W7A/CO-171 (4568)

This summit (I was planning to do two, but geographic features interfered) and my next one took me to the ghost towns of Charleston and Millville. This towns have some history that includes mining, an old railroad line that connected them to Tombstone, Mexico, Benson, Fairbank AZ etc and some Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the OK corral. There are plenty of resources on the web, so I am not going to link to a particular one.

As I was preparing for these summits, I was intrigued by what I saw as a "cinder" road. The reason this "road" caught my attention was because it seemed like a more direct route from my house to Sierra Vista AZ, but there was something about it that didn't appear right. Sure enough, after some research and asking around, this "road" wasn't actually a road, it was a rail bed for an old rail line that serviced the mining towns. The rail bed goes directly between the two summits so I figured I would hike that in and just do both. As luck would have it, it was posted as private property, with gates and all. So, I decided that I would just take the trailhead in, break off where I needed to and bushwhack the rest of the way.

Getting off the trailhead turned into a stroke of good luck. As I was walking through the woods I found an adobe wall, then another and another etc. I accidentally ended up on one of the streets from the old town. Creepy, walking through these walls, with the trees and nature reclaiming them etc, but fun none the less.

Once I was through the town I came to the San Pedro river. You will see in the pics there is a structure made from railroad track, that I imagine was used as some sort of errosion control. I find a path through one of the pickets and got down into the riverbed. This is a legit river, deep and fast and I had to walk around quite a bit to find a decent place to cross. Once I crossed the rest of the hike was relatively easy.

This summit was much like the ones in the Tucson area, with one exception: very few cacti. The climb itself was not very steep, which made the rocky terrain bearable.

I tried to take a direct route to the second summit, but the San Pedro river cut a very deep gorge, much too steep and rocky to climb down, then back up safely and too far to go around. I decided to call it a day and head into Sierra Vista to get some stuff done.

There are pics of the second summit, which I will tackle in the future. That one is right off the trailhead so it should go pretty easy.

Both summits from the drive in.
CO-170 from the parking area.
One of several markers.
Where I parked and crossed.
The old railroad line.
Deer stand or something else?
Erosion Control?
Erosion Control?
The San Pedro River
The San Pedro River
Big Cottonwoods.
Big Cottonwoods.
Big Cottonwoods.
Big Cottonwoods.
Big Cottonwoods.
CO-170 from CO-171, notice the trees along the river.
SE view of the river.
NE.
CO-171
CO-171
Charleston Adobe Ruins.
Charleston Adobe Ruins.
Charleston Adobe Ruins.

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