Hiking Arizona's Cactus Country
by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
© Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
Took an interesting route this time. We drove to the Reef Townsite Campground parking lot and from there hiked back down the road to the base of the hill and back up to the parking lot before heading up the trail to Carr Peak. This was 10 miles on the dirt road. It was pretty strenuous but adds some amazing views along the way. There were several others doing the same thing. Plus, you can stop off at the waterfall if you go at the right time of year. From the parking lot we headed up the trail. The first part of the trail is mostly loose rock, which sucks for hiking on, but after about 1/2 a mile the trail got better, though most of the trail is very rocky. The sights along the trail are breathtaking at times, especially on the backside looking into Miller Canyon. It is a bit discouraging to get to the last switch-back on the front of the mountain and realize you have to go around to the back in order to get to the top, but the views on that side more than make up for it. The trail is moderately strenuous (more so with a 10 mile hike before hand) and is a great day hike.
Carr Peak is an excellent hike. If you want a bigger challenge, instead of heading directly up to Carr, pick up the 124 trail which will take you through Miller Canyon, up through a deciduous / coniferous mix forest and finally onto the crest trail. You'll hit Carr from the back side and it is well worth the effort.
Great hike. National Forest Service takes great care of the trails up to the peak. Interesting hike through various elevations and changes in plant life. Near the top of the peak you travel to the backside of the mountain, amazing views of Miller Peak and mountain meadows. I would put this hike in the moderate range (not strenuous). Definitely check this one out! The Aspens are beautiful...
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