Cave Creek Canyon Nature Trail

A dozen hikers from the  Portal Rodeo Hiking Club visited the nature trail which parallels forest service road 42 along Cave Creek in the Chiricahua Mountains and ends at Sunny Flats campground.  An easy walk along level ground, this mile long nature trail through riparian habitat is a good introduction to the Chiricahua Mountains.  After finishing the nature trail, the group proceeded up South Fork Canyon and was greeted by a male Elegant Trogon who called and followed the group for about 10 minutes.  Returning downstream the group followed the east side of the canyon through the 2 campgrounds with a total distance covered of 5 miles in the canyon.

Below is a photograph of the Elegant Trogon on a tree limb.  The enlargement does not do this beautiful bird justice and the Trogons should  be viewed in person to really appreciate this unique bird. Click on the photograph to see the full size image.  The nature trail route was added to the riparian hike map (blue line).

Elegant Trogon (center) in South Fork of Cave Creek Canyon.  Click on photograph to enlarge.


  1. I sure missed a great hike on Thursday, I am glad you seen your first Trogon.

  2. Thank you. There were a number of things I had not seen before. The nature trail also has some unique historical artifacts from the early road building days along the route.