“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” -Albert Einstein
The Chiricahua Mountains are about a 2 hour drive from Tucson, AZ. And it is well worth the trip!
While the top of the trail was incredibly windy and chilly, once we descended into Echo Park, we were able to take off our jackets. As you can see, this area was burned in a wildfire in 2011.
Be sure to wear layers for this hike and some decent hiking shoes. The trail, while well-maintained, is rocky, and if you want to explore the grottoes, some good shoes will prevent you from slipping. When you first arrive in the park, you will see the visitor center on your right. You should stop in to talk with the ranger about the different hiking trails. This is also the last place to buy water if you forgot to bring some (always take water!).
Note #1: On your way to the park (from I-10), stop in Wilcox if you need to get gas or snacks. This is the last service station.
Note #2: The drive out is beautiful, but take heed of the signs that warn: “slow down, save a cow.” The road is virtually empty, and there is definitely a temptation to speed. I wasn’t even going that fast, but as I drove around a corner, sure enough, there were 2 cows with 2 calves stepping out to cross the road. My heart pounded and adrenaline surged through my body as I slammed on the brakes and envisioned the worst case scenario. Luckily the cows were pretty street savvy and stopped when they saw me round the bend. Keep your eyes open and your foot off the gas.