hikes where we don’t even see or hear birds!). In the middle of nowhere (REALLY) we saw a street sign that said “Sunnyside”.
After following the dirt road, we came to Sunnyside.
Here are two links, both worth a read: Sunnyside , More on Sunnyside We left Sunnyside and headed to Lighting Ridge Winery, as my kids got me a gift card for my birthday for two bottles of wine and lunch with my hiking buddy. But, Lighting Ridge is closed on Thursday’s (oh darn, I’ll have to go back). However, we did make it to the new brewery that recently opened in Sonoita: Copper Brothel Brewery.
This is my second, Scotts first, trip there and the atmosphere is very nice. While the menu is limited, it is very good food (they are adding items as they get more established). Starting June 1, 2018, they will be serving beers that they brewed at the brewery! We both had the Chimichanga, REALLY GOOD!! I would definitely get it again!! By the time we arrived back at Scott’s home, we had driven ALL the way around the Huachuca Mountains!! Short hike, Long ride, GREAT day!!!