Many people refer to this as the Ramsey Canyon Trail. It starts at the parking lot of the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve, which is famous around the world for its fabulous birdwatching. You'll have to obtain a free permit to cross the Preserve (available at the visitor center at the trailhead) and, if you're coming on a weekend or holiday, you'll want to call in advance to reserve a spot in their parking lot. The only parking in this canyon is at the Preserve, where spaces are extremely limited and in very high demand. Once you've taken care of your vehicle and have your hiking permit, you're ready to head up-canyon.
About the first mile of the trail is on Nature Conservancy property, where you'll no doubt have a lot of birdwatchers for company. You might want to join them, at least for a while, as this canyon boasts one of the most diverse bird populations in the U. S. At the upper limit of the Preserve, some steep switchbacks take you into the Coronado National Forest and the Miller Peak Wilderness. Your reward for climbing this far is a good overlook of lower Ramsey Canyon and the San Pedro Valley. Above the switchbacks, the trail drops back down to the creek and follows it through a riparian zone as lush and as pleasant as any you will find in the Southwest.
Hundreds of small waterfalls and rocky cascades tumble past gnarly sycamores and lacy-limbed firs to add to the picturesque nature of this outstanding area. The trail crosses the stream more times than you'll want to count as you climb toward the upper elevations of the Huachucas. (This can cause problems if the water level is high.) Farther along, you'll pass the remains of old mining digs and leveled homesites that once were occupied by the cabins of the old mining settlement of Hamburg. The trail then follows Wisconsin Canyon to good views, broader horizons and a junction with the Crest Trail #103 at Bear Saddle.
Restrictions: Horses are not permitted on trails within the Nature Conservancy Preserve. 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: Drive 6 miles south of Sierra Vista on AZ Highway 92 to Ramsey Canyon Road. Turn right and follow Ramsey Canyon Road 3.5 miles to the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve parking area and trailhead. Parking reservations are required for weekend and holiday visits. Weekday parking is on a space available basis.
Day Hiking: Streamside hiking. World class birdwatching. Other watchable wildlife. Great views. Historic mining district. Old mine shafts may be unstable and are not safe to enter. This trail is entirely within the Miller Peak Wilderness. This trail is entirely within the Miller Peak Wilderness. USGS Map(s): Miller Peak