This small, rustic campground is located along Forest Road 42, which bisects the Chiricahua Range. This transmountain road provides the most direct route between the wildlife havens and spectacular cliffs of Cave Creek Canyon and the gravity-defying pinnacles of Chiricahua National Monument.
Pinery Canyon Campground is located just a short distance west of the Chiricahua Divide at Onion Saddle in a forest of ponderosa and Apache pines. Campsites here are relatively small and close together. For that reason, trailers must be less than 16 feet long. Facilities are limited at Pinery Canyon, giving the area more of the atmosphere of a dispersed camping area than the feel of a developed campground.
While you are visiting Pinery Canyon Campground, you may want to take advantage of some of the hiking trails that originate nearby. A short distance east on FR 42 at Onion Saddle, a short trail leads to an overlook with a panoramic view that includes Cochise Head Mountain, the Sulphur Springs Valley, and other mountain ranges to the west. Down the canyon, Ida Peak Trail leads to more impressive views, and Pinery-Horsefall Trail takes you into a remote area of cattle ranches and old mining claims.
Location: 120 miles east of Tucson, 76 miles north of Douglas, 18 miles west of Portal.
From Tucson, take I-10 east 81 miles. Turn right (south) on AZ 186 and continue for 23 miles. Turn left (east) on AZ 181 toward Chiricahua National Monument and drive 3 miles, then turn right (south) on Forest Road 42.
From Douglas, take US 80 two miles west to US 191. Go north on US 191 35 miles to Sunizona. Take AZ 181 east, then north, for approximately 28 miles (stay on paved road). Near Chiricahua National Monument entrance turn right on FR 42. Continue up FR 42 (Pinery Canyon) 11 miles to Pinery Canyon Campground.
Forest Road 42 is
a gravel road suitable for passenger vehicles, though high-clearance
vehicles like pickups and SUVs are recommended
usually open April through November, weather permitting
not plowed and is usually closed following snowstorms
rough and dusty, and may be muddy and slick after a rain
Small & out-of-the-way
Nearby Forest trails
Tables and fire grills
No hook-ups. Trailers limited to 16 feet.
No drinking water.
Pack it in, pack it out; no garbage service provided.
Pack and saddle stock are not permitted in campground.