While back in college, my roommate and I got a wild itch to escape the Phoenix summer heat, so we escaped to the Sky Islands of southern AZ. We hiked Chiricahua Peak late in the day, and fell short of the summit. We bivyd on a cliff edge and enjoyed the view. We summited the next day and were fortunate to find a spring of water on the top. We were also fortunate to make it past a small timber rattler on the trail. Probably the best moment of the short trip was waking up in our tent on the second night in a grass field, thinking people were walking around our tent, but to our surprise, more than 5 deer were having dinner around us. When woke in the morning and got out of the tent, it looked as if a lawnmower had raced around our tent and all that was left was just small spikes of grass.
Route Climbed: Mormon Creek Date Climbed: 2004 January 02
There was a small amount of snow at the trailhead, and of course it increased with elevation. About two miles up the trail, there was enough snow to put on crampons, so I did, but above 9000 feet, I was wishing I hadn't left my snowshoes in the car. There was about a foot of soft snow that substantially added to the difficulty in hiking to the summit. It was a beautiful day to hike this mountain, and I'm glad I made the 500-mile drive down here from Nevada.
Route Climbed: Mormon Creek Trail & Long Park Date Climbed: Feb 20, 2000 & Nov 8, 2003
In 2000 I made a one-day turnaround from Phoenix to the range and back in one long 20-hour day, but still had a great hike. In 2003 my wife and I approached the top from the north and had a pleasant half-day outing. The 'parks' (saddles) are beautiful!