Crest Trail - Chiricahua Peak Bypass #270D

Important Note

This trail is also sometimes referred to as the Fir Trail.

Current Trail Conditions

As of May 2019, this trail is free of deadfall following a Sierra Club service trip.

Length: 1.13 mi

Difficulty: moderate

Condition: moderate

Elevation range: 9165 ft – 9570 ft

Elevation gain/loss: 170 ft ↑ / 460 ft ↓

Average slope: 4.9%


The Chiricahua Peak Bypass of the Crest Trail can be accessed from two locations.

The higher elevation eastern terminus is at Aspen Saddle along the southeastern leg of the Crest Trail. (31.84217, -109.28597) This junction is marked by a sign.

The lower elevation western terminus is at Chiricahua Saddle along the southwestern leg of the Crest Trail. (31.84307, -109.29953) This junction is also signed.

Trail Description

From Aspen Saddle, the trail heads northwest in a straight line for just under 0.2 mile. This area has little plant life and erosion can cause the trail to disappear from sight, but it was redefined in October 2013 and can currently be easily followed. A benefit of the barren slopes here is that it has a spectacular view into the top end of Rucker Canyon and beyond. The western fork of the Crest Trail can be seen along its ridge as it passes Paint Rock on its way to Monte Vista Peak.

Another 0.2 mile through eroded slopes and occasionally faint trail and you will reach the edge of unburned forest, which the trail remains in for the rest of its length. It's the same distance again to the high point of the trail, a pass with many large rocks descending the ridge to the south-southwest where a prominent outcrop lies. From the high point, the trail passes through five switchbacks as it descends to Chiricahua Saddle. The trail is very well built through here, often rock lined and clearly visible even if overgrown. From the bottom of the last switchback, the trail heads almost straight west for 0.14 mile to Chiricahua Saddle. The Mormon Canyon Trail junction is 250 feet northeast along the Crest Trail.


Topographic map of Crest Trail - Chiricahua Peak Bypass #270D

Last updated May 17, 2019.