Chiricahua National Monument is a unit of the National Park System located in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. The monument was established on April 18, 1924, to protect its extensive hoodoos and balancing rocks. The Faraway Ranch, which was owned at one time by Swedish immigrants Neil and Emma Erickson, is also preserved within the monument. [4]

Visitor Center

A visitor center is located two miles from the entrance to Chiricahua National Monument. It is open daily from 8:30-4:30 pm Mountain Standard Time. The visitor center has exhibits relating to the geology, natural history and cultural history of the area. There is also a bookstore / gift shop located in the visitor center and an outdoor bathroom facility and drinking fountain. A park ranger is accessible during the open hours and can provide you with a free guide on the trails within the monument, broken down into three categories: Easy Hikes, Moderate Hikes, and Strenuous Hikes. There are approximately 17 miles of trails which take you through varying ecosystems of meadows, forest and rock formations.

The visitor center has a free Hiker Shuttle that leaves each morning at 9:00am. This shuttle takes hikers to the Echo Canyon or Massai Point trailheads. Hikers can then return to the visitor center by following the designated trails.

Geology

Located approximately 36 miles (58 km) southeast of Willcox, Arizona, the monument preserves the remains of an immense volcanic eruption that shook the region about 27 million years ago. The thick white-hot ash spewed forth from the nearby Turkey Creek Caldera, cooled and hardened into rhyolitic tuff, laying down almost two thousand feet of dark volcanic ash and pumice, highly siliceous in nature, which eventually eroded into the natural features that we see at the monument today. [5]

In 2008, the Chiricahua National Monument Historic Designed Landscape, covering roughly 80% of the national monument, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [2]

Climate

Climate data for Chiricahua National Monument, AZ
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(27)
80
(27)
86
(30)
93
(34)
104
(40)
108
(42)
109
(43)
103
(39)
100
(38)
95
(35)
85
(29)
82
(28)
109
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 56.2
(13.4)
59.1
(15.1)
64.7
(18.2)
72.8
(22.7)
81.5
(27.5)
90.5
(32.5)
89.2
(31.8)
86.1
(30.1)
83.5
(28.6)
75.2
(24)
64.1
(17.8)
56.7
(13.7)
73.3
(22.95)
Average low °F (°C) 29.9
(−1.2)
31.2
(−0.4)
34.4
(1.3)
39.4
(4.1)
46.2
(7.9)
55.2
(12.9)
59.9
(15.5)
58.9
(14.9)
55.0
(12.8)
45.9
(7.7)
35.7
(2.1)
30.2
(−1)
43.49
(6.38)
Record low °F (°C) −10
(−23)
8
(−13)
10
(−12)
20
(−7)
19
(−7)
35
(2)
40
(4)
44
(7)
33
(1)
21
(−6)
8
(−13)
−1
(−18)
−10
(−23)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.45
(36.8)
1.20
(30.5)
1.17
(29.7)
0.47
(11.9)
0.34
(8.6)
0.84
(21.3)
4.00
(101.6)
4.05
(102.9)
1.70
(43.2)
1.17
(29.7)
1.03
(26.2)
1.61
(40.9)
19.03
(483.3)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.9
(7.4)
1.7
(4.3)
1.7
(4.3)
0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.7
(1.8)
2.9
(7.4)
10.3
(26.3)
Source:

See also