Flys Peak is located in the far southeast corner of Arizona in a section of the Coronado National Forest. The peaks in the Chiricahua Mountains, where Flys Peak is located, approach 10,000 ft and provide a true "sky island" experience. Expect to drive and hike through numerous ecosystems as you approach Flys Peak. The Chiricahua Mountains are home to dozens of differnt animal species and are a stopover point an endless list of birds.
Flys Peak is easily accessible by a variety of different well marked trails. The Chiricahua Mountains offer a welcome respite from the summer heat for many southern Arizonans and the forest service (as well as volunteers) do a wonderful job maintaining the 111 miles of trails that wind through canyons and up peaks. The Rattlesnake Fire in 1994 burned more than 25,000 acres on the west side of the range and although there are still many signs of the fire the area is beginning to make a full recovery.
Flys Peak is often hiked in conjunction with Chiricahua Peak as it is about halfway along the crest trail if one starts from Rustlers Park. There is a well maintained trail to the top of the Flys Peak, and an opening in the trees at the summit that affords a nice view towards Chiricahua Peak itself. While combining the two peaks is a great way to spend a day, hiking to the summit of Flys Peak alone is a very worthwhile objective and would create a slightly shorter day of hiking.
The view from the summit of Flys Peak looking towards Chiricahua Peak
There are numerous ways to reach Flys Peak, but one of the more popular trail heads is located at Rustler Park. Rustler Park can be reached in the following manner:
Exit I-10 at exit #340 (Wilcox) and head southeast on AZ 186. Follow signs leading to Chiricahua National Monument. A few miles before the Monument a turn east onto AZ 181 will have to be made. Just before reaching the monument turn right on signed Pinery Canyon Rd. Follow this road for about 14.5 miles to Rustler Park Campground. Along the way you'll note Onion Saddle at 11.6 miles from the Pinery Canyon turnoff, a T-Junction and sign for Rustler Park and Bar Foot Camp (follow 42D to Rustler Park) at 13.6 miles and finally the campground at 14.5 miles. My Toyota Camry was able to make the drive to Rustlers Park without any problems.
If you're approaching Flys Peak from New Mexico you can reach Onion Saddle (mentioned above) by exiting I-10 at exit #5 and heading south on NM 80. Around three miles south of the NM 9 intersection turn west on route 533 towards Portal, AZ. Follow 533 to Portal and stop at the General Store for some good food (the Reuban was great!), before heading southwest out of town on forest road 42. Forest road 42 is passable for passenger cars and will eventually lead you to Onion Saddle where 42D can be followed to Rustlers Park.
If you decide to hike from Rustlers Park be aware that there is a $3 day use fee.
There is a nice campground located at Rustlers Park. Sites, which may be closed in winter, usually have water April-Nov., $10 camping, $5 day use, or $3 for trailhead parking. Steel boxes protect your food from bears.
External LinksThe Arizona Handbook's description of the Chiricahua Mountains
Chiricahua National Monument
Nearby Chiricahua Mountain PeaksChiricahua Peak