username
X
password
register help

Hailstone Trail, AZ

Guide 13 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4.3 of 5 
Fav
Wish
0
details
drive
permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
169 13 0
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 2 of 5
Distance One Way 0.8 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,424 feet
Elevation Gain -143 feet
Accumulated Gain 2 feet
Avg Time One Way 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 0.81
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Will recalculate on button tap!
29  2019-11-04
Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
BiFrost
38  2019-05-24
Chiricahua National Monument Trails Loop
markthurman53
27  2015-09-30
Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
AZWanderingBear
32  2014-05-25
Echo Canyon Loop - Chiricahua NM
rwstorm
10  2012-02-18
Echo Canyon Loop - Chiricahua NM
John9L
33  2009-08-02
Chiricahua Shuttle
tibber
Author markthurman53
author avatar Guides 162
Routes 683
Photos 7,885
Trips 532 map ( 4,888 miles )
Age 67 Male Gender
Location Tucson, Arizona
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Oct, Nov, Mar, Apr → Any
Seasons   Early Autumn to Late Spring
Sun  5:11am - 7:26pm
Official Route
 
6 Alternative
 
Water


Upper Rhyolite Canyon Views
by markthurman53

CHIRICAHUA NATIONAL MONUMENT

Chiricahua National Monument is on the north side of the Chiricahua Mountains in the Southeast corner of Arizona. About as far southeast as you can go in Arizona without being in New Mexico or Mexico. This is almost a fairy tale land of Rock spires, pinnacles, balanced rocks, and hoodoos where the laws of gravity don’t seem to apply. Although the park road traverses the park, to fully enjoy this park requires getting out of the car and hiking some of the 17 miles of trails. All the trails in the park are in excellent condition and well signed.

This 12000-acre park was established on April 18, 1924, to preserve the park's natural wonders of weathered volcanic tuff. In 1934 during the great depression, the CCC built the park buildings, many of which still exist today. The many park trails throughout the park today were also constructed by the CCC. Before the monument's 1880s existence, the area was settled by ranchers and, prior to that, the Apaches. The monument has displays on the history, plants, and animals of this unique environment.

Geology-wise; when the Pacific Plate was being subducted under the west coast of the North American plate, Arizona was under compression, causing the Mesozoic and Paleozoic rocks to be folded and faulted and older layers were overriding younger. Once the pacific plate spreading ridge reached the North American plate, subduction ceased, and Arizona was now under extension or stretching forces creating an alternating system of mountains and valleys (Horst and Grabens). Early on in the extensional period of Arizona, large pools of molten rock formed under areas of Arizona, and this is where Chiricahua Mountains come in. In an eruption 1000 times greater than the Mount Saint Helen eruption, this magma erupted violently and formed what is known as the Turkey Creek Caldera, a crater 12 miles across. This crater is located in the Chiricahua Mountains in Turkey Creek and west of the Chiricahua ridgeline. The resulting explosion covered the monument with ash over 2000 feet thick, forming the Rhyolitic Tuff that now caps the park. Time and weathering formed the many bazaar rock formations now seen in the park.

If you don’t mind the 2-hour drive from Tucson, Chiricahua Monument is a great place to visit and hike the scenic packed trails. This is relatively remote, so usually not crowded. The four or five times I have been there less than 50 visitors, and at least two of the times less than four cars in the park, and one of them was a park ranger (During the COVID thing).

HAILSTONE TRAIL

The Hailstone Trail has no accessible trailhead except via other trails. Access is gained via the Upper Rhyolite and Echo Canyon from the West and Ed Riggs Trail from the East. From the east side at the Ed Riggs Trail, this 0.8-mile trail is a gradual 143 foot mostly downhill hike. This trail makes a good interconnecting trail as part of two shorter loop hikes, one being a loop to the north via Echo Canyon the other being a little longer loop to the south along the Balanced Rock and Sarah Deming Trails.

Even though this is not a long trail, it is packed with lots to see. There are great views down Rhyolite Canyon and Totem and Hunt Canyons to the south. The rock spires along this trail are quite impressive, and it may take you longer to do this 0.8 miles trek because of all the stopping for sightseeing. I believe the trail gets its name from the small hailstone size rocks found along the central part of this trail. While I can’t say for sure this is the only place in the park I have seen these rocks; they are definitely abundant here. The Hailstone Trail is on the south-facing slope of Rhyolite Canyon; therefore, a little more sun exposure with fewer trees and more shrubs.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2021-06-05 markthurman53

    One-Way Notice
    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.

    Permit $$
    National Monument Fee $10-25 per 7 Days

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


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    Connector trail - Not Applicable

    To hike
    From Interstate 10 at Wilcox, take AZ186 south about 34 miles. Take AZ181 east 3 miles to the Monument entrance. Access from the south at Douglas is along AZ186 north and AZ 181, about 60 miles. Access from the east is over a long dirt road over the Chiricahua Mountains through Portal Arizona. This eastern route is not recommended as the road may be impassable during bad weather or winter snow.
    page created by joebartels on Jun 05 2021 8:42 am
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    help comment issue

    end of page marker