Silver Spur Meadow Trail

Silver Spur Meadow Trail
The Silver Spur Meadow Trail leaves across the street from the visitor center and winds along to Faraway Ranch. You can discover human settlement in Bonita Canyon while exploring the plant and animal species of the park. When the first white settler entered the canyon, oak and sycamore lined Bonita Creek and Newton's Wash. Arizona cypress, juniper, and mesquite have taken hold in the last 125 years.

There are nearly 350 species of plants, more than 250 birds, more than 100 arthropods, more than 50 amphibians and reptiles, and more than 60 mammal species using the canyon. They depend on the water from springs, snow melt, and summer monsoon. They find refuge in caves, trees, small pools, and underground dens.

Remember, all artifacts, plants, animals, and minerals are protected within the monument and are not to be collected.

CCC chimney
The remains of a fireplace, which was added to the CCC mess hall by the owners of Silver Spur Guest Ranch.


Fireplace Chimneys
The fireplaces found along the Silver Spur Meadow trail were added to the former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) mess hall. Camp NM-2-A, Company 828 lived and worked in Bonita Canyon from June of 1934 until June of 1940. They built trails, a campground, three houses for NPS staff, a maintenance facility and other infrastructure, a fire lookout, and their own camp. Building foundations, laying pipes, and the bear cage represent just a small portion of the CCC's work in the monument. In 1948 this area became the Silver Spur Guest Ranch when Ray and Ruth Kent bought several buildings on 60 acres from the Ed and LIllian Riggs, and stopped taking customers in the late 1960's. The land and buildings were purchased by the National Park Service.

bear cage
The CCC enrollees built a bear cage for their mascot, Cima.


Bear Cage
If you look on the northern slope above you while traveling west toward Faraway Ranch you will see a CCC structure built for Cima, an orphaned black bear cub the CCC boys brought to camp as their mascot. Cima stayed in the barracks each night until the bear "took a likin' to shoes." This cage became his new sleeping quarters and had a door for easy access. By Cima's first birthday he was too big for the cage and was released in the Barfoot area in the Coronado National Forest.

Stafford Cabin
Stafford cabin along the Silver Spur Meadow Trail.


Stafford Cabin
The Stafford Cabin can be found 450 yards (411 meters) from the Faraway Ranch house. Ja Hu and Pauline Stafford were the first homesteaders to discover the abundant resources of Bonita Canyon in 1880. A supposedly hot spring provided water to irrigate their fruit trees and vegetable fields, until it disappeared after the 1887 Sonora earthquake. Ja Hu earned a living by growing vegetables and fruit, which he sold to Buffalo Soldiers stationed in Bonita Canyon, the U.S. Army at Fort Bowie, and residents in nearby Willcox and Bisbee. He planted more than two acres with fruit trees, such as apples, apricots, peaches, pears, persimmons, and walnut and almond trees. The orchard lay between the Faraway Ranch house and the Stafford Cabin. The cabin was purchased by the Erickson daughters following Ja Hu's death in 1918, which expanded the Faraway guest ranch operation.

On March 31, 1975, the cabin was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This building is one of the oldest log homes in Arizona.


Faraway Ranch
Tours inside the Faraway Ranch House are year round, subject to change without notice. Check at the visitor center for up to date information.

Last updated: June 9, 2018

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12856 E Rhyolite Creek Rd
Willcox, AZ 85643


520 824-3560

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