Whitetail Trail

Important Note

This trail only appears on one map, and its name comes from there.1 Neither trailhead is signed.

A portion of this trail lies within the boundary of the Chiricahua National Monument, where dogs are not allowed. The boundary is marked by a pedestrian gate through the fence.

Current Trail Conditions

Flood damage has heavily impacted this trail and many portions of it simply do not exist anymore.

Length: 1.69 mi

Difficulty: moderate

Condition: terrible

Elevation range: 5660 ft – 6220 ft

Elevation gain/loss: 20 ft ↑ / 580 ft ↓

Average slope: 6.3%


This trail is accessible from two locations.

The northwestern terminus is located in Bonita Park in the Chiricahua National Monument. Follow Bonita Canyon Drive (AZ 181) for 3.4 miles beyond the Visitor's Center until you come to a road on the left side of the road with a locked gate. The Whitetail Trail begins on the right side of that road, 100 feet beyond the gate. (32.03030, -109.31881)

The southeastern terminus is located along the Whitetail Canyon Road (FR 356), 2.4 miles beyond the end of the county maintained road in Whitetail Canyon. The road has been heavily damaged by flooding in recent years and is very likely undriveable. Where the road leaves the creek for the last time and starts turning to the south to climb towards Hands Pass, the Whitetail Trail continues up along the creek. (32.01789, -109.30051) It is also possible to access this area via the North Fork of Pinery Canyon, but the road is not in good condition on that side either.

Trail Description

Bonita Park to Boundary

Beginning at Bonita Park, the trail angles briefly to the northeast as it drops into position along Whitetail Creek. From there, it parallels the (often dry) creek very closely for the majority of its length. After 0.78 miles, it climbs gradually up the southwestern side of the canyon and, three tenths of a mile later, makes a sharp bend to the right and back to the left as it contours past a side drainage. Another 600 feet after the bend lies a pedestrian gate marking the Chiricahua National Monument/Coronado National Forest boundary. Please keep this gate closed.

Boundary to FR 356

600 feet after the gate, the trail drops back into the creek, occasionally climbing up to the banks and dropping back down again over the remainder of the trail. Towards the end, the trail begins to turn into a two-track.


  1. Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona — A Trail and Recreation Map, Rainbow Expeditions, 7th Edition, 1997

Last updated May 15, 2015.