• Natural Bridge Trail

    Chiricahua

    National Monument Arizona

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  • Visitor Center Summer Hours in Effect Beginning May 1, 2014

    Summer hours are in effect for the visitor center from May 1 - October 12, 2014 from 8:30 am - 4:30 pm. The hikers' shuttle will leave the visitor center at 9 am. For more information call 520-824-3560 0. More »

  • Entrance and Camping Fees Waived this Summer

    From June 1 through September 30, all entrance fees will be waived and federal lands passes will not be available for purchase at the park. More »

  • Mushroom Rock Trail Closed to Horses, Hikers Use Caution

    Mushroom Rock Trail is closed to horses due to hazardous conditions caused by recent flooding. Hikers use caution. Trail is washed out in place and may be difficult to follow.

Insects, Spiders, Centipedes, Millipedes

The western Hercules beetle is an amazing creature, found only in Arizona.  Males commonly grow up to 70mm (2.75 inches) in length, making them one of the largest beetles in the U.S.  Males have a large horn, females are hornless.

Western Hercules beetle (Dynastes granti)

M.L.Sipes - NPS

Insect life is abundant at Chiricahua National Monument. Often overlooked, they can be found just about everywhere in the monument - on the rocks, on the trees, in the leaf litter underfoot, as well as flying in the air. Butterflies, moths and grasshoppers are abundant during the summer and fall months, as well as numerous kinds of ants, spiders, beetles and other insect life. Because of the relatively mild climate and the summer monsoon moisture, insects thrive here, utilizing the long growing season to harvest pollen from flowering plants and feeding on green plant material. Aquatic insects are also abundant in the springs and rock pools. Insects provide food for many other animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. They are also important pollinators for most of the flowering plants. It is unknown how many different species of insects, spiders and other invertebrates occur in the Monument, but we do know that they play an important role in the ecosystem.

The insect pictured is a western Hercules beetle - one of North America's largest! They live in the leaf litter and rotting vegetation on the forest floor. The males have a large horn that protrudes forward, and is sometimes used to spar with other males as a test of strength. Female Hercules beeltles don't have a horn. Each individual has a different arrangement of spots on the back.

Did You Know?

Stafford Cabin

The first settlers to live in Bonita Canyon were Ja Hu Stafford and his wife Pauline. They originally built a one-room, log cabin in 1880, which grew with his family. You can still see the cabin today at Chiricahua National Monument.