Friday, October 16, 2020

So this is where all the hoodoos were hiding

I arrived at Chiricahua National Monument just as the sun popped above the horizon. Perfect timing. 

The last time I was here, I was fat and had no interest in hiking. So I took a short trail along the rim and looked down into the canyon. This time would be different.

The National Monument has a network of trails and I chose Echo Canyon, which  had been well recommended. Echo Canyon Trail to Hailstone Trail to Ed Riggs Trail and back to the trailhead parking lot makes a nice three mile loop.

The trailhead lot was empty when I arrived. I had the joint to myself. Places like this are truly wonderful when you’re alone. Very quiet, no distracting crowds, no traffic on the trails. The weather was also perfect. A young couple eventually caught up with me because I kept stopping to shoot video. We just exchanged Hi’s and didn’t run into each other again—or anyone else—until we were back at the trailhead, which was full by then.

Since the Echo Canyon trailhead is at the top of the mountain, the hike is downhill. Until it’s time to return. Hailstone climbs gradually, but Ed Riggs is much steeper. Ergh. Those two trails are less interesting, so if I were to do it again, I’d just go back up Echo Canyon. Or, if the shuttle were running, or I was with a companion who also drove, I could continue downhill to the visitor center and get a ride back up to my car.

I had a great time and came back for another hike the next day. Look for that report in a day or two.


  1. Another wonderful hike. Thank you. What is the camping available in the area for a 24 foot trailer?

    1. There's boondocking in Pinery Canyon (Forest Road 42) just down the road from the monument entrance. However, there's a stretch of terrible washboard between where county maintenance ends and the National Forest boundary.

  2. Ahhhh, very capitavating place in such a subtle and sublime way. Your perfect conditions and going alone got the sparks flying for me. Thanks tramp.
    (Tramp is what one does kicking rocks, and flattening grass lumps before sweepy sweepy nite nite)