Mission and Significance
NPS Photo: K. Hooper
The creation of the Memorial was not to protect any tangible artifacts related to the expedition, but rather to provide visitors with an opportunity to reflect upon the impact the Coronado Entrada had in shaping the history, culture, and environment of the southwestern United States and its lasting ties to Mexico and Spain. The Memorial has two sister parks in Mexico.
The location was chosen for the panoramic views of the US-Mexico border and the San Pedro River Valley, the route believed to have been taken by Coronado. It was hoped that this proximity to the border would strengthen bi-national amity and the bonds, both geographical and cultural, which continue to link the two countries.
The Memorial, located near the center of the Sky Island bioregion (the juncture of four major biogeographic provinces: Madrean, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Southern Rockies/Mogollon), preserves a rich biological and geological diversity. Visitors are able to enjoy recreational opportunities that foster a better understanding and appreciation of the natural and human history of the area.
Did You Know?
At Coronado National Memorial, endangered Lesser Long-nosed bats use natural limestone caves and cave-like mines as their homes for part of the year. Bat-gates, a special type of fencing installed by biologists, prevent humans and predators from disturbing their habitat. Bats can fly right through!