Chiricahua National Monument

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Chiricahua National Monument
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Chiricahua balanced rock.jpg
The Balanced Rock formation
Map showing the location of Chiricahua National Monument
Map showing the location of Chiricahua National Monument
Location in the United States
Map showing the location of Chiricahua National Monument
Map showing the location of Chiricahua National Monument
Location in Arizona
LocationCochise County, Arizona, United States
Nearest cityWillcox, Arizona
Coordinates32°00′20″N 109°21′24″W / 32.00569°N 109.35672°W / 32.00569; -109.35672Coordinates: 32°00′20″N 109°21′24″W / 32.00569°N 109.35672°W / 32.00569; -109.35672
Area11,984 acres (48.50 km2)[1]
CreatedApril 18, 1924 (1924-April-18)
Visitors51,277 (in 2016)[2]
Governing bodyNational Park Service
WebsiteChiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument is a unit of the National Park System located in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. The monument was established on April 18, 1924, to protect its extensive hoodoos and balancing rocks. The Faraway Ranch, which was owned at one time by Swedish immigrants Neil and Emma Erickson, is also preserved within the monument.[3]

Visitor center[edit]

A visitor center is located two miles from the entrance to Chiricahua National Monument. The visitor center has exhibits relating to the geology, natural history, and cultural history of the area. A park ranger is available to provide visitors with trail guides and information. Approximately 17 mi (27 km) of trails lead hikers through various ecosystems of meadows, forests, and rock formations.

The visitor center has a free shuttle that leaves each morning at 9:00am. The shuttle takes hikers to the Echo Canyon or Massai Point trailheads. Hikers return to the visitor center by following the designated trails.[4]

Geology[edit]

Located approximately 36 miles (58 km) southeast of Willcox, Arizona, the monument preserves the remains of an immense volcanic eruption that shook the region about 27 million years ago. The thick, white-hot ash spewed forth from the nearby Turkey Creek Caldera, cooled and hardened into rhyolitic tuff, laying down almost 2,000 ft (610 m) of highly siliceous, dark volcanic ash and pumice. The volcanic material eventually eroded into the natural rock formations of the present monument.[5]

In 2008, the Chiricahua National Monument Historic Designed Landscape, covering roughly 80% of the national monument, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]

Missing naturalist[edit]

On January 13, 1980, Paul Fugate, a National Park Service naturalist and law enforcement ranger, disappeared after leaving the monument headquarters while in uniform, to check trails leading to the recently acquired Faraway Ranch. An acquaintance claimed to have seen him later that afternoon, slumped between two men in a pickup truck. Despite an extensive search of the rugged 17 sq mi (44 km2) monument area by authorities and search and rescue teams, no trace of him has been found.[7][8]

Gallery[edit]

180° panoramic view of Chiricahua National Monument

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Chiricahua National Monument, AZ
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(27)
80
(27)
86
(30)
93
(34)
104
(40)
108
(42)
109
(43)
103
(39)
100
(38)
95
(35)
85
(29)
82
(28)
109
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 56.2
(13.4)
59.1
(15.1)
64.7
(18.2)
72.8
(22.7)
81.5
(27.5)
90.5
(32.5)
89.2
(31.8)
86.1
(30.1)
83.5
(28.6)
75.2
(24)
64.1
(17.8)
56.7
(13.7)
73.3
(23)
Average low °F (°C) 29.9
(−1.2)
31.2
(−0.4)
34.4
(1.3)
39.4
(4.1)
46.2
(7.9)
55.2
(12.9)
59.9
(15.5)
58.9
(14.9)
55.0
(12.8)
45.9
(7.7)
35.7
(2.1)
30.2
(−1)
43.5
(6.4)
Record low °F (°C) −10
(−23)
8
(−13)
10
(−12)
20
(−7)
19
(−7)
35
(2)
40
(4)
44
(7)
33
(1)
21
(−6)
8
(−13)
−1
(−18)
−10
(−23)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.45
(36.8)
1.20
(30.5)
1.17
(29.7)
0.47
(11.9)
0.34
(8.6)
0.84
(21.3)
4.00
(101.6)
4.05
(102.9)
1.70
(43.2)
1.17
(29.7)
1.03
(26.2)
1.61
(40.9)
19.03
(483.3)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.9
(7.4)
1.7
(4.3)
1.7
(4.3)
0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.7
(1.8)
2.9
(7.4)
10.3
(26.3)
Source: https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az1664

See also[edit]

Flag of Arizona.svg Arizona portal

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2013". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-03-28.
  2. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  3. ^ "Chiricahua National Monument: Nature & Science". National Park Service. Retrieved 2011-07-03.
  4. ^ "Chiricahua National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)". www.nps.gov. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Geology Field Notes: Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona". National Park Service. Retrieved 2011-07-03.
  6. ^ National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  7. ^ "The Mystery of a Missing Naturalist May Lead to Legal Test of Dismissal". New York Times. August 16, 1981. p. 63. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  8. ^ Smith, Rick (March 5, 2009). "Where in the World is Paul Fugate?". National Parks Traveler. nationalparkstraveler.org. Retrieved May 20, 2018.

External links[edit]