“11,985 acre rock wonderland”
A "Wonderland of Rocks" is waiting for you to explore at Chiricahua National Monument. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site. Visit the Faraway Ranch Historic District to discover more about the people who have called this area home. In the far southeastern corner of Arizona are the beautiful Chiricahua Mountains, one of several “sky island” mountain ranges surrounded by expansive desert grasslands. The Chiricahua Mountain Range is an inactive volcanic range twenty miles wide and forty miles long. It forms part of the Mexican Highland section of the Basin and Range Biogeographical Province and rises up dramatically from the valley floor to over nine thousand feet, cresting in a series of uneven, volcanic looking peaks. At the northern end of the range is an extraordinary area of striking geological features and enormous biodiversity. Tucked deep into these steep, forested valleys and beneath the craggy peaks are the remains of violent geological activity that continued for many millions of years—the pinnacles, columns, spires and balanced rocks of Chiricahua National Monument. The Apaches called this place 'The Land of Standing-Up Rocks', a fitting name for an extraordinary rock wonderland. Early pioneers in the late 1800s sensed the unique beauty and singularity of the rock formations in the area. They were instrumental in persuading Congress to protect this ‘Wonderland of Rocks’, so much so that in 1924 the Chiricahua National Monument was created. There are approximately twelve thousand acres of wild, rugged terrain within which the rock formations and a great ecological diversity are protected. In 1976, Congress decided to further preserve the land, designating 87% of the monument as Wilderness. This precludes any development and human intervention, thus ensuring the preservation of the geological formations for future generations and the continuation of undisturbed space and habitat for the many unique plants and animals that are found in this special region. As well as the exceptional geological aspects of this park, the monument hosts a biological crossroads, a meeting-place of four different ecological regions. In the Chiricahua Mountains, the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, and the Rocky Mountain and Sierra Madre ranges all meet. The convergence of these four biomes makes this area unusually rich in both floral and faunal biodiversity. Rocky Mountain representatives such as the Ponderosa pine and Engelmann spruce co-exist beside the Soap tree yucca from the Chihuahuan desert. Stately Arizona sycamore and various types of oak dot the well-watered canyons. Apache pine grows here at the most northern end of the Sierra Madre range. Chihuahua pine is found, as are Douglas and White fir, Arizona cypress, Cane cholla, Prickly pear and several species of ferns, mushrooms, and fungi. There are five major drainages within the monument, several with intermittent creeks that support a mixture of deciduous and evergreen woodlands. The heavily forested canyons provide habitat for numerous wildlife, including coatimundi, white-tailed deer, javalina, and many species of birds; over three hundred bird species are found in the Chiricahua Mountains, some of whom have migrated north from Mexico.
Took our 3 pups on a 2mile hike through this beautiful monument. Not enough time to visit the full grounds but we will be back!! #unleashedlife
This place is breathtaking. Just the drive up through wilcox before getting to the visitor's center is absolutely stunning. I would recmmend it just for that drive. Its lovely in October/ November.
Really a great trip. loved looking around. Would love to go back at a different time so that we could hike around the heat was just to much.
Worth the two hour drive out the way.. Would love to see it again some day
Very beautiful place!! Not close to much so plan ahead!
Spectacular geologic formations! Great hiking and a very helpful staff. Don't miss this park!
Beautiful and picturesque. Well worth the side trip off the beaten path. Take some time to do some hikes.
Very pretty. Looks like a great place to camp, but a bit unsure about the bears.
Very fun, beautiful and serene. Worth a day trip for sure!
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Chiricahua National Monument
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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