Safford - Morenci Trail

Safford, Arizona

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An overnight or longer backpack along a historic trail in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area. This well-established but rocky trail winds through rugged and beautiful canyons whose walls are composed of volcanic rocks such as basalt, rhyolite, and andesite. The vegetation varies from mesquite and creosote bush at the West Ranch trailhead to riparian species like Fremont cottonwood, willow, and Arizona sycamore along Bonita Creek to pinyon-juniper-oak woodland in Smith Canyon. Wildlife is abundant. Look for signs of mule deer, mountain lion, javelina, coyote, and gray fox. Bonito Creek, which is located at about the half-way point, makes an excellent camping spot.

Safford - Morenci Trail Professional Review and Guide

"An overnight or longer backpack along a historic trail in the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area. This well-established but rocky trail winds through rugged and beautiful canyons whose walls are composed of volcanic rocks such as basalt, rhyolite, and andesite.

The vegetation varies from mesquite and creosote bush at the West Ranch trailhead to riparian species like Fremont cottonwood, willow, and Arizona sycamore along Bonita Creek to pinyon-juniper-oak woodland in Smith Canyon. Wildlife is abundant. Look for signs of mule deer, mountain lion, javelina, coyote, and gray fox. Bonito Creek, which is located at about the half-way point, makes an excellent camping spot."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Safford
Distance: 18
Elevation Gain: 2,400 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Backpack
Season: Best March to May, September to November
Trailhead Elevation: 4,800 feet
Top Elevation: 6,000 feet
Local Contacts: Safford Field Office BLM
Local Maps: USGS Bonita Spring, Weber Peak, Copperplate Gulch, Lone Star Mountain
Driving Directions: Directions to Safford - Morenci Trail

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May 2018