Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona
Nestled in the southeastern corner of Arizona, about an hour north of the
Mexican border, is Chiricahua National Monument
(pronounced CHEER-uh-COW-uh) — with amazing rock formations
and gorgeous views to the surrounding, lower landscapes.
A lot of the vegetation there burned in one of the massive forest fires during
2011, and I haven't visited since then.
But a lot of what makes the place special are the rock formations and the views.
(Imagine some of the photos below with less green and more black...
for the next decade or two, at least.)
View from Massai Point
Same as above, zoomed in
Around Massai Point
Formations like these are called tent rocks, hoodos,
and other names too.
(These are at Massai Point, but you'll find them all over the Southwest and
They're formed when rocks cover softer land underneath — and the
softer land beneath is eroded away over time.
That leaves the rock on top of a pillar.
High points like Chiricahua National Monument are called sky islands
because they shelter high-altitude ecosystems above the hotter climates below.
This photo shows that.
Tree along the edge of Massai Point
Hoodoo seen through two gnarled tree trunks
Plants sprout where they can between the rocks, giving views like this one
at Massai Point
Hoodoos framed by more hoodoos at Massai Point
Balanced rock along Echo Canyon Trail near sunset.
(Sunset is a great time to photograph formations like these!)
This sunset view is from the upper part of the Echo Canyon trail.
Soon after this I headed down the hill to the campground and set my alarm
for an early sunrise...
Dawn over distant hills from the highway to Massai Point
Rock on Massai Point just after sunrise
The edge of Massai Point, just after sunrise
Balanced rock along Echo Canyon Trail
From Echo Canyon Trail
Echo Canyon Trail
Leaning hoodoo along Echo Canyon Trail
Scorched tree limbs (from a fire before the one in 2011) along Echo Canyon
Cliffs and toasted trees from the Echo Canyon Trail
Soaring above the Hailstone Trail
[Previous page: City of Rocks State Park, NM]
[Previous page: Border Field State Park, CA]
[Tour start: La Frontera: Along the US-Mexico Border]
(These photographs are Copyright © 2012 by Jerry Peek.
Much higher-resolution versions of most images,
and many other images too, are available at
Jerry Peek Photography.
Photos are available at reduced prices, or free, for non-commercial use.)