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Chiricahua National Monument

Chelmsford, United...
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95 posts
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Chiricahua National Monument

We will be driving from Tombstone to Las Cruces as past of a fly/drive holiday to Arizona and New Mexico and are hoping to visit Chiricahua enroute. Is it possible to drive through the park from Arizona into New Mexico and if not, where would be the best entry/exit points to ensure we see the best sights.

Many thanks

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Marina, California
Destination Expert
for Tucson
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1. Re: Chiricahua National Monument

No, you cannot drive through the monument. The road dead ends, and there's only one road. It is possible to drive over the mountains, but I would not necessarily recommend this in a rental car if you're not familiar with Arizona forest roads. It's unpaved, mountainous, bumpy and often only wide enough for one car. It's also not passable in the winter due to snow (not sure when you're coming).

There is a national forest area with a few hiking trails and several campgrounds in a canyon on the eastern side of the Chiricahuas, but I think the monument is more interesting.

The monument would be a good stop along the way, and it's not absurdly far off of the highway. There is a short-cut, where you exit in Bowie and go south along an unpaved but fairly flat and wide road through Fort Bowie National Monument. www.nps.gov/fobo/planyourvisit/directions.htm

After the monument, consider visiting Cochise Stronghold, which is on US 191 south of I-10 and west of Willcox. It's very pretty and free to visit.

Cruces to Tucson typically takes 4-5 hours, so plan for a full day if you're stopping at Chiricahua National Monument.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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2. Re: Chiricahua National Monument

Consider lodging in Bisbee ... a nicer place to wander a bit ... The 191 to the 181 will get you to the entrance ... Be advised,that due to a major wild fire a few years back ...The only features largely unchanged are the rocks ... carracar

Edited: 12 August 2013, 15:05
Ohio
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for Road Trips
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3. Re: Chiricahua National Monument

we were in the Chiricahuas last fall. Hiked down in and saw a lot of blackened pines from the fire, but... it was still beautiful. The rock formations are something to see. At least take the road thru the road.

Cochise Stronghold was our favorite unexpected place on last fall's road trip. However-- we hiked the 3 miles up to the divide and back down. Not an easy "walk" at all! Don't think the op is interested in that. Also loved Fort Bowie, but again-- a mile and 1/2 hike into it (and then back) Our 2nd great surprise on the trip. Saw 3 gray wolves trotting across the landscape there. But I digress :)

Drive the Chiricahuas-- it's always a good thing to turn around and come back the same way. Everything looks different.

Chelmsford, United...
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4. Re: Chiricahua National Monument

Many thanks to you all for your input....have allowed a full day for the journey so the drive into Chiricahua seems to fit in perfectly as it will break the journey up nicely.

Wings 1980 - did you see the gray wolves in Chiricahua? That would be amazing.......

Ohio
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5. Re: Chiricahua National Monument

no. At Fort Bowie. And apparently it is a rare thing indeed. Talked to the ranger later and he was amazed that I saw them. I just wish I could've gotten my camera up in time. Ah, well...

6. Re: Chiricahua National Monument

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