Places To Go
Coronado National Memorial Visitor Center
Closed Christmas day (December 25). Buses, RVs, and trucks with trailers should park in the picnic area.
The visitor center has re-opened with the installation of new exhibits and museum pieces. Be sure to visit us and see the brand new exhibits about the Coronado expedition, the legacy of Spanish and Native American cultures in the region, and the natural history of Coronado National Memorial. There are hands-on displays of 16th century clothing and armor for visitors to try on and a 14-foot picture window provides visitors with a wonderful opportunity to view and photograph the flora and fauna in a relaxed atmosphere.
As a memorial site - as opposed to a monument or historic site - there are no tangible artifacts or relics of the Coronado Expedition within the park. The park was established (initially in 1941) to commemorate the Coronado Expedition of 1540-1542 and the lasting legacies of the first interaction between American Indians and Europeans in the American Southwest and northwest Mexico.
Many of these first interactions proved violent and bloody at the hands of the Spanish and Aztec allies that joined the expedition. In this regard, the park serves as a site of conscience, a place where one can reflect on the past and the trials and tribulations that the Native Americans of this region endured. However, these first interactions ushered in an era of cultural change and endurance, resulting in a unique combination of traditions, music, arts, and architecture that is distinctively representative of the people and places of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico.
The location of the park, sharing a southern border with Mexico, reminds visitors of the collective shared history that the US has with its neighbor.
Coronado history books, local history guides, bird and animal guides, and maps of hiking trails in the Huachuca Mountains and the surrounding area are available through the Western National Parks Association bookstore in the visitor center. Gift items are also available including baskets woven by Tarahumara artisans, Native American wood flutes, Coronado National Memorial pins, stickers, magnets, shirts, and much more.
Open all year dawn to dusk
The picnic area is located near the visitor center. The access road is located just to the west of the visitor center parking area. You can drive directly to the picnic area or walk from the visitor center along a short (0.1 mile) trail.
The park and picnic area are open for day use only; camping is not allowed. Mild temperatures and low humidity provide pleasant opportunities in all seasons. Reservations are not accepted; the picnic area generally does not fill to capacity. Fires are permitted only in grills, but may be prohibited during high fire danger. Hunting, woodcutting, and gathering of minerals and vegetation are prohibited. Pets should never be left unattended in vehicles and must be kept on a leash.
There are 25 sites located beneath the trees, three ramadas, and several water faucets and fountains. Restrooms are accessible to persons in wheelchairs, and the area is relatively level. Outdoor grills are provided for cooking fires. Visitors need to bring their own charcoal or wood, as no wood gathering is allowed. Overnight camping is prohibited. A Special Use Permit is required for activities in the picnic area with more than 25 people.
Open all year dawn to dusk (monsoon flooding or winter snow may temporarily close the scenic road)Location
The scenic overlook at Montezuma Pass (elevation 6,575 ft.) is three miles west of the visitor center, accessed by an unpaved, winding mountain road.
The road is paved for one mile and is a graded dirt road for the upper two miles. It is usually passable year round for vehicles under 24 feet in length. Temporary road closures may occur after heavy rain or snow fall.
This site provides views of the San Raphael Valley to the west, the San Pedro Valley to the east, and Mexico to the south. Exhibit panels at the pass provide information about the Coronado Expedition, the flora and fauna of Sky Island habitats, and visible geography.
Montezuma Pass is also the trailhead for the southern terminus of the great Arizona Trail. See the hiking page for more information on trails.
Restrooms are available all year and two picnic tables are available under the shade ramada. A Special Use Permit is required for activities at Montezuma Pass with more than 50 people and/or 35 cars.