• 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.

Trees and Shrubs

This seedling pine tree is quite happy to grow up next to a fallen tree.  The downed log will provide some protection from wind, and will assist in catching moisture and other debris (such as leaves), providing extra nutrients to the seedling tree.
Seedling pine R. Thomas

Chiricahua National Monument has a great variety of trees and shrubs. Growing at elevations from around 5000 to over 7000 feet, the habitat transitions from lowland desert scrub to upper elevation pine-fir forests. The prominant species include manzanita, Arizona Sycamore, alligator juniper, oaks, pines, Arizona cypress, madrone, and acacia. Mesquite and acacia occur at lower elevations, intermixed with the grasslands and other "desert" plants, such as agave and rabbitbrush. Cottonwoods, sycamores, and willows are found in the canyon bottoms, where a narrow riparian corridor forms along the ephemeral streams. As the elevation rises, the species change to a more pine and oak dominated, mature forest. The apache pine, douglas fir and ponderosa pines tower above, while oaks, manzita and bunchgrasses grow sparsely in the shaded forest floor. Pinyons are most common at the highest elevations, with juniper, cypress and a variety of shrubs.

Many of these species provide food for the wildlife that lives here. Berries, acorns and pine-nuts are staple foods for many birds, and for mammals of all sizes - from squirrels to bears. Large trees provide nesting sites for birds, as well as den sites for small mammals. Shrubs growing closer to the ground provide browse for deer and cover for small animals such as mice and rats. The structure and resources that trees and shrubs provide are vital habitat components for a majority of the animals that inhabit the monument.


 

Did You Know?

Coues buck

The deer you see at Chiricahua National Monument are Arizona white-tailed deer, also called Coues deer. It is one of the smallest subspecies of white-tailed deer found in North America.