Anita Park Trail #359

Current Trail Conditions

Because so much of this trail is in an area heavily burned by the 2011 Horseshoe II fire, plan for the likelihood that trees will have fallen across it at some point since its last maintenance.

As of June 2016, the trail has been cleared down to Anita Spring and a new sign installed at the junction with the Crest Trail by a Sierra Club service trip. Note that bears in the area have a grudge against signs here and regularly destroy it, so its condition may degrade abruptly at any point.

Length: 0.25 mi

Difficulty: easy

Condition: good

Elevation range: 9315 ft – 9490 ft

Elevation gain/loss: 25 ft ↑ / 170 ft ↓

Average slope: 10.8%

Access

The Anita Park Trail is accessed via the Crest Trail, 0.12 mile north of Junction Saddle on the north side of Chiricahua Peak. (31.85127, -109.28848) The junction can be difficult to find if weeds have grown up in the area, but there is a newly installed sign at the junction.

History

Anita Park was named by Mexican shepherds who would camp there while grazing sheep in the Chiricahuas.1

Trail Description

Crest Trail to Anita Park

The Anita Park Trail begins immediately climbing northeast away from the Crest Trail for less than a tenth of a mile, passing beneath a rock outcrop, before reaching the meadow at Anita Park. (31.85231, -109.28783) Once a favorite camping spot for backpackers, Anita Park—and the entirety of this segment of trail—was devastated by the Horseshoe 2 fire of 2011 and now has little to offer aside from dead trees and close proximity to water. The sheer number of dead trees currently present in the area makes it quite dangerous to camp here.

If you are looking for an alternate campsite in the area, consider Aspen Saddle on the southeast side of Chiricahua Peak, which has close access to both Headquarters Spring and Ojo Agua Fria for water.

A helispot with an excellent view of the surrounding area, including Snowshed Peak, Aspen Peak, Aspen Saddle, and Chiricahua Peak, can be reached by heading up the ridge south of Anita Park for a little over a tenth of a mile. (31.85064, -109.28783)

Anita Park to Anita Spring

After walking through Anita Park for a little over 100 feet, the trail continues on the eastern edge. (31.85237, -109.28746) The sign marking its location was burned in 2011. Live tree cover remains in this area, but downed logs may still block the trail in places. The small open springbox is rimmed with stone and lies right at the end of the trail. (31.85190, -109.28536) Post-fire, this springbox occasionally fills with silt and gravel due to erosion in the area.

Map

Topographic map of Anita Park Trail #359

Footnotes

  1. Interview Between Ben Erickson, S. R. Albert and L. E. Rawdon, January 28, 1970.

Last updated June 25, 2016.