Chiricahua National Monument

Visit Arizona’s Wonderland of Rocks in Coronado National Forest

Chiricahua National Monument is recognized by its whimsical rock gardens with pinnacles that reach hundreds of feet skyward. This is the homeland of the Chiricahua Apache, who relied on the natural resources in the area as far back as the 1400s. The stories of chiefs Mangas Coloradas and Cochise as well as medicine-man-turned-warrior Geronimo reverberate throughout the canyons here. Deer, bears and mountain lions inhabit the area, and the annual sandhill crane migration is so impressive that it has its own festival in nearby Willcox.

Hike Rugged Trails

Visitors can access 17 miles of hiking trails that loop throughout the monument. Short, easy trails along Bonita Creek offer an intro to the area and include picnic facilities. Trailheads along the drive into the monument offer tougher tests. Echo Canyon Loop Trail squeezes through tight passageways between rock walls to reach views of astonishing rock towers. Experienced hikers set off on the Heart of Rocks loop, a 7-mile roundtrip that features some of the most unusual rock formations in the monument. Be on the lookout for connector trails named for the payoffs at the end: Mushroom Rock, Big Balanced Rock and Inspiration Point.

A truck drives through a dirt trail in a desert full of Saguaros.

Different rock formations at Chiricahua National Monument.

Take a Scenic Drive

Visitors not up for rugged backcountry hiking can experience the astonishing rock formations on a scenic drive through the monument. The 8-mile Bonita Canyon Drive begins on the valley floor and rises into mountains where balanced rocks seem to defy gravity. The drive ends at Massai Point, the pinnacle of this amazing sky island with 360-degree views of the rock valleys below. Visitors can see the Dragoon Mountains off in the distance, where Cochise Stronghold created a remote refuge that many Apache bands used for protection during conflicts with U.S. Army forces.

"I think one of the most extraordinary things about this park is the night sky. Since we are a sky-island, there is no light pollution. If you have never seen the Milky Way, the constellations, and you want to get in touch with the galaxy, come out to Chiricahua. Just bring your eyes and your spirit, and just look up."

– Theresa Ferraro, Park Guide at Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument

Visit Faraway Ranch

Back on the valley floor, an easy walk along Bonita Creek leads to Faraway Ranch, a well-preserved homestead from the 19th century. The property was turned into one of the first guest ranches in Arizona, opening to visitors in 1917 and operating until 1970. Visitors can see the family home, stables and outbuildings that are in remarkably good shape. Learn about the family who lived there for generations and took visitors on horseback rides on the same trails visitors use today. Nearby Bonita Creek Campground invites visitors to stay the night in this magnificent natural area.

For More Information

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Cities & Regions

From the abundance of Saguaro cactuses and unique wildlife in the Sonoran Desert to the high country and forests of the White Mountains to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Arizona’s regions are full of experiences that don’t disappoint.