Saturday, April 7, 2018

Up, Over, and Down the Chiricahua Mountains

(Clicking on the pictures will open them larger in a new window.)

Friday, April 6, 2018

Today we took a drive west through the Chiricahua Mountains.

The name Chiricahua is believed to originate from the Opata name for the mountains, Chiwi Kawi, meaning "Turkey Mountain".[3][4][5] The Chiricahuas were once known for an abundance of wild turkeys.

The Chiricahua Mountains massif is a large mountain range in southeastern Arizona which is part of the Basin and Range province of the west and southwest USA and northwest Mexico; the range is part of the Coronado National Forest. The highest point, Chiricahua Peak, rises 9,759 feet (2,975 m) above sea level, approximately 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above the surrounding valleys. 
Chiricahua Peak is the name of a 9,763 feet (2,976 m) peak located in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona, located about 35 miles (56 km) north of the United States–Mexico border. It is the highest summit in the Chiricahua Mountains and the highest point in Cochise County.[1]
As with the rest of the Chiricahua Mountains, the peak was formed as the result of a violent volcanic eruption about 27 million years ago.[3]
The peak contains one of the southernmost Engelmann spruce stands in the world. There are also extensive stands of aspen on the north slope. Much of the peak was severely burned in recent times, which creates vast open views across the landscape. This includes views across the Basin and Range to Mount Lemmon, Mount Graham, and Mount Wrightson. In addition, Willcox Playa is visible in the basin below.

In 2011 the Horseshoe 2 Fire burned a total of 223,000 acres within the Chiricahua Mountains causing considerable damage to the trail system.[4] (information from Wikipedia)

What follows are more pictures then should be in any one blog but I had trouble eliminating the ones I did. Every turn in the road brought with it wonderful, breathtaking views and I took a lot of pictures trying to capture the beauty which surrounded us and to remind us of this day. If you decide to browse through them I hope you enjoy looking at them I know we will in the years to come. It was a wonderful ride. The pictures speak for themselves and there is not much I can or will add.

As we headed down Portal Road the Mountains ahead fill our vision.

On today's ride nature's beauty surrounded us from start to finish.

This is the nicest cattle guard we have ever seen.

We did stop here but they did not have any information about the ride we
did not have. There was a very nice couple running this place and we
had a very nice, short chat with them.
We did find out if you are a bird watcher this is one of the
best areas to visit and April is the prime time for spotting birds.

I am including information about four campgrounds we drove through while on our ride. None of which the Stinger "B" will ever visit. Between the low hanging branches, boulders, and narrow roads as wonderful as the views would be she is just to large and would not be allowed in nor would we attempt the trip. If you are reading this and have a small travel trailer, van, truck camper, or if you tent this would be a wonderful area to park in. Plus, if you are a birdwatcher, we have been told this is premier country to see many different species of birds and by the number of birdwatchers we saw it is not a secret.

Entrance into the campground.

This campground was laid out wonderfully between large boulders.
The 9 sites here are set up for tents, vans, or truck campers
no trailers allowed. 

Leaving the same way we came in.

I failed to take pictures of the second campground we road into, Stewart, but we did have a short talk with one of the campers set up in a beautiful spot along Cave Creek. They had a little white Casita which was nestled into their site under the Arizona Cyprus trees and she said, it was a wonderful spot and they were enjoying their time there. The sites were actually a good size.

I took this picture of Stewart Campground off the internet.
There are 6 sites here and they allow trailers up to 16 feet.

Continuing on our way and looking up through the
trees the boulders that make up these mountains
are magnificent to see.

We turned a corner and saw these two deer looking back at us.

They were headed down to the water.

Another campground with some wonderful views.
The 13 sites are in a grassy meadow.

The limit for size at this campground was 28 feet.

There is a length limit on this road.

After the above sign we saw several homes.
They all had wonderful views.

The pavement ends.

There had to be one wiggle worm sign included.
This pretty much described the rest of the ride.

Looking down from the road

then ahead

and behind.

Looking out over the edge as we climbed higher.
We saw this view several times and it took my breath away each time.

We have stopped for lunch.
The Jeep is just a little dusty from today and yesterday's ride.
It was a lovely shiny black just a couple of days ago.

The view out my window as we sat and enjoyed our lunch.

Continuing on our way.

Out my window

and out Tom's window.

Still heading up.

I kept thinking the views could not get any better

and then we would turn another corner.

By mistake we took a detour and came upon this sign.
Needless to say we will not be walking to far from the Jeep.

We ended up at this Campground which is temporarily closed.

It was rebuilt after the Horseshow fire in 2011.
No information about the number of sites but the length of trailer
allowed here is 22 feet.

Our views heading back to the road we are suppose to be on.

Back on the right road we are now headed down.
The road ahead.

Not sure how many cattle guards we went over today but then
we turned a corner and there standing at the edge of the road

they were not looking to happy to see us.

One of several washes we drove over today.

One more deer in the distance.
At this point we are down on flat ground and the road is a washboard.

At this point we can see the blacktop in the distance
and looking back only beautiful mountains and grasslands behind us.

We are now near the entrance of the the Chiricahua National Monument. We visited this Monument on March 29, 2015 if you would like to see the pictures we took that day. We did not drive in today but hope to go back another time.

We also decided not to go back the way we came but instead took a longer way back in miles but shorter in time.


Turned North on AZ-186 towards Wilcox

Then we saw a sign for Ft. Bowie National Historic Site Trailhead.
We knew this would bring us to I-10
and take several miles off of our journey. 

In our benchmark of Arizona this road is listed as
Apache Pass Road.

We visited Ft. Bowie on November 18, 2015 if you would care to check out our visit.  Though we did not take this walk in.

We have now merged onto I-10 heading East.

Crossing back into New Mexico.

This will be last time

we travel on I-10 this adventure.

This is NM-80 and we are heading South towards the Stinger "B".

Driving through the gate of Rusty's RV Ranch we are back home.

We had a wonderful day driving through a beautiful part of our country.
A Memory Making Day!

If you would like to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.


  1. What a wonderful tour, brings back memories of ours a few years ago. What amazing scenery that you enjoyed as well as us. Thanks for the memories.

  2. Fantastic views and as you stated they certainly speak for themselves. Thanks for sharing the camping info as well. Always nice to know.

    Enjoy your time there.

    1. You are welcome, if we had a smaller rig it is were we would be parking. The views on the ride were fantastic.

  3. Wow, what scenery! Yet another must-see for us. We certainly won't be taking the Cedar Creek to those campgrounds.

    1. I used the word "wow" more then once...:) on the ride.
      Your Cedar Creek would be a little to big for those campgrounds.

  4. It's amazing what you can find in the desert ... beautiful mountains and pine trees!!

    1. It is amazing what beauty there is to be enjoyed.

  5. Beautiful pics once again Deb (feel like i'm repeating myself)..You both sure know how to enjoy the area. Funny how cows seem to be all about themselves until you come by and then they stop and stare..they're so cute!

    1. Thank you again, Shirley...:) The fantastic scenery helped...a lot!
      We were surprised to come around the corner and see those two cows; they where a good ways up the mountain.