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Contact: Chiricahua National Monument Visitor Center, 520-824-3560, ext. 0
In celebration of the opening weekend of National Park Week, Chiricahua National Monument (NM) will waive entrance fees on Saturday, April 19 and Sunday, April 20. The free entry is offered as part of a nationwide initiative to encourage people to visit and experience the many wonders of national park sites across the country. The National Park System includes 401 units and amazingly, 268 of those never charge an entrance fee. Among these are the two other National Park Service (NPS) sites in Cochise County: Coronado National Memorial and Fort Bowie National Historic Site.
The NPS is proud to once again join with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to observe National Park Week during April 19-27, 2014. Many national parks are offering a variety of free programs and special events during this presidentially proclaimed celebration of our national heritage. Learn more at www.nps.gov/npweek.
In recognition of the fee-free weekend, Western National Parks Association (WNPA), the nonprofit organization that partners with the NPS to operate the park store in the visitor center at Chiricahua NM and 65 other NPS sites across the west, will offer a 15% discount in all of their stores April 19-20. Proceeds from sales allow WNPA to help support the interpretive and educational programs at the monument. Memberships are also available to help WNPA fund its mission of making the national park experience possible for everyone.
Nicknamed the "Wonderland of Rocks," Chiricahua NM was established in 1924 to protect the fantastic rhyolite rock formations known as "The Pinnacles." The park also features 17 miles of hiking trails, a visitor center that is open daily, and the first-come, first-serve, 25-site Bonita Canyon Campground. Chiricahua NM is home to many species of birds, including Mexican species not commonly found in the United States. The park also protects remnants of the area's history at the Faraway Ranch Historic District.
Spring is a great time to explore the park. Sunny days, with temperatures still only in the 60s and 70s, make for terrific hiking weather. Chiricahua NM is located four miles east of the junction of Arizona Highways 181 and 186. There are no services (gas, food, or drinks) available at the park.
Other fee-free days at Chiricahua NM and other NPS units this year include: August 25 (the National Park Service's 98th anniversary), September 27 (National Public Lands Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day).
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/chir or call the visitor center staff at (520) 824-3560, ext. 0.