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Contact: Visitor center, 520-824-3560, ext. 0
Acting Chiricahua National Monument (NM) Superintendent Robert Love announced today that the entire Bonita Canyon Campground is now fully open. Portions of the campground have been closed since early July, due to the potential of significant flash flooding during the monsoon. “The safety of park visitors and our employees is always our highest priority”, said Love. “Although we understand the closures were inconvenient for some, we wanted to be sure we weren’t putting anyone at risk by allowing folks to camp in the most flood-prone areas”.
The National Weather Service defines September 30 as the official end to the monsoon; however, current conditions in the park, including low soil moisture levels and extremely low probability for precipitation over the next week, have allowed managers to reopen the campground in time for the upcoming weekend. Folks looking to get outside this weekend are reminded that entrance fees will be waived at Chiricahua NM-and on all federal recreation lands- this coming Saturday, September 28, in celebration of the 2013 National Public Lands Day. However, the fee waiver applies to entrance fees only and does not include fees for camping.
The historic Bonita Canyon Campground offers 25 sites on a first-come, first-serve basis. Campsites are $12 per night. Hookups are not provided, but potable water is available throughout the campground. Each site includes a fire grate, picnic table, and a place to pitch a tent or park a small RV or trailer. Campground restrooms include flush toilets and sinks. Vehicles exceeding 29 feet in length are not allowed in the campground. Wood collection is prohibited in the monument; campers should bring firewood or charcoal with them. Campers requiring electricity for medical needs are encouraged to call the park ahead of time. A larger group site is also available for parties of 9-24 people. The cost is $3 per person, per night, and includes a $24 non-refundable deposit. Reservations for the group site are recommended and can be made by calling the Chiricahua NM visitor center at 520-824-3560, ext. 0.
As fall approaches and temperatures cool down, more people are likely to be enjoying the outdoors. Hikers are always encouraged to check weather forecasts before heading out and pay attention to their surroundings at all times. Temperatures in the Chiricahua mountains are often 10-20 degrees cooler than nearby Tucson. Contact the Chiricahua NM visitor center at 520-824-3560, ext. 0 for more information regarding hiking and camping in the monument or visit www.nps.gov/chir.
Chiricahua NM is located four miles east of the junction of Arizona Highways 186 and 181.