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Echo Canyon Loop - Chiricahua NM, AZ

Guide 46 Triplogs  1 Active Topic
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Difficulty 1.5 of 5
Distance Round Trip 3.3 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,784 feet
Elevation Gain -544 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 6.02
Interest Seasonal Creek
Backpack No
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5  2021-03-27 GrangerGuy
2  2020-04-09
Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
9  2016-05-29 cindyl
25  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
22  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
25  2016-03-18
Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
5  2015-10-17 DbleDutch
25  2014-10-21 winotron
Page 1,  2,  3
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 169
Routes 148
Photos 5,615
Trips 1,493 map ( 7,566 miles )
Age 43 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct → Any
Seasons   ALL
Sun  5:11am - 7:26pm
Official Route
3 Alternative

Hoodoo u think u are?
by PrestonSands

This scenic loop hike at Chiricahua National Monument comprises three trails: Echo Canyon, Hailstone, and Ed Riggs. This description is of a counter clockwise loop, starting on the Echo Canyon Trail (the most impressive segment). It can be combined with other connecting trails in the Monument to create a longer hike. See the map for details.

At the Echo Canyon parking area, follow the trail that takes off behind the Echo Canyon Loop info sign. This trail soon splits into the Echo Canyon and Ed Riggs Trails. Take the Echo Canyon Trail, which heads southwest across the high, rocky mesa. Naturally sculpted stone hoodoos and balanced rocks begin to increase in both quantity and size, as the trail heads for the upper end of Echo Canyon. The first attraction you'll come to is the Echo Canyon Grotto, at around 0.5 miles. The Grotto is a stone hallway of sorts, worn between a grouping of large boulders. Soon after, the trail descends into Echo Canyon and a wonderland of enormous stone pillars. Some of the C.C.C.'s most impressive trail work is found here. At Wall Street, trail crews widened some existing fractures in the bedrock to create a narrow passageway through imposing hoodoos. This truly awesome stretch of trail comes to an end all too soon, beneath the towering pines at Echo Park.

Beyond Echo Park, the trail contours along through the forest, before arriving on an open ridge overlooking Rhyolite Canyon, at 1.5 miles. The Echo Canyon Trail ends at 1.6 miles, where it meets the Upper Rhyolite Canyon and Hailstone Trails. This loop follows the Hailstone Trail.

There is little elevation change on the Hailstone Trail, and this easy stretch affords fine views up and down Rhyolite Canyon. At 2.4 miles the Hailstone Trail ends at the Ed Riggs and Mushroom Rock Trails. Keep left and follow the Ed Riggs Trail, which gradually ascends a wooded ravine back to the top of the mesa.

At 3.1 miles you'll pass the junction with the spur trail to Massai Point. Stay on the Ed Riggs Trail, which soon arrives on top of the mesa and rejoins the Echo Canyon Trail. A short distance later the trail arrives back at the Echo Canyon trailhead/parking area.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2007-12-29 PrestonSands
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua NM $5 per person / 7 Day Entrance Fee

Map Drive
Paved - Car Okay

To Echo Canyon Trailhead
From I-10 exit 340 in Willcox, head south on highway 186 for about 33.2 miles to highway 181. Turn left (east) onto highway 181, and follow it for 3 miles to the Chiricahua National Monument entrance. (see fee above) Follow the road (which later becomes "Scenic Drive") for approximately 7.5 miles beyond the Monument entrance, to the sign for Echo Canyon and Sugarloaf picnic areas. Turn right, and follow the road to the turnoff for the Echo Canyon trailhead/parking area on your left. The trail begins at the far end of the Echo Canyon parking lot, next to the trail information sign.

From PHX (I-10 & AZ-51) 236 mi, 3 hours 50 mins
From TUC (Jct 1-10 & Grant) 126 mi, 2 hours 20 mins
From FLG (Jct I-17 & I-40) 379 mi, 5 hours 56 mins
90+° 8am - 6pm kills
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