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Big Loop - Chiricahua National Monument
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mini location map2014-03-15
20 by photographer avatarLucyan
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Big Loop - Chiricahua National MonumentTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 15 2014
Lucyan
Hiking8.50 Miles 3,140 AEG
Hiking8.50 Miles   4 Hrs      2.13 mph
3,140 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Chiricahua National Monument is located in the eastern part of Cochise County, Arizona near the New Mexico border, south of I-10. The Monument is relatively unknown to many people in the U.S. and even in many parts of New Mexico and Arizona. It encompasses almost 12,000 acres, much of which is designated as wilderness area. You can enjoy looking at the large variety of plants, reptiles, birds and mammals that the Monument has to offer. This part of Arizona went through a violent past that began about 27 million years ago when the Turkey Creek Volcano erupted and spewed ash up to 2000 feet deep over an area of 1200 square miles. The ash particles melted together to form rhyolite, a grayish colored rock that is what makes up the Monument today. Over the preceding years, the land was pushed up and the rhyolite cracked thus allowing water and ice to enter, breaking the rocks apart. Today the area is dotted with rock formations such as spires, balance rocks and other shapes. If you have an active imagination, the rocks will remind you of things such as Duck on the Rock, Punch and Judy, and The Sea Captain to name a few. The Monument reminds me of a mini Bryce Canyon although without the red rock of course.

In recent history, the Apache Indians inhabited these mountains from the early 1400s. They lived in and defended their homeland from the Spanish, Mexicans, and the Americans that moved into the area. In 1886, the last of The Chiricahua Apaches surrendered and were moved to reservations. In 1888, Swedish immigrants settled in the area and built Faraway Ranch. Later descendants and in-laws of the owners of the ranch (Ed Riggs and his wife) worked to build trails to view the rocks, and provided tours for visitors to the area to show off the canyons and rock formations. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge, through the combined efforts of Ed Riggs, Governor Hunt, and a photographer by the name of Armstrong, set aside the land that is now known as the Chiricahua National Monument.

http://www.nps.gov/chir/index.htm

http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/national ... park99.pdf

http://www.nps.gov/chir/planyourvisit/u ... e%2008.pdf

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado ... 2&actid=62

http://hfc.nps.gov/carto/PDF/CHIRmap1.pdf

http://www.nps.gov/chir/planyourvisit/u ... mation.pdf

http://downbytheriverbandb.com/2010/11/ ... -monument/
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