Skeleton Canyon

Douglas, Arizona

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This trek follows an active jeep trail deep into the Peloncillo Mountains. It follows Skeleton Canyon, which has been an important travel route through the range since pre-Columbian times. According to legend, a band of travelers was waylaid and massacred in the canyon in the late 1800s, and coins and human bones turned up in the wash for years after the event. A massive butte looms to the southeast, while the northern side of the canyon is guarded by a low palisade of cliffs ornamented with finely carved pillars and spires. These fascinating formations persist as far as Pine Canyon, where a marked trail runs southward into the heart of the Peloncillos.

Skeleton Canyon Professional Review and Guide

"This trek follows an active jeep trail deep into the Peloncillo Mountains. It follows Skeleton Canyon, which has been an important travel route through the range since pre-Columbian times. According to legend, a band of travelers was waylaid and massacred in the canyon in the late 1800s, and coins and human bones turned up in the wash for years after the event.

A massive butte looms to the southeast, while the northern side of the canyon is guarded by a low palisade of cliffs ornamented with finely carved pillars and spires. These fascinating formations persist as far as Pine Canyon, where a marked trail runs southward into the heart of the Peloncillos."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Douglas
Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 163 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day hike
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 4,700 feet
Top Elevation: 4,840 feet
Local Contacts: Peloncilla Wilderness Study Area, Douglas Ranger District, Coronado National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Skeleton Canyon
Driving Directions: Directions to Skeleton Canyon

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May 2018