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Chiricahua National Monument facts for kids

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Chiricahua National Monument
IUCN Category V (Protected Landscape/Seascape)
Chiricahua balanced rock.jpg
The Balanced Rock formation
Chiricahua National Monument is located in Arizona
Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument
Location in Arizona
Chiricahua National Monument is located in the United States
Chiricahua National Monument
Chiricahua National Monument
Location in the United States
Location Cochise County, Arizona, United States
Nearest city Willcox, Arizona
Area 11,984 acres (48.50 km2)
Created April 18, 1924 (1924-April-18)
Visitors 60,577 (in 2018)
Governing body National Park Service
Website Chiricahua National Monument

Chiricahua National Monument is a unit of the National Park System located in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. The monument was established on April 18, 1924, to protect its extensive hoodoos and balancing rocks. The Faraway Ranch, which was owned at one time by Swedish immigrants Neil and Emma Erickson, is also preserved within the monument.

85% of the monument is protected as the Chiricahua National Monument Wilderness.

Visitor center

A visitor center is located two miles from the entrance to Chiricahua National Monument. The visitor center has exhibits relating to the geology, natural history, and cultural history of the area. A park ranger is available to provide visitors with trail guides and information. Approximately 17 mi (27 km) of trails lead hikers through various ecosystems of meadows, forests, and rock formations.

The visitor center has a free shuttle that leaves each morning at 9:00am. The shuttle takes hikers to the Echo Canyon or Massai Point trailheads. Hikers return to the visitor center by following the designated trails.

Geology

Located approximately 36 miles (58 km) southeast of Willcox, Arizona, the monument preserves the remains of an immense volcanic eruption that shook the region about 27 million years ago. The thick, white-hot ash spewed forth from the nearby Turkey Creek Caldera, cooled and hardened into rhyolitic tuff, laying down almost 2,000 ft (610 m) of highly siliceous, dark volcanic ash and pumice. The volcanic material eventually eroded into the natural rock formations of the present monument.

In 2008, the Chiricahua National Monument Historic Designed Landscape, covering roughly 80% of the national monument, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Missing naturalist

On January 13, 1980, Paul Fugate, a National Park Service naturalist and law enforcement ranger, disappeared after leaving the monument headquarters while in uniform, to check trails leading to the recently acquired Faraway Ranch. An acquaintance claimed to have seen him later that afternoon, slumped between two men in a pickup truck. Despite an extensive search of the rugged 17 sq mi (44 km2) monument area by authorities and search and rescue teams, no trace of him has been found.

Gallery

180° panoramic view of Chiricahua National Monument

Climate

Climate data for Chiricahua National Monument, AZ
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
(26.7)
80
(26.7)
86
(30)
93
(33.9)
104
(40)
108
(42.2)
109
(42.8)
103
(39.4)
100
(37.8)
95
(35)
85
(29.4)
82
(27.8)
109
(-17.8)
Average high °F (°C) 56.2
(13.44)
59.1
(15.06)
64.7
(18.17)
72.8
(22.67)
81.5
(27.5)
90.5
(32.5)
89.2
(31.78)
86.1
(30.06)
83.5
(28.61)
75.2
(24)
64.1
(17.83)
56.7
(13.72)
73.3
(22.944)
Average low °F (°C) 29.9
(-1.17)
31.2
(-0.44)
34.4
(1.33)
39.4
(4.11)
46.2
(7.89)
55.2
(12.89)
59.9
(15.5)
58.9
(14.94)
55.0
(12.78)
45.9
(7.72)
35.7
(2.06)
30.2
(-1)
43.49
(6.384)
Record low °F (°C) -10
(-23.3)
8
(-13.3)
10
(-12.2)
20
(-6.7)
19
(-7.2)
35
(1.7)
40
(4.4)
44
(6.7)
33
(0.6)
21
(-6.1)
8
(-13.3)
-1
(-18.3)
-10
(-17.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.45
(36.8)
1.20
(30.5)
1.17
(29.7)
0.47
(11.9)
0.34
(8.6)
0.84
(21.3)
4.00
(101.6)
4.05
(102.9)
1.70
(43.2)
1.17
(29.7)
1.03
(26.2)
1.61
(40.9)
19.03
(483.4)
Snowfall inches (cm) 2.9
(7.4)
1.7
(4.3)
1.7
(4.3)
0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
0.7
(1.8)
2.9
(7.4)
10.3
(26.2)
Source: https://wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az1664
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