Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument simply has to be seen to be believed. Precarious rock spires jut into the sky in this strange, wonderful landscape, called the “Land of Standing-Up Rocks” by the Apache. About 38 miles southeast of Willcox (120 miles from Tucson) on Highway 186, the Chiricahua National Monument (520/824-3560, www.nps.gov/chir, daily 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., $5 adult over 16) protects one of the most unique areas in Arizona.
There’s a visitors center two miles from the monument entrance on Bonita Canyon Road, a paved two-lane road that you can drive up six gorgeous miles to Massai Point and one of the most spectacular overlooks this side of the Grand Canyon. The visitors center has an excellent free guide with information on all the trails within the monument, their length, and how to find the trailheads, and there’s a free hikers shuttle available.
You can camp at the Bonita Campground a half mile from the visitors center for $12 per night (no hookups). Bring your own food and water to this special place; there’s none available for miles in any direction.
© Tim Hull from Moon Tucson, 1st Edition