Chiricahua National Monument

March 6 – 13, 2017

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I explained about the four different zones and the amazing diversity in my previous post; Chiricahua Mountains, AZ. In this post I show you a little bit of the Chiricahua National Monument, a small park filled with wonder, rising to an elevation of 9,763 feet. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that; so high in elevation, yet such lovely warm temperatures in March because they are so far south.

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The Land of Standing-Up Rocks was formed when the Turkey Creek Volcano erupted 27 million years ago, spewing a very thick layer of volcanic ash over 1,200 square miles. The super hot ash melted together forming layers of grey rock called rhyolite. Cooling temperatures, uplifts, and water, ice, wind and erosion have worked away at the rhyolite over the aeons and have resulted in the thousands of beautiful sculptures in this park, all created by nature.

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I did two hikes in Chiricahua National Monument, the Echo Canyon Loop (3.3 miles) and Echo Canyon to Inspiration Point, Heart of the Rocks Loop and on to the Visitor Center (8.3 miles).

If you decide to visit this park, I’d recommend good footwear, such as hiking boots. The Rhyolite is sharp and rounded and is a bit like walking on ball bearings when going down hill. These are not flip-flop hikes.

Here are some pictures I took from those hikes.

Many of the rocks have been named. In addition to the ones I show here there are others with names such as; Big Balanced Rock, Kissing Rocks, Punch and Judy, Thors Hammer, and the list goes on. As the name suggests, the loop trail called Heart of the Rocks was an area that was very dense with upright rocks.

I spent a surprising amount of time in these mountains. In my previous post, I show you more of the mountains themselves and the lovely camp spots I found.

I have also created a video of this area, and you can see it on YouTube here: Chiricahua Mountains and National Monument YouTube Video.

I hope you have enjoyed this instalment of my travels during the winter of 2016/2017, and hope you’ll continue the journey with me. Please visit the HOME page to find more articles, and feel free to share, sign up and leave a comment. Also please visit my YouTube Channel. Until next time…remember to step outside of your comfort zone as often as possible and watch it grow.

Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature

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