Stand in the “Land of Standing Up Rocks” at the Chiricahua National Monument. In this territory, you’ll find yourself in almost 12,000 acres of unadulterated Arizona nature. Located near the town of Willcox, Arizona (about 90 miles from Tucson), travelers from all over experience this site of unique rock formations and Arizona history.
See the results of something that happened 27 million years ago. Around that time, the volcanic eruption at Turkey Creek threw an enormous amount of ash into the air that fell back to the earth and eventually hardened into volcanic rock. Over the years, that rock eroded into a wonderland of rock spires which creates a kind of rock garden you might expect to have been designed by Dr. Seuss. The spires – precarious, surreal pinnacles that can be several hundred feet in height – dominate the park’s landscape, while caves, mountains and lava flows add variety to the setting.
Take the eight-mile scenic driving tour to see the beauty of the Chiricahua National Monument. Or, better yet, hop out of the car and into the scene and explore the 17 miles of trails by hike. Either way, do not forget your camera!
While you’re in the area, stop by the historic pioneer homestead known as Faraway Ranch. This ranch looks like its pioneer-day owners, the Erickson family, just stepped away for some errands.
Chiricahua National Monument is an easy day trip from Tucson, and even quicker from Willcox (about 30 miles away). Either city offers a multitude of lodging options. Or you could bring a tent and stay at a campground inside the park.
Park is open 24/7.
Visitor Center open daily, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Chiricahua National Monument is located 120 miles southeast of Tucson. Take I-10 east from Tucson to the first exit for Willcox. Travel 3 miles into town to the stoplight and turn right. You will follow Arizona State Highway 186 for 32 miles to the junction of Arizona State Highway 181. Turn left and 4 miles later you will be at the Chiricahua entrance station. Maximum vehicle length is 29 feet to drive beyond the visitor center. A hiking shuttle is available daily at 9 am from the visitor center.
Entrance Fees: Free
Individual Campsite: $20/ per night, per site, or $10 per site for America the Beautiful - The National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands Senior and Access pass holders.
Group site: 9 to 24 people; max. 8 tents; $3 per person/per night; 5 vehicles (no RVs or trailers).
Check-out time: 11 a.m./ Check-in time: 12:00 p.m.
Reservations can be made online 24-hours a day at www.recreation.gov by searching Chiricahua National Monument or by phone at 1.877.444.6777.
Chiricahua National Monument
12856 E. Rhyolite Creek Rd
Willcox, AZ 85643
(520) 824-3560 ext. 302