Brown Canyon Trail leads into a scenic little canyon with good views and high desert vegetation. A spur trail, the Pomona Mine Trail, leads to the site of an old tungsten mine while the Brown Canyon Trail continues on into Ramsey Canyon. Brown Canyon is a relatively shallow, open canyon carved among rolling hills covered with grass, oak, and mazanita. Its upper reaches provide excellent views of the sheer cliffs of the Dragoon Mountains' western face, as well as of the Chiricahuas in the distance to the east and the Whetstones and Galiuros to the north.
Some people use this trail as an alternate route into beautiful, bird-filled Ramsey Canyon. Using this route means you don't have to park at the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve visitor center where, if you didn't remember to get the required parking reservation in advance, you'll be turned away. Brown Canyon Trail can also be combined with the Hamburg Trail #122 in Ramsey Canyon to make a fine day trip loop. No shuttle is required if you walk the 1.5 miles of road between the Brown Canyon Trailhead and the Ramsey Canyon Visitor Center.
You will need a permit to cross Nature Conservancy property on the Hamburg Trail, and you'll have to leave your horse at home. No horses are permitted in the Preserve. The best direction in which to travel this loop is up Ramsey Canyon and back down Brown Canyon. Another feature to visit along this trail is the old Pomona Mine high on Scheelite Ridge. A side trip of 1.4 miles will take you to the remains of that old tungsten mine and more fine vistas.
Restrictions: Old mining shafts may be unstable and are not safe to enter. 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. Horses are permitted on the Brown Canyon and Pomona Mine trails, but not on the trails within the Nature Conservancy Preserve.
Directions: Drive 6 miles south of Sierra Vista on AZ Highway 92 to Ramsey Canyon Road. Follow Ramsey Canyon Road 2.1 miles to a wire gate on the right (north) side of the road. Park here (adds another 0.4 mile onto trail) and follow the two-track road north and west into Brown Canyon where it becomes the Brown Canyon Trail. There is no marker or sign here.
Day Hiking: The Pomona Mine Trail #116 is extremely steep and usually very hot in the summer. High country/big views . Alternate access to Ramsey Canyon. Historic mining area. Watchable wildlife. If you intend to do a Brown Canyon/Hamburg Loop, remember that the parking lot at the Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve (where you'll access the Hamburg Trail) is frequently full, but reservations are available on weekends and holidays (602-378-2785). This trail is located within the Miller Peak Wilderness. USGS Map(s): Miller Park