Carr Canyon Road Hereford, Arizona 85615Official Website
Campsites here are spread through a stand of medium-sized ponderosa pines at the end of a road that once brought miners and equipment to the historic Reef mine and townsite. From the high perspective provided by the campground, Ramsey Peak’s tall, layer-cake summit stands above the surrounding landscape as a tempting destination for an overnight backpack or long day-hike.
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If you look up at the Huachuca Mountains from the town of Sierra Vista, a band of sheer cliffs bends and curves across the face of the mountain range. The relatively flat area above is called the Carr Reef. In this case, however, the word “reef” doesn’t refer to coral and oceans. It harks back to an earlier time when it also meant a thick layer of exposed rock. While you’re looking at the Reef, you may also notice a tree-covered break in that impressive barrier, just south of a deep canyon. Look even closer and you should see a barely visible set of switchbacks climbing that slope. That is the Carr Canyon Road, the only road into the upper reaches of the Huachuca Range. This narrow, winding road was built at the turn of the century to open up the Carr Reef to gold and silver mining. It was reconstructed in the late 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The mines have come and gone, but the road persists with little change. The people who travel it, however, have changed considerably. Where hardy prospectors once searched for their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, outdoor recreationists and history buffs now travel the Carr Canyon Road to enjoy the splendid scenery and seek the flavor of the past. For them, the Carr Canyon Road provides the reward of extraordinary views of Sierra Vista, the San Pedro Valley, and a number of surrounding mountain ranges as it winds its way up the mountain. Since the road is so narrow, we recommend for safety that you use one of the pullouts along the road if you want to stop and enjoy the view. Directions: Tucson, travel east on I-10 to AZ-90 (exit 302). Turn south and drive 33 miles on AZ-90 through Sierra Vista to Carr Canyon Road. Turn right and drive 7 miles up the mountain. The last 5 miles are dirt.
Panoramic views. Historic mining district. Camping and picnicking. Self-guided interpretive trail. Hiking and horseback trails.Season: Year long, but the road may occasionally be closed due to snow. Road Conditions: The first mile or so is paved; the rest is dirt and suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles. The switchbacks are narrow and steep with no guard rails. No motor homes on this one.
A forest recreation area stands in an area once occupied by the mining outpost of Reef. Here, you’ll find the Reef Townsite Loop Trail and two scenic forest campgrounds. From the Reef, the Carr Peak Trail #107 and Comfort Springs Trail #109 connect to an extensive network of trails that lead throughout the Huachuca Range.