Coronado National Forest San Simon, Arizona 85632Pinery Canyon Scenic Drive webpage
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This drive offers access to the forested floor of Pinery Canyon and the high slopes of the Chiricahuas. It provides magnificent views to the west of the basin-and-range region of southeastern Arizona. The sky islands of the Dos Cabezas, Swisshelms, and Dragoons form a rugged horizon, hemming in the seas of grass of the Sulphur Springs Valley. The rocky ridgeline of the fabled Cochise Stronghold bisects the Dragoons and stands out as one of the view’s most prominent features. If you come from the west, chances are you will have visited the Chiricahua National Monument on your way. When you arrive in Pinery Canyon, you’ll find the grasslands and forests more subtle, but with a beauty just as deserving of note. This broad canyon, home to a variety of habitats including a healthy riparian area, provides some excellent birdwatching and good chances for viewing resident mammals such as Coue’s white-tailed deer, coatimundis, and black bear. As the route climbs from riparian forests to oak juniper woodlands to the mixed conifers of higher slopes, it passes trailheads for Pinery-Horsefall and Ida Peak trails.
Pinery Canyon Campground is located north of the road about a mile from Onion Saddle, where a short trail leads from the road to a panoramic overlook. At Onion Saddle, you have the option to drive up the mountain to Rustler Park, a lush mountain meadow with a colorful history, or to continue east to more great sightseeing in Cave Creek Canyon.
High-clearance vehicles are strongly recommended. 4WD was also beneficial, if available. The western portion, from East Turkey Creek Road to Forest Boundary can be closed due to snow in the winter.
Content from Pinery Canyon Scenic Drive webpage