RV Rental Chiricahua National Monument, AZ

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Discover Chiricahua National Monument

About 27 million years ago, an ancient volcano erupted, spewing massive globs of lava that covered the land, today that is known as Arizona. The lava eventually hardened into volcanic rock, and over eons, wind and rain eroded the rock into hoodoo and balancing-rock formations. These rock formations are unique, found in very few other places around the world. President Calvin Coolidge signed an act in 1924 to protect this region from development, and this park was named Chiricahua National Monument. Also found inside the park is Faraway Ranch, a historic site. Established in 1887, it became a key spot in an ongoing conflict between the settlers and local Apache Native Americans.

The closest large town is Willcox, which is approximately 40 miles to the northwest of Chiricahua National Monument. Willcox is best known as the birthplace of Rex Allen, a prominent singer, songwriter, and actor often featured in Western films in the 1950s. Willcox also is in the heart of the Cochise Wine Valley, and the annual Willcox Wine Festival is considered one of the top 10 wine festivals in the United States. Search for an RV in Cochise County, AZ, and get ready to embark on a memorable RV camping adventure in Arizona.

Getting Outdoors

Chiricahua National Monument is currently one of the most interesting geological sites in the country. Twelve thousand acres of hoodoos, needle rocks, and balancing rocks are a major draw for photographers, nature lovers, and adventurers who want to enjoy a one-of-a-kind landscape. Under the scorching Arizona sun, travel over 17 miles of day-use hiking trails that meander through an arid landscape, through narrow gaps in between rock columns, and across ancient riverbeds that flood with chocolate-hued water after monsoons pass through.

Chiricahua National Monument operates a program in which adventurers can obtain a “Rock the Rhyolite” pin when they successfully hike at least five miles and take a photograph or a selfie on each trail for proof.

Thanks to five different biomes, there is a wide range of wildlife in the Chiricahua National Monument. Hikers and photographers may observe animals such as javelina (similar to wild boars), black bears, coatimundi, 16 species of bats, and even an occasional jaguar or ocelot, both of which are endangered. Due to the extreme heat, most wildlife is nocturnal, and people can often see them emerging from their hiding place at dusk.

The staff at Chiricahua National Monument operate a free daily shuttle that ferries people to the Echo Canyon and Massai Point trailheads. These trails lead back to the visitor center.

Camping at Chiricahua National Monument

Far from the closest town, many visitors to Chiricahua National Monument opt to rent an Airstream. Wake up surrounded by pristine wilderness. The Chiricahua National Monument RV campground has around 25 sites separated by wizened juniper trees. Note that due to tight turns that can make backing into a space such a challenge, RVs and trailers longer than 29 feet are not recommended. Though there are no hookups, there are restrooms with flush toilets and potable water available. Visitors can also make use of the food storage lockers because bears can be a nuisance at times. While campfires are prohibited, campers can bring their own fire pits or rings; however, it must be raised six inches off the ground.

RV camp in Coronado National Forest, which is just a few miles to the south. The Pinery Canyon Campground near San Simon is a smaller campground with around 15 sites. Situated in a narrow canyon, RVs and trailers longer than 16 feet are not recommended. A very primitive site, there is no drinking water, restrooms, or any amenities.

Alternatively, consider RV camping at Cochise Stronghold, which is a few miles to the west. This campground is far more exposed to the sun, and as a result, it closes during the summer months due to the extreme heat. Although there is no running water, this campground has restrooms for visitors to use.

Exploring the Area

It might surprise some people to learn that this region is full of history, charming towns, and landmarks. Fort Bowie is an outpost created in the late 1800s to protect the local settlers from Native American tribes. The fort was abandoned after Geronimo surrendered, and in 1960, it was “rediscovered” and deemed a historical site. Volunteers have since then restored the fort and turned it into a living-history site.

The Old West is well-known for its ghost towns, and there are several in the area. Stroll through the ruins of the long-lost town of Courtland found near Elfrida, AZ. Once a thriving town of a few thousand copper miners and their families, only a few foundations and crumbling walls stand today. Hit the road in a motorhome rental and find the remnants of other ghost towns.

The Amerind Museum is a research facility, art gallery, and museum all wrapped up into one building. On the outskirts of Dragoon, AZ, Amerind Museum has on display several Native American artifacts, jewelry, and weapons that played significant roles in their culture and history.

At the end of a long day of roaming Arizona’s deserts, retreat from the heat into an Airstream rental and enjoy a relaxing evening.

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Popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds

  • Hiking TrailLocation
  • Heart of Rocks Loop, AZChiricahua National Monument, AZ
  • Rhyolite Canyon Trail, AZChiricahua National Monument, AZ
  • Natural Bridge Trail, AZChiricahua National Monument, AZ
  • Sugarloaf Mountain Trail, AZChiricahua National Monument, AZ
  • Echo Canyon Trail, AZChiricahua National Monument, AZ
  • Echo Canyon and Sarah Deming Canyon Loop, AZChiricahua National Monument, AZ
  • Massai Nature Trail, AZWillcox, AZ
  • Crest Trail Loop, AZSan Simon, AZ
  • Chiricahua Peak Trail, AZCoronado National Forest, AZ
  • Chiricahua Peak to Monte Vista Peak Loop, AZCoronado National Forest, AZ

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