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Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM, AZ

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Guide 23 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Douglas
4.7 of 5 by 9
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Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Distance One Way 1.65 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,773 feet
Elevation Gain -515 feet
Accumulated Gain 159 feet
Kokopelli Seeds 2.18
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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7  2019-06-03
Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
38  2019-05-24
Chiricahua National Monument Trails Loop
23  2018-04-21
Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
15  2018-02-17 Uncharted
15  2016-12-03 AZ_Step
25  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
22  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
6  2016-04-02
Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
Page 1,  2
Author HAZ_Hikebot
author avatar Guides 16,882
Routes 16,052
Photos 24
Trips 1 map ( 6 miles )
Age 22 Male Gender
Location TrailDEX, HAZ
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Preferred   Oct, Apr, May, Sep
Sun  6:02am - 6:21pm
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9 Alternative
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    This hike is listed as One-Way.

    When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
    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.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    It's been a while!
    Still my all-time favorite SE playground.
    Everything looked hoodoo great, except Echo Park ... what a mess.
    Unbelievable amount of deer along Silver Spur (18-20) including 2 very nice bucks.
    Big lightning cell hitting as I left.
    Monument has been recovering well from the fire.
    Shall be back ... this place rocks!
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    First time to the Chiricahua National Monument, so I took the loop counterclockwise plus a trip to inspiration point and a hike afterward up Sugarloaf Mountain.

    Heart of Rocks Loop was the highlight of the trip, Though Echo Canyon is also incredible. Echo Park was burned but still enjoyable, and the SE corner of the hike around Big Balanced Rock Trail and Inspiration Point is burned as well. On the plus side, the views are expansive on this side of the loop because of the elevation and lack of trees. Inspiration Point is a nice side trip with little elevation gain. Riggs Trail was chewed up but was being worked on. The trails were so nicely maintained, you could forget you're in the wilderness.

    Sugarloaf Mountain was better than I expected, and it made more sense to add it on after I had finished with the loop; the trailhead is close by, it's short, and it doesn't take long for the payoff. Lookout was closed.

    Passed only two hikers on the trail all day, and when I got back to the car there were under a half dozen cars in the Echo Canyon lot.
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
    Up at 2:30a, home at 10:00pm, is close to the definition of a day hike.

    Denny provided the impetus to get this one done. If he keeps reading his food book, we'll get to a lot of other new areas. :y:

    We saw some of flocks of deer, including 2 dudes with nice racks on the way in. Also were treated to some Coatimundi while hiking. : :D :DANCE:

    We were spoiled all day with perfect weather and pristinely groomed trails. Temps ranged from 50 to no more than 68, with a breeze.

    We did a clockwise loop including side trips to Sugarloaf, Inspiration Point and Heart of Rocks Loop.

    Lower Rhyolite Canyon Trail, starts off this track in the pines with sneak peeks at the hoodoos.

    Left on Upper Rhyolite Canyon Trail and you start the climb to the fun.

    Bypass Hailstone Trail and hit Echo Canyon Trail. This is the crème de la crème in the park. Here you are walking amungst the tall spires. Wow, just wow.
    Echo Canyon Video :next: ... Dx1M

    A hike up Sugarloaf Mountain Trail provides a great 360 overlook of the area.
    Sugarloaf Mountain Video :next: ... WNjI

    Ed Riggs Trail and Mushroom Rock Trail lead you to the next highlight side trip.

    Inspiration Point Trail, is only a 1/2 mile one way. The destination packs some more incredible views.

    Big Balanced Rock Trail leads you to..... duh.... how does it not fall over. After the geometry lesson the
    amazing Heart of Rocks Loop is right there. Recommend doing this Clockwise for the views and to take advantage of the signage.
    Big Balanced Rock & Heart of Rocks Loop :next: ... -slI

    The Sara Demming Trail starts you back downhill. It was on this trail, in the tall pines, that we saw our swarm of Coatimundi. I found this to be an enjoyable wind down trail.

    This ones a must do, if you haven't.....

    Thanks for putting this together Denny plus Driving/Dinner.

    One word..... Hailstone
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Chiricahua NM Loop with Sugarloaf
    De-double-n-why graciously took Bruce and myself to Rhyolite Tuff Disneyland :y:

    Lower Rhyolite is a very nice national park quality groomed trail. Echo Canyon Trail is my favorite. It made me feel like a kid gasping in glee around several turns and overlooks. We worked up to Sugarloaf then back down to Ed Riggs. It was a windy day so that was my least favorite portion. It would be a nice hike on any other day.

    Mushroom Rock looks like a Star Wars space ship. Inspiration Point is worth the overlook. Big Balanced Rock is the most fascinating balanced rock I've ever seen. Heart of Rocks Loop is a fan favorite but didn't touch my heart like Echo Canyon. Old Maid is questionable. All the other rock formations are cool.

    With little sleep heading in, Sarah Deming was a little draggy.

    After nearly two decades of anticipation it was exciting to finally see this national park!
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    We were up at dawn on day 4 of our 8-day SE AZ road trip. The night before we'd been chastised by the camp host at Bonita Campground for taking a shower. Apparently no water was allowed to touch the ground inside the campground. We were also not to tie anything to a tree or use the sink in the rest rooms for anything beyond washing our hands. She said we should have brought a lot of baby wipes if we planned to camp and then returned to her 40-foot motor home and ran the generator all night. With a quick breakfast we headed out to the Echo Canyon trailhead, conspiring along the way on the best method for stealth showers.

    Started the Big Loop counter clockwise, so down Echo Canyon trail. Doesn't take too long to get to the grottoes. The rhyolite formations are reminiscent of the Fairyland Loop at Bryce in a way. We were all smiles and anxious for what might be ahead. Wall Street was impressive and then we descended into the cool of Echo Canyon. Progress was slow as we took time to ooh and ahh and photograph everything.

    Hit the Hailstone Trail and could see across the canyon where we'd be gaining back the elevation we were losing. The Upper Rhyolite turned us back west with several stream crossings. Soon we began the slow slog up the Sarah Deming trail along the west side of the canyon of the same name. While it was a steady uphill, there was shade and the grade was such that we made good time until the last hundred yards or so. The last bit of scrambling brought us back up on top of the formations and right to the beginning of the Heart of Rocks Loop.

    The Heart or Rocks Loop is a geologic playground. The trail requires a bit of scrambling and can be difficult to follow at times. We did notice that back in the day someone had painted red footprints on the slick rock areas. While worn, these were still faintly visible at just the right time to keep a careful trekker on the trail. A majority of the named formations are along this trail. Signs point out the more famous -- Duck on a Rock, Punch and Judy, Thors Hammer, Pinnacle Balanced Rock, etc. We took a lunch break amongst the rhyolite formations. On our way back out of the Loop we heard voices and ran into the only hikers we'd see during the entire hike -- a group of ladies who were going clockwise and thus opposite us.

    Turned east on Big Balanced Rock Trail and paid homage to its namesake. This trail was level and moderately scenic. We moved quickly. I'd kept the Inspiration Point Trail as a way to extend or shorten the total hike. If we were doing well, then it was out to the point. If we were dragging then we'd blow it off. We didn't even stop to discuss it and turned to the point. The hike is pretty flat. This area was burned years back, so there's not much to see until you hit the end. Then it is just pick a way you want to scramble out to enjoy the view and take photos down the length of Rhyolite Canyon. It was truly inspirational.

    The only thing left was Mushroom Rock Trail and then Ed Riggs back to the trailhead. We were tiring and we descended along Mushroom Rock knowing we'd have to climb again right at the end of the hike. It was still pretty, but the heat and the climb made us ready to be reminiscing on how great the day had been as we sipped a cold one back in camp.

    With high spirits and high fives we topped out at the parking lot. Definitely the highlight of our days in the Chiricahuas.
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Our original plan for the day was to drive up to Rustler Park and hike to Chiricahua Peak. The forest service told us the road was open for the weekend but will be closed on Monday for two weeks. We discovered the road was closed with no access to Rustler Park. We both scratched our heads and thought what a joke! We decided to return to the Monument and hit the Big Loop which we planned on hiking the next day.

    We parked in the Echo Canyon parking lot and headed south. All of these trails are in excellent condition and are well signed. We made quick time as we dropped into a valley and then made the easy climb up the other side. From there we detoured over to Inspiration Point and admired the view. We got there relatively early so we took a quick break and continued on to the Heart of Rocks. This is a sweet area with cool formations. We took a lunch here and enjoyed the views.

    After lunch we finished the loop and then continued down the Sarah Deming Trail and headed towards Echo Canyon. This is another sweet area with cool formations. The going was very easy as we gained elevation and topped out around early afternoon. This is the premier hike in the Monument and well worth your time.
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    the main event
    hiked the big loop from the campground, which added four miles
    left our stuff set up in camp, and didn't have to worry about it unsecured in my truck
    started the day with a huge breakfast of eggs, hash browns, bacon and sauteed onions :)
    john's coffee was excellent, too
    got going around 6:30 with the connector to the visitor's center, then up rhyolite canyon
    a steady ascent to echo canyon trail
    the grotto is a highlight and this is one of the best trails in the park
    down and up ed riggs, which had quite a bit of fire damage
    another ascent up mushroom rock, where they were doing some trail reconstruction due to flooding
    out to inspiration point
    the fire damage was quite noticeable from here, but many signs of regeneration
    views were more expansive at the expense of the trees
    stayed high on big balanced rock trail, exposed to full sun but with a good breeze
    then the best part of the hike: heart of rocks
    fun hoodoos and rock formations
    took our time here for photos
    descended the sarah deming trail and closed the loop, returning to camp down rhyolite canyon
    lots of trails to link, lots of different views
    pretty sobering changes from the 2011 fire
    wish i had a few more good pictures from 2009 for comparison
    a classic loop
    got a little warm the last couple miles
    had lunch at the campground, packed up and hit the road
    took the alternate way back to phoenix through safford, san carlos reservation and globe
    really didn't take much longer than i-10
    enjoyed seeing the west side of the pinalenos
    had a large helping of ice cream in safford :lol:
    thanks for doing the driving, john, and for your company
    it was a fun trip :)
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    My first trip back into the upper Monument since the fire!

    We first started with a warm-up on the Massai Nature Trail loop before driving back down to the Echo Canyon trailhead. We then completed the Big Loop hiking it clockwise including the out-n-back to Inspiration Point. I really expected to see a lot more burn, but the only sections that really got cooked were the Southeast corner including the entire Inspiration Point trail & Echo Park down in the lower canyon. There was a few other spotty burn sections, but nothing too bad.

    As for the rest of the trail(s), I was once again just blown away with the Monument scenery! The formations & trails (as always) were amazing, spectacular, epic, etc ........
    In my opinion, this is still "the one" to do in Southeastern Arizona!

    What made this trip even better was sharing it with 2 new friends I made at Roper Lake SP just a couple of days earlier. It was their first time seeing the Monument and I heard more then a few WOWS during the hike.

    Thanks Dave & Kathy, you guys (and the hoodoos) Rocked!!!
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Cheryl and I headed up to the Chiricahuas with the plans of hiking this loop. A good year or so ago she sent me an email referencing The Grotto and said "I want to go here!". We finally made the trip down south and it was well worth it. Cheryl is not a hiker but really enjoyed this loop. The rock formations were fascinating and it was very easy going. I made sure we went at a slow and enjoyable pace. The last time we hiked together in Yosemite and it resulted in her not speaking to me for half the day. :sl: Anyways, we continued on and stopped for a quick snack. From there we connected to the Ed Riggs trail and were back at the parking lot in no time. Cheryl and I both enjoyed the hike and were on to the next adventure.
    Echo Canyon Trail - Chiricahua NM
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    superfragilisticexpialidocious which is also apropos to the movie it came from as we did carry and use our umbrellas... but we couldn't fly :( .

    In my humble opinion, if this hike is not at the top of your wishlist, it should be. The pictures just don't do it justice. We took the 8:30 shuttle to Echo Canyon Parking Lot and from there we hiked the Echo Canyon trail, to Hailstone (incredibly enough, appropriately named due to the geology along the trail), to Mushroom Rock, out and back to Inspiration Point, to Big Balanced Rock, loop thru Heart of the Rocks (a MUST see if you hike this area), to Sarah Deming & finishing on Rhyolite.
    The place is unbelieveable.
    There were certain areas that Writelots had trouble getting me to get around the corner. She deserves kudos for keeping me moving. The temps got a little toasty once in awhile but not bad. There were a couple elevations that just seemed a bit longer than I anciticipated but nothing too strenuous (for me anyway). We were lucky to have beautiful skys and at times cloud cover, especially up at the Heart of the Rocks, that made it seem nowhere near the mid to high 90s.
    This is definitely a place that is non-stop amAZing. :worthy: The trail is wonderfully kept so you can do a limited amount of gawking while walking. We only saw 8 other people along the way. Our best treat was a family of coatamundis. I did get a picture of one of the little ones before he scampered off to join the rest of the family. Oh, there were lots of colorful and pretty good-sized lizards too.

    On Saturday nite, I had dinner with Wendy and Gary at El Charro Cafe and had my first taste of Carne Seca in a burrito. Let me tell you, that carne seca is very good. So now I am on the look out for restaurants in the Valley that serve it.

    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
    page created by joebartels on Feb 10 2013 3:34 pm
    2+ mi range whistle
    blow it hard
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