Sugarloaf Lookout

Willcox, Arizona

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This trail makes a brief climb to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, where a fire lookout commands views encompassing Chiricahua National Monument. The path starts out by traversing across the northern slope of Sugarloaf Mountain, which looks out over the clustered pinnacles of Bonita Canyon. After passing through a man-made tunnel, the grade steepens a bit. The path follows the base of an exposed layer of tuff, a rock made of conglomerated volcanic ash. It is structurally weak, and weathers easily into a fine dust. The layer above it is welded tuff, which has been bonded under great heat and pressure to form stone. This formation becomes particularly apparent as the trail swings onto the eastern slope of the mountain. As it passes along the southern face of the hill, the trail offers a broad panorama of Rhyolite Canyon, filled with rows of stone pillars. The forested massif of the Chiricahua Mountains rises beyond the canyon. The final stretch of trail climbs through a dense thicket of manzanita on its way to the fire lookout at the summit.The lookout commands a sweeping view of the Bonita Canyon watershed, Cochise Head, and the Dos Cabezas Range to the north.

Sugarloaf Lookout Professional Review and Guide

"This trail makes a brief climb to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, where a fire lookout commands views encompassing Chiricahua National Monument. The path starts out by traversing across the northern slope of Sugarloaf Mountain, which looks out over the clustered pinnacles of Bonita Canyon. After passing through a man-made tunnel, the grade steepens a bit. The path follows the base of an exposed layer of tuff, a rock made of conglomerated volcanic ash. It is structurally weak, and weathers easily into a fine dust. The layer above it is welded tuff, which has been bonded under great heat and pressure to form stone. This formation becomes particularly apparent as the trail swings onto the eastern slope of the mountain.

As it passes along the southern face of the hill, the trail offers a broad panorama of Rhyolite Canyon, filled with rows of stone pillars. The forested massif of the Chiricahua Mountains rises beyond the canyon. The final stretch of trail climbs through a dense thicket of manzanita on its way to the fire lookout at the summit.The lookout commands a sweeping view of the Bonita Canyon watershed, Cochise Head, and the Dos Cabezas Range to the north."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Willcox
Distance: 1.9
Elevation Gain: 495 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best September to November, March to May
Trailhead Elevation: 6,900 feet
Top Elevation: 7,310 feet
Local Contacts: Chiricahua National Monument
Local Maps: USGS Chiricahua National Monument
Driving Directions: Directions to Sugarloaf Lookout

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May 2018