This is a continuation of my post about our April 2012 tour of Southeast Arizona. On Day-1, we visited the ghost towns of Pearce, Courtland, and Gleeson east of Tombstone with a short side trip to Rattlesnake Crafts & Rocks. Then we continued south to the Slaughter Ranch east of Douglas. Then north, ending the first day at Portal Peak Lodge in Portal, AZ. Here we eat dinner in the cafe, slept in a small room, and most importantly, acquired a 25¢ map that showed the back road over the mountain to Chiricahua National Monument.
Day-2: Faraway Ranch
The next morning, we took the road from Portal west over the mountain to Chiricahua National Monument.
The road from Portal is paved as it winds along Cave Creek beneath high cliffs. Here, in Cave Creek Canyon, there are campgrounds among a dense forest of mature trees and several fine hiking trails.
Eventually, pavement gives way to Forest Service Road 42, unpaved, but well-maintained except in winter. This is a fine Southern Arizona back road: wildflowers and grand vistas. But we also saw the devastation caused by Horseshoe 2 fireof June 2011. Almost a quarter million acres carelessly destroyed. Over the two hours we were on this back road, we encountered only one other vehicle. Read More