The Mountains of Arizona •
Peak 6378 • Huachuca Mountains
• Coronado National Forest
• Cochise County

At the trailhead, looking up at the massive reef cliffs looming above the canyon

Lovely large trees offer shade lower down

Miller Creek

Nearing the summit

Those cliffs again, and Carr Peak to the left, as seen from the top

View east, the Mule Mountains

South: Bob Thompson Peak, and Cerro San Jose can be seen to the left

Peak 6378 as seen from the lower trail, with a small batch of homes down below

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Date: April 30, 2024 • Elevation: 6,378 feet (Lidar) • Prominence: 316 feet • Distance: 2.5 miles • Time: 90 minutes • Gain: 735 feet (gross) • Conditions: Clear, pleasantly warm, calm


This peak is just a ridge bump on the southeastern flank of the Huachuca Mountains. This particular ridge separates Miller Canyon to its north from Ash Canyon to its south, and the peak itself lies at the foot of the ridge. It looked like a fast hike and not particularly interesting, something I could do quickly. I had to run a few errands in Sierra Vista today and added a hike up this little peak into the itinerary.

I was on the road by 7:20 a.m., following state route AZ-92 south out of Bisbee and downhill, heading west to Sierra Vista. This is the "low road" between the two cities, running about 25 miles. It's a straight shot and usually not crowded. The Mexican border fence runs a couple miles to the south and can be seen in spots along the way.

The highway gains elevation as it enters the southern end of Sierra Vista, then bends northward. It was about this time that my "low tire pressure" light turned on. Last week, I was here to hike Bob Thompson Peak and the light turned on. I filled the offending tire with air and that seemed to do the trick, but since it turned on again, I suspected I may need a patch. So it looked like I'd be making a stop at the Discount Tire shop in town too.

(I was not successful on my Bob Thompson Peak hike in that I did not make it to the top. I had followed a track to the high ridge, then lesser paths east toward the top. Surmounting one ridge bump, there were about six big backpacks, all in camo, just lying in a heap, one zipped open revealing its contents. This seemed too weird. Why would these all be in a heap? From what I could see, the contents looked "blocky" like drugs. I hiked a little farther but got a bad case of the creeps and figured I better turn around, so I did. I never saw anyone nor heard anything, but it's possible, even probable, their porters were hiding nearby. This was my first time with a scary-creepy encounter like this.)

Anyway, my car was handling fine and I figured I'd worry about the slow leak when I get down from the hike. I turned onto Miller Canyon Road, which goes through a residential area first for about a mile, then past a gate, becomes a graded forest hardpack track for the next two miles. It gains about a thousand feet overall from where it left the highway to the Miller Canyon trailhead. I was surprised to see five vehicles already here. The road was narrow and steep, but smooth enough for a passenger vehicle if driven carefully.

I rolled in a little before 8 a.m. and got myself properly attired. Peak 6378 rises immediately to the south. There is a small private-property parcel at the end of the road, and someone there owns a whole battalion of what sounded like bloodhounds, all of them going "awoooo" when they heard me. Their owner was shushing them. Do they do this with every person who appears at the trailhead?

I started walking at 8 a.m. sharp. I got onto the Miller Canyon Trail, which starts on the ridge north of the one the peak sits on. This trail gains a small bluff then curls around, doing an end-run around the private property parcel. Way up high are massive reef cliffs that come off the ridge from Carr Peak. Their scale is impressive, and they look like a wave getting ready to crest.

The trail gains about a hundred feet, then starts a gentle decline, losing about 50 feet to where it drops into Miller Canyon. The trail then works around a side drainage that looked like a flood took it out ages ago, then comes to a trail junction, the Miller Canyon Trail going right and up the canyon. This is one way people access the higher summits such as Carr and Miller Peak.

I walked westbound up this trail not very far, to the Hunter Trail which goes left, then crosses a creek which was flowing today. Then the trail angles left and makes one long upward traverse to a saddle below Peak 6378. The trail was wide and solid, but crossed one segment of about 50 feet where the slope below was almost vertical. A fall down that would be bad. Otherwise, it was an excellent trail and I was at the saddle quickly. I hadn't been hiking more than a half hour so far.

There is no formal trail to the top, but there are paths almost the whole way. A haggard fenceline runs almost to the top and serves as a guide, although long portions of the fence are gone or on the ground. I found a path and started up. Paths would veer in various directions so I just followed what looked most logical, and kept the fence in sight. Trees were spaced out well and only a couple spots was I forced to push through some branches. The ground was grassy and open.

About a hundred feet up, I came to an old mine shaft. It was filled in but I dared not step on it, instead going around it and up the only rocky segment of the hike. I did not need hands and none of this would be called scrambling. Another hundred feet up, the grad lessens and is level for a short ways, and the rounded summit is visible up ahead, much more open. I was soon on top, this off-trail portion taking just fifteen minutes for about 320 feet of gain.

The top was open with a small rockpile and some low brush, with fantastic views. The big peaks of the Huachucas — Miller and Carr — rose high above to the west, another 3,000 feet above. The sky was clear and conditions were calm. I had fine views in all directions. I found an old register placed by Bob and Dottie Martin from 1990. The papers were brittle and I was able to scratch in my name using the pencil. Unfortunately, I only had my buttpack. In my normal pack, I usually have some single sheets that I can place into a register if needed. I stayed up here about five minutes.

I followed the same route down. On the lower trails, I saw more people. There was a couple out birding, then three older ladies, then back at the parking lot, some people walking their dogs and exploring the area closer to the creek. Those hounds at the house started to howl again. They must do that many times a day. The round trip hike took 90 minutes and covered 2.5 miles with about 650 feet of net gain, then another hundred feet when the drop and regain are counted.

I was not expecting much on this hike, figuring it would be a short one I could do when running errands, such as today, but I came away very pleased and charmed by it. The trail was in great shape, there were big shade trees and a creek to cross, the cross-country was easy and not too branchy, and the views from the top were worth it. I changed into shorts and sandals, inspected the troublesome tire (it looked okay for a few more miles) then started down the road back to the main highway.

When I was close to the downtown area (where highways 90 and 92 split), my oil light came on! So I rolled into the tire shop. They said it would be a couple hours. Actually, this worked perfectly. The errands I needed to run were all clumped together to where I could walk to each place. I walked about three miles on city streets taking care of business, and just as I got back to the tire shop, my phone buzzed woith a text saying my car was ready. What good timing! I had picked up some oil too, and got that taken care of in the parking lot. I was back home about 1 p.m..

The elevation and prominence for this peak are taken from the 1-meter Lidar dataset USGS 1 Meter 12 x56y348 AZ_CochiseCounty_2020_B20. I recommend this little bump, especially if you are planning a bigger hike up Miller Canyon. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

(c) 2024 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only. This report is not meant to replace maps, compass, gps and other common sense hiking/navigation items. Neither I nor the webhost can be held responsible for unfortunate situations that may arise based on these trip reports. Conditions (physical and legal) change over time! Some of these hikes are major mountaineering or backpacking endeavors that require skill, proper gear, proper fitness and general experience.