"Islands in the Sky" Top 5 Page for this destination Chiricahua National Monument by paulscuba

Chiricahua National Monument Travel Guide: 114 reviews and 242 photos

Volcanoes in the desert

I was looking for a unique less visited place to go hiking and came upon Chiricahhua national monument in SouthEast Arizona. The park is part of the Islands in the Sky ecosystem. These are created by mountain ranges existing in the desert. The weather patterns are such that the mountains get 2-4 times more rain that the desert areas below.

Also the Chiricahuas are far enough south that birds/plans and mammals from the N. Mexico environment can be seen here. Actuall 4 ecosystems merge here; Rocky Mountains, Sierra Madre Mountains, Sonoran & Chihuahuan Deserts. Jaguars are occasionally spotted in the national Forest that surrounds the monument and a variety of oaks and other plant life from all the other various ecosystems grow symbiotically together here. THe sunny side of canyons has one set of plant life and the shady side has another.

The uniqueness of this park is due to erosive effects on volcanic rock in this area. The area is not currently volcanically active but there are a large number of volcanic features in this area showing that it once was geologically active.

  • Last visit to Chiricahua National Monument: Apr 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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“?In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.? John Muir”

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