1. Where is the monument?
You will not find a specific plaque or statue marking Chiricahua National Monument. In this case, monument means the land was set aside by a presidential proclamation not an act of Congress like a national park.
2. How do you say this name?
Chiricahua is pronounced cheer-i-cow-ah with a long e and short i vowel sounds.
3. What does Chiricahua mean?
According to Jesuit Juan Nentvig writing from northwest Mexico between 1750 and 1767, the name is an Opata word meaning wild turkey. This mountain range was originally known for all the wild turkeys found here. By the mid-1900s most of the turkeys were gone. Gould's wild turkeys were released in 2003 back into the Chiricahua Mountains by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
4. What time does the monument close?
The monument is always open. The visitor center hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. It is closed December 25. Remember most of Arizona does not use Daylight Savings Time. Occassionally, the scenic drive will be closed beyond the campground due to snow, ice, or fallen rocks.
5. When is the busy season?
Spring, March and April, are the busiest months of the year. The campground will be full on a daily basis. Parking can be challenging. Summer has the least visitation.
6. Do the creeks ever flow?
Traditionally the creeks run in spring during snow melt and late summer during the monsoon.
7. What animals will I see during my visit?
Arizona white-tail deer are the most frequently seen animal. You might get lucky and spot a black bear, mountain lion, bobcat, grey fox, or coati-mundi crossing the road. Lizards and snakes are active in summer. Birds vary with the seasons.
8. Do I need reservations for the campsites?
Reservations are accepted online at www.recreation.gov. Chiricahua National Monument has one campground, Bonita Canyon Campground. Locate the campground by using the search engine at the recreation.gov website. See the page for Bonita Canyon Campground for more information.
9. Where is the closest gas station?
The closest gas stations are in Sunizona, 27 miles southwest of the monument, or in Willcox, 37 miles northwest.
10. Does it snow at Chiricahua National Monument?
Yes, an average of 12 inches of snow falls throughout winter. Storms will drop a few inches at a time that is on the ground for a week before the snow melts and another storm rolls through the area. You could expect snow anytime between November and April.