The basin and range province of southern Arizona and New Mexico is characterized by a series of north south mountain ranges which rise in sharp relief to the broad flat valleys between them. The Painted Pony Resort lies in one of these broad open valleys, the San Simon Valley, which straddles the Arizona New Mexico state line. With the Chiricahua mountains to the west and the Peloncillo Mountains to the east hiking is popular past time for both local residents and visitors. A family oriented activity, hiking can be a way to add something special to a family reunion.
Trails through a number of areas in both mountain ranges are accessible and maps are provided below. Hikes at different elevations are recommended depending upon the time year. During the warmest times of the summer, high elevation hikes (at altitudes up to 9000 - 10,000 ft) are recommended or riparian hikes along Cave Creek through shaded tree lined trails. The scenic vistas from atop the Chiricahua Mountains makes these excellent summer day trips. In contrast, during the cooler winter season, low elevation hikes in the mountains or desert hikes in the Peloncillo Mountains are recommended. In the Chiricahua Mountains riparian hikes along the bottom of Cave Creek Canyon are always cool and inviting while open desert hikes in the Peloncillo Mountains offer some spectacular views of some of the unique geology of the area.
Trails for different ability levels are available ranging from easy one mile nature trails along the riparian habitat in Cave Creek Canyon to 9-10 mile hikes with several thousand feet of elevation change. Below are several recommended hikes for different times of year. A complete listing of hiking maps created at the Painted Pony Resort are listed here. You may wish to hire a guide for a specific activity such as birding in the Chiricahua Mountains.
Boot Heel Offers Wonderful Wilderness