Chiricahua National Monument
Twenty seven million years ago a volcanic eruption of immense proportions shook the land around Chiricahua National Monument. One thousand times greater than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the Turkey Creek Caldera eruption eventually laid down two thousand feet of highly silicious ash and pumice. This mixture fused into a rock called rhyolitic tuff and eventually eroded into the spires and unusual rock formations of today.
The monument is a mecca for hikers and birders. At the intersection of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts, and the southern Rocky Mountains and northern Sierra Madre in Mexico, Chiricahua plants and animals represent one of the premier areas for biological diversity in the northern hemisphere.
Of historic interest is the Faraway Ranch, a pioneer homestead and later a working cattle and guest ranch. It is a significant example of human transformation of the western frontier from wilderness to the present settlement. Faraway Ranch offers glimpses into the lives of Swedish immigrants Neil and Emma Erickson, and their children. The house is furnished with historic artifacts which not only give us reminders of our youth and our ancestors, but one can also trace the development of technology during the first half of the twentieth century. Acreage: 12,000 acres.
Email - CHIR_Superintendent@nps.gov
13063 E. Bonita Canyon RD
Willcox, AZ 85643-9737
Visitor Information - (520) 824-3560
Operating Hours, Seasons
Visitor Center: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily; closed Christmas Day. Peak season is from March - May.
PLANE - Airline service to Tucson (120 miles) is available with rental cars also available.
CAR - Chiricahua National Monument is located 120 miles east of Tucson. Exit I-10 at Willcox, and follow State Route 186 36 miles to the monument.
Obtain gas in Willcox; gasoline is not available at or near the monument.
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION - There is no public transportation to monument.
Weather & Climate
Temperatures are generally mild with summer daytime highs in the upper 90s and nighttime lows in the 50s. Winter daytime highs range in the 50s to 60s and nighttime lows are typically in the upper teens or low twenties but can dip into the subzero range. Moisture is evenly distributed, half during the winter as snow, half in the summer as rain. Daily thunderstorms can occur from July through September.
Clothing: Sturdy hiking boots, with good ankle support, are highly recommended when hiking the trails. 1. During the summer, light clothing for warm days and cool nights is recommended. Rain gear is useful during the rainy season. 2. During the winter, wear warm clothing to cope with wind chill factors below zero, snow and subfreezing temperatures.
The visitor center and campground are fully accessible, including rest room facilities. The Faraway Ranch House can accommodate a narrow wheelchair.
Chiricahua features 17 miles of maintained trail in a monument that is 90% wilderness. Trails vary in degree of difficultly. The Echo Canyon Trail and the Heart of Rocks Trail offer spectacular views of balanced rocks, spires and pinnacles.
8-mile scenic drive to Massai Point
Campground (Bonita Canyon )
Open All Year
Bonita Canyon Campground has 25 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. It features rest rooms with flush toilets, running water, picnic tables and trash pickup. There are no hookups or showers. Camping is limited to 14 days, and is restricted to the campground. No back country camping is available in the Monument. . The Group Site is open to reservations, only. Call 520-824-3560 x113. It is limited to a minimum of 8 people and a maximum of 24. . Tents only - no recreational vehicles or pop-up trailers. There are no food services, vending machines, gasoline, or lodging in the Monument. Be sure you are well-supplied before making the trip.
CHIRICAHUA VISITOR CENTER
Open All Year 8:00 - 5:00
Phone - 520-824-3560
Exhibits - Visitor Center with audiovisual program, exhibits, computer information station, book sales. Chiricahua features 17 miles of maintained trail in a monument that is 90% wilderness. Trails vary in degree of difficultly. The Echo Canyon Trail and the Heart of Rocks Trail offer spectacular views of balanced rocks, spires and pinnacles. A picturesque pioneer homestead, the Faraway Ranch, offers daily tours of the house and a chance to learn about the Swedish immigrant family that was one of the first to settle in the area. One can view animals and birds not seen outside the desert southwest. Mammal species include: Javelina, coatimundi, hog-nosed and hooded skunks, white-tailed deer, bears, and mountain lions. Birds seen include: Magnificent hummingbirds, Black-chinned hummingbirds, Scott's orioles, Hepatic tanagers, Painted redstarts, Yellow-rumped warblers, Red-faced warblers, and Black-headed grosbeaks.
Phone, Email, Address, GPS coordinates
List of Nearby Campgrounds
Local weather forecast
|These outdoors activities are available near Chiricahua National Monument.|
| ||Hotels Near Chiricahua National Monument:|
Super 8 Willcox, Willcox
, 5 miles away|
Holiday Inn Express & Suites WILLCOX, Willcox
, 6 miles away|
Rodeway Inn Willcox, Willcox
, 6 miles away|
Days Inn Willcox, Willcox
, 7 miles away|
Comfort Inn & Suites Thatcher, Thatcher
, 30 miles away|
Best Western Desert Inn, Safford
, 30 miles away|
SpringHill Suites Thatcher, Thatcher
, 30 miles away|
| ||Trails Near Chiricahua National Monument:|
Bear Canyon Two hundred ninety-nine Trail, Graham County
, 15 miles away, 4.6 hiking miles, 3955 feet elevation difference|
Dutch Henry Two hundred ninety seven Trail, Graham County
, 17 miles away, 10.4 hiking miles, 4835 feet elevation difference|
Lady Bug Trail Three Hundred Twenty Nine, Graham County
, 17 miles away, 8.6 hiking miles, 4205 feet elevation difference|
Noon Creek Trail, Graham County
, 18 miles away, 4.3 hiking miles, 2117 feet elevation difference|
Jesus Goudy Ridge Trail Two hundred ninety eight, Graham County
, 18 miles away, 7 hiking miles, 4669 feet elevation difference|
Grant Creek Three hundred five Trail, Graham County
, 19 miles away, 10 hiking miles, 4569 feet elevation difference|
Round the Mountain Trail, Graham County
, 20 miles away, 6 hiking miles, 2610 feet elevation difference|
| ||Ski Areas Near Chiricahua National Monument:|
Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, Arizona
, 62 miles away, 950 foot drop, 3 lifts, 18 runs|
Sunrise Park, Arizona
, 97 miles away, 1800 foot drop, 10 lifts, 65 runs|