This trail is located on the lower western slopes of the Chiricahuas and provides a route between the West Turkey Creek and Rucker Creek drainages. Along the way it passes through an area of oak woodlands dotted with juniper and pinyon pine where thickets of manzanita cover the ridgetops. Although the trail is rated more difficult, portions are steep and all of it can be hot. Be sure and bring plenty of water when you travel this route, especially if you come during the warmer months of the year.
Since the Cottonwood-Fire Canyon Trail is maintained in a primitive condition, visitors should come prepared to find their own way in places where it can become hard to follow. Remember, that along primitive trails the only maintenance provided is to mitigate environmental damage, control erosion and remove major obstructions. With that in mind, bring your compass and topographic map and be ready for an adventure.
Trail signs added to clarify route and boundary markers. This 4.0 mile trail has not been surveyed since the fire and summer rains. June 2012
Restrictions: Motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment, including mountain bikes, are not permitted in Wilderness. See the Wilderness section of this guide for more wilderness rules and ethics.
Directions: From Tucson, take I-10 east for 72 miles to US 191. Turn south 21 miles to AZ 181 and drive 12 miles east to the Turkey Creek turnoff (FR 41). Follow this road 4 miles east to FR 334 (4-wheel drive road). The northern trailhead is at the end of FR 334. These roads are rough and dusty and may be muddy and slick when wet. There is a flash flood danger at water crossings following summer and winter storms.
Day Hiking: Secluded and remote. Wilderness setting Primitive trail. 3.8 miles of this trail is located in the Chiricahua Wilderness.This trail is maintained in a primitive condition. Using it safely requires appropriate skills and equipment. USGS Map(s): Chiricahua Pea