Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chiricahua National Monument

March 29, 2015

Today was spent driving to and through the Chiricahua National Monument.

Our first stop was the Visitor Center. The sign out front says:   Welcome to the "Wonderland of Rock" It goes on to tell you the Chiricahua Apache called this area, "The Land of The Standing-Up Rocks" and as you continue your drive up Bonita Canyon you will find out why.

Along with more information: It states the Chiricahua National Monument was established in 1924 to protect the fantastic rock formations known as "the pinnacles." In 1934 the Civilian Conservation Corps began the job of improving the road and constructing the trails and many park structures, including the visitor center.

In 1976, Congress decided to further preserve the land by designating it as a wilderness area. This precludes any development and human intervention, thus ensuring the preservation of the geological formation for future generations.

One bit of information I learned online stated: The rock formations were carved by ice and water from layers of rhyolite, which was originally ash blown out during the Turkey Creek Volcano eruption 27 million years ago.

There is no fee to visit this monument.
Camping is available for a fee on 25 basic sites. Maximum length of trailers and RV's is 29 feet, actual measurements.
There is an 8 mile paved scenic drive and  17 miles of day-use hiking trails.

I do not think we have ever taken as many pictures of rocks as we did on this day. I am not sure any description I would give could adequately describe this place.  You drive through a canyon of rocks some of which look like they could tumble down on you at any time. At times you are in what I would describe as a tunnel of trees. You are on a winding road with mountain on one side and beautiful valley vistas on the other that seem to go on forever. All beautiful and so worth the ride to get there.

The following are some of the pictures we took. This is the first time I truly wish I had a better camera. Except for a few comments I will let them speak for themselves.

Looking at the formation called
China Boy from the turn out
with sign and information.

Taken parked below just past
China Boy.

Sea Captain taken standing
by sign.

Organ Pipe Formation taken standing by sign.

These were taken at Massai Point which is at an Elevation of 6870 feet. This is the end of the scenic drive and from here we made our way back to the visitor center.

Scenery as we drive back to Wilcox, Arizona.

So we ended a day filled with the joy of discovering the beauty of
 "The Land of The Standing-Up Rocks".

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