Portal, AZ - Rodeo, NM

Serving The Communities Of Portal and Rodeo  (www.portal-rodeo.com)


Hike For July 18 - Snowshed Trail

Meet:  Silver Peak Trailhead at 7:00 am (AZ) - 8:00 am (NM)

Carol Simon  (520) 558-2433  casimon@vtc.net 

Elaine Moisan (520)558-5204 emoisan2011@hotmail.com


Click On Any Image To See It In Its Original (Larger) Size

Seven hikers drove to Rustler Park to check out a trail we once loved but that has fallen into major disrepair. 

This trail parallels much of the Long Park Road and is called the Old Telephone Line Trail in Rick Taylor’s 1977 Hiking Trails and Wilderness Routes of the Chiricahua Mountains. This book is a gem for those of us that still have a copy. Mine is held together with a rubber band. Along this old road/trail was a functional saw mill in the late 1940s. Once there were trout and beaver here and this area is the headwaters for Turkey Creek. 

Taylor says: 

Dates carved on trailside aspen from 1900 commemorate the route’s early history as part of the original Crest Trail. Subsequently the Forest Service used it for a telephone line trail. After the Long Park Road was built it fell into disuse, and later, when radio communications succeeded the primitive telephone line, it was abandoned altogether.

At Rustler Park we divided into two groups. One group would hike the old road/trail from the bottom, starting at the first turn along the Long Park Road, and the other from the top, starting at Long Park. Rustler Park was in fine form, filled with Western Sneezeweed, a common composite in our high meadows.

The group that drove up to Long Park had a bit of an adventure, clearing the road, as seen below. (The photographer also helped to roll the log but stepped away to take the picture.) This technique is amazingly effective for rolling even massive logs.

Both groups were pleased that we were able to find the trail most of the time and we talked about how to improve the route in the future. The upper portion of the trail had a mild burn from the Horseshoe II Fire in 2011, and the lower portion had a more substantial burn, resulting in far more downed trees and areas choked with low brush. The upper portion of the trail is truly majestic, and reminiscent of what the top of the mountain was like before it burned so badly. Here we sat among towering Douglas Firs and very tall aspens, and simply enjoyed the day. 

A real highlight was visiting the largest Douglas Fir in the Chiricahuas, as seen below. The photo was taken with an iPhone set to the panoramic mode. We were all pleased with the result! About nine feet up the three trunk we could see a wire attachment site for the old phone line.

Our two groups met up for lunch, which we all enjoyed in our own way.

And as always, we looked for interesting things along our route. Below you can see the exquisite Pine Satyr, found only the Chiricahua and Huachuca Mountains, as well as a Fork in the Trail.

For next week we will meet at 7:00 a.m. AZ time, 8:00 a.m. NM, because it is so hot. (I think that soon we’ll have to hike at night.) Meet at the Silver Peak Trailhead to carpool to the start of the Snowshed Trail. This trail climbs several thousand feet along the five mile route to Pine Park. Bring lots of water, sunscreen, a hat and cool clothing. Much of the trail is south facing. It is possible to walk a loop to Herb Martyr, where we can opt to leave a car. It is also possible to simply turn around and come back down the mountain.

Happy trails!

Report by Carol

Photos by Carol, Elaine and Elly

The 62 Highest Peaks, Mountains, Hills, And Lookouts In The Chiricahuas

(Tabulated by Ray Brooks)

(Form Necessary To Work With Trail Crew)

Download - Complete - Mail

To volunteer with the US Forest Service, fill out an application. If accepted, a Volunteer Service Agreement specifying the task(s) will be sent to you.
DOWNLOAD THE FORM. Print it, fill out, sign in block 23, and date. You can scan a signed document and e-mail it toArmando Arvizu at:             armando.arvizu@usda.gov

You can also mail the form to Armando at the Douglas Ranger District Office:

1192 W. Saddle View Rd.  Douglas, AZ 85607

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