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Western Chiricahuas, AZ
mini location map2021-05-19
11 by photographer avatarcactuscat
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Western Chiricahuas, AZ 
Western Chiricahuas, AZ
Car Camping avatar May 19 2021
Car Camping
Car Camping   24 Hrs      0.00 mph
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
24 Hours In The Western Chiricahuas


11am - arrived at Chiricahua National Monument - stopped at Visitor’s Center to browse and chat with Ranger Theresa about a planned adventure.

11:30am - set up camp at Bonita Canyon Campground … it was a last minute reservation, and I was lucky to snag a site - never stayed in #24 before, and it was ok … had a little more privacy than the worst sites, plus good shade and a perfect tree to lock my bike to and hang a hummingbird feeder from.

12:15pm- set off on a three hour hike/bird walk - wasn’t expecting much, given that it was mid-day, but managed about 35 bird species as well as many close encounters with white-tailed deer … I love it when I don’t even startle them, and they just browse and go about their business while I pass - didn’t see a single human on my walk.

3:25pm - break and late lunch at camp.

3:45pm - fired up the Lectric bike and rode halfway up the Monument road … started up the gated dirt road towards the King of Lead Mine to see if it was bikeable - it soon became too steep and rocky, and I turned back. Enjoyed the exhilarating 25mph coast back down the paved road, stopping in a few places to check out views and birds.

5:00pm - relaxed around camp, ate, took a final short walk, then began getting ready for the night and the following day.

8:30pm - just about ready for bed when I heard a strange owl and bolted out of my tent - just about ran right into my camp neighbors, who were also looking for the owl … we thought it was an Elf Owl - which was later confirmed through my recordings … the four of us then took an impromptu stroll around the campground loops, enjoying the owls and good conversation - they were all former Forest Service Rangers in Superior National Forest, MN.


3:15am - awakened by Elf Owl.

4:30am - awakened by my alarm, as planned … on the road to West Turkey Creek well before 5am.

6:00am - arrived at the end of Turkey Creek Road, Morse Canyon TH … it was chilly and shaded, and not much bird activity yet - so I made some Jetboil coffee and ate the Egg McMuffin that I had wisely purchased the day before.

6:30am - back downhill a bit to Sycamore Campground, where the sun was hitting the trees and there was a bit of water in the creek … hit the jackpot with Hepatic Tanager, Buff-breasted Flycatchers (SEAZ specialty) and lifer Red Crossbills! They were so freaking cute - trip made, right there!

7:15am - drove back out, stopping to check out some nice primitive campsites and bird a bit along the way … stopped at Johnny Ringo grave - very cool.

9:00am - leisurely time breaking camp, second breakfast and one last short bike ride … stopped by Faraway Ranch for a quick bird walk on the way out.

11:30am - departed CHIR for now.
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