Chiricahua National Monument

Spent the afternoon in Southeast Arizona exploring the Chiricahua National Monument.  As you enter this stunning area you are climbing up a sky island – an isolated mountain range rising above the surrounding grasslands.Cactus and mesquite meadows begin to fill with sycamore, juniper, and oak trees.  Farther up are cypress, pine, and fir woodlands.  The landscape is typical of this part of the Southwest, but it’s the rock pinnacles looming over the road like guardians of the forest that announce you are in Chiricahua country. The Chiricahua Apache called these pinnacles “standing up rocks.”

Even though we didn’t get a chance to do any hikes, we took in the scenery of Bonita Canyon on a drive along the winding narrow roads up the mountain, leading to Massai Point at 6870 feet in elevation.  From here, there is a lookout point all across the rock pinnacles to the lower canyon floor – and it is awe inspiring.  We both agree that given the opportunity we would spend more time exploring these beautiful trails and terrain on foot the next time around.



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