Chiricahua National Monument

Jan 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

Located 35 miles from Willcox, Arizona, Chiricahua National Monument is known as the Bryce Canyon of Arizona.  We visited Chiricahua National Monument on New Year’s Eve to find the monument covered in several inches of snow. Massive stone columns rise up atop the mountains at Chiricahua. And due to below freezing temperatures, the ground was covered in several inches of snow. Chiricahua is one of the sky island ranges in Arizona. The monument itself is named after the Chiricahua Tribe, who lived in the area during the 17th century.

Chiricahua National Monument has several hikes of different abilities sprawled throughout the park. Due to the snow and ice present on the ground, many of the trails, such as Sugarloaf Mountain Trail (the highest point in the park) were unsafe. We ended up taking the Massai Point Nature Trail, which provided brilliant views of the valley. On either side of the trail were deposits of fresh snow. I spent most of my time at the park making snowballs and aiming them at my family members. Chiricahua National Monument is also the site of Faraway Ranch, a converted guest-house where local settlers took in visitors. The guest house has several bedrooms, a porch, and even a safe room for the purpose of hiding during the Apache Wars. We were able to take a tour of Faraway Ranch, named so because “it was so darn far away from everything.” One of the more beautiful National Monuments I have visited, Chiricahua National Monument is a must-see. To learn more visit http://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm.

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