It was a ranger in Big Bend who told us about Chiricahua National Monument near Willcox, Arizona in the southeastern part of the state. Knowing that legislation has been presented to Congress to change it’s status to a national park, he encouraged us to visit before it gets “discovered”. The park is named for the Chiricahua Apache people, nomadic hunter gatherers who spent their summers in the cooler mountains. Of course we decided to visit in the winter and were treated to the absolutely magical scene of the rhyolite rock pinnacles, dressed in snow. We didn’t feel prepared for any lengthy hikes in the snow but delighted in the driving the eight mile scenic road to the top and hiking the half mile Massai Point Nature Trail. It definitely required that we watched each and every step we took but the views were positively stupendous! We had some great interactions with rangers and volunteers at the Visitor Center as well as with other visitors and took the opportunity to become Park Protectors by joining the WNPA and becoming part of legions of citizens supporting the mission of the incredible national park system that we treasure.

Our visit began with a trip to the Visitor Center. It’s small but the staff was friendly.
The eight mile trip to the top delighted with amazing views.
The view from Massai Point was phenomenal. There is the background is the Turkey Creek Caldera that erupted 27 million years ago to create these fascinating rock spires.
We weren’t the only critters to leave our footprints.
The Mexican Jays enjoyed frolicking in the snow.
And looking down on us from above.
The flora and fauna as well as the geology in this desert landscape is intriguing.
Interpretive signs everywhere helped us appreciate the scenes in front of us.
The rhyolite pinnacles are amazing to behold.
Sometimes they look ready to topple over.
We were amazed at every turn and so grateful that this national monument was created to protect this geology and allow us to enjoy it.
Fellow visitors offered to take this photo of us together.
And of course we had to build a tiny snowman and name him “Bob”.

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1 Comment

  1. Theodore Horsch

    I remember taking that picture of the two of you! So great to revisit the memory of Chiricahua. Thanks.

    Reply

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