"The Beautiful Chiricahuas" Top 5 Page for this destination Chiricahua National Monument by Basaic

Chiricahua National Monument Travel Guide: 114 reviews and 242 photos

Chiricahua National Monument

This area of Southeast Arizona has been occupied for thousands of years. It is widely believed, though, that the first permanent residents were the Chiricahua Apaches who settled in the area in the 1400s. In particular, the Chokonen Band of the Chiricahuas lived in these mountains. The Chiricahua Apaches were mostly nomadic and moved as needed to hunt game and gather food. They were skilled and fierce warriors and were widely feared. They fought the Spanish as they entered the land in the 1500s. The Chiricahuas quickly learned the tactics of the Spanish and became skilled at using horses and firearms. After Mexican independence in 1821 and the arrival of ranchers and miners, the tide of people was unstoppable. The Chiricahuas, led by Cochise, Geronimo, and Mangas Coloradas surrendered in 1886.

Entrance fee is $5 per person 16 and over, and is good for 7 days.

Hiking Trails

There are over 17 miles of hiking trails in the Chiricahua National Monument. They range from short easy trails that are handicapped accessable, to difficult trails almost 10 miles long. The trails lead through magnificent rhyolite formations, forrests of juniper, oak, pine and fir trees, rolling meadows, and Bonita Creek. An abundance of wildlife can be seen as you hike. Some of the trails intersect; like you cannot get to the Inspiration Point Trail or the Heart of the Rocks Trail without hiking other trails first. Make sure you pick up a map when you pay your fee or at the Visitor's Center. So far I have hiked the following trails (and will add tips about these soon): Echo Canyon Trail; Hailstone Trail; Ed Riggs Trail; Bonita Canyon Trail; Silver Spur Meadow Trail; Massai Point Exhibit Trail; Massai Point Nature Trail; and the Sugarloaf Mountain Trail.

Faraway Ranch

Faraway Ranch was built when Swedish emmigrants Neil and Emma Erickson settled here in 1888. Their eldest daughter (who married Ed Riggs who was instrumental in the formation and building of this park) turned the ranch into a guest ranch. From 1917 until 1973 thousands of visitors came here to relax, watch nature, hike, and ride horses. The ranch has now been incorporated into the park and has been designated a National Historic Site.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful area; great hiking trails
  • Cons:Somewhat remote; distance to food
  • In a nutshell:Come and hike or camp
  • Last visit to Chiricahua National Monument: Nov 2013
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (62)

Comments (6)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    I like the rock formations in this park, quite an interesting one for hiking I imagine. No wonder you have done many of the hikes. Wondered what a Javelina was?

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    ~ Hi, Jim~ ~ You have great pages about the US! Thanx!

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Aug 1, 2009 at 1:13 PM

    After you mentioned of a hike here, I researched and it looks desolate and wonderful The Indians know how to get around here better than I could.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2009 at 8:37 AM

    Comprehensive page of Chiricahua Nat Monument. Enjjoyed a virtual tour of all the trails and your warning tips are handy. Cheers, SL :)

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    Sadly, I have not explored Tucson well and I am ashamed because it is so near us! But, will be going there maybe April...lol on the China Boy -- why is it called that, hehehe...Norman :)

  • giampiero6's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    Would love to try those hiking trails!!!!!!!!!


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