Hiking Southeast Arizona’s Sky Islands & Chiricahua Mountains

Go off the beaten path and explore the Chiricahua Mountains, where you’ll hike alongside experts and learn about native wildlife, ancient geology and the region’s frontier story.
Rating (4.5)
Program No. 2105RJ
7 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Concealed in the Chiricahua Mountains of remote southeast Arizona are some of the best-kept secrets of the serious American hiker. Here, insulated from the crowded trails of the Grand Canyon by 450 miles of mountains and desert, immerse yourself in a hiker’s paradise where seldom-trodden trails climb through five undisturbed life zones, from the grassy scrublands of the desert up through the rarefied air of mountains thick with Douglas fir. From your base in the cowboy town of Willcox, hike tranquil trails known only to those who seek adventure in places left alone by the common tourist, discovering native wildlife, birds on their migratory odysseys and rich geology, Native history and frontier heritage.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Long, often 12 hour days. Hiking between 4 and 8 miles daily over varied terrain. Elevation gain/loss between 800 and 1100 ft each day. Elevations of 5,000-8,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Uncover the wonders of the “sky islands,” isolated mountain habitats that support endemic species and unique ecology.
  • Be transported back in time to the frontier period at Fort Bowie and the homestead at Faraway Ranch.
  • Learn about the Arizona ranching industry of the modern day and of yesteryear, and get a taste of Western culture with musical entertainment by a local couple.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Steve Marlatt
Steve has a bachelor’s in Wildlife Management and a master’s in Environmental Education. He first worked in a variety of positions in research, range and recreation for New Mexico Game and Fish, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. He then switched gears to work with another type of wildlife and spent the next 27 years teaching Middle School science! He recently retired so that he could spend more time hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and birding in his long-time home of Southeast Arizona.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Steve Marlatt
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Suggested Reading List
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