We went to Chiricahua National Monument in February of 2011, the first year we were on the road. I liked it, and I wanted to go on a hike, so I added it to the itinerary for this year.
After the standard stop at the Visitor Center and the movie and the passport stamps, we headed up the road to the sky island, described as an isolated mountain range that’s surrounded by a grassland “sea”. The grassland looked an awful lot like desert to me...
Cochise and Geronimo were Chiricahua Apache—hiding out in these canyons, melting between and behind the rocks, drove the soldiers nuts. Think about that as you look at these rocks. I do.
We couldn’t find a parking place at Echo Canyon, so we detoured to the Sugarloaf picnic area for lunch. There’s a good view of the wilderness that’s classified as “Class I, pristine wilderness”. No franchises out here!
We were joined at lunch with a pretty little Mexican Jay, but when we ate our own sandwiches and didn't share, he didn’t stay very long. Definitely not long enough for me to take a picture of his good side.
After lunch, we went back to Echo Canyon and easily found a place to park the truck. We’d barely started when I began noticing balanced rocks. This one looks like a bird, with a lizard friend in the background.
After we got to the bottom, we got a different perspective on the pinnacles.
After a mile and a half on the Echo Canyon Trail, we turned off it and followed the Hailstone Trail for not quite a mile to the Ed Riggs Trail, which took us back to the truck. That made the hike 3.2 miles with an elevation gain of 450’. Piece of cake.
Chiricahua Natl Monument