Coronado National Memorial Things to Do

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    Yaqui Ridge Trail

    by Basaic Updated Jan 22, 2008

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    The Yaqui Ridge Trail is a 1 mile trail leading down to the US/Mexican Border. You descend almost 600 feet in that mile so it is a steep descent and steep coming back up. The views along the way are nice.

    Yaqui Ridge Trail Sign Yaqui Ridge Trail
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    Coronado Peak Trail

    by Basaic Written Jan 22, 2008

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    The Coronado Peak Trail is a .4 mile each way hike to the top of Coronado Peak. You go up almost 300 feet to 6864 feet. At different scenic viewpoints along the way, there are signs giving quotes from Coronado's soldiers showing what the trip was like and what they were thinking. When you get to the peak there are benches so you can rest and enjoy the views of the San Pedro and San Rafael Valleys. You can also see a number of distant mountain peaks. One of the most interesting of these is Baboquivari Peak which is the most sacred place for the Tohono O’odham people. According to their ancient beliefs it is the home of the creator.

    Coronado Peak Trail Sign San Pedro Valley from Coronado Peak San Rafael Valley From Coronado Peak
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    Montezuma Pass Overlook

    by Basaic Written Jan 22, 2008

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    There are two main ways to get to Montezuma Pass Overlook. You can drive the dirt and gravel road which is narrow with lots of hairpin turns, or you can walk 3.1 miles up the Joe's Canyon Trail. Once you get to Montezuma's Pass you are treated to some magnificent views of Arizona and Mexico. This is also the trailhead for the Coronado Peak Trail, a .4 mile hike to the top. This is where Coronado first entered the new world.

    Montezuma Pass Overlook Sign San Pedro Valley San Rafael Valley
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    Picnic at Coronado National Memorial

    by Basaic Updated Oct 22, 2007

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    There are several picnic tables near the Visitor's Center where you can sit and eat lunch. There are a few that are under cover in the case of inclement waether (rare in Arizona). There are restrooms throughout the picnic area.

    Picnic Table
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    Views of Mexico From Joe's Canyon Trail

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2007

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    Joe's Canyon Trail leading to Montezuma Pass Overlook (3.1 miles each way; great views of Arizona and Mexico, and joins up with the Montezuma Pass Parking Area), Yaqui Ridge Trail (a 1 mile detour off Joe's Canyon Trail with a steep descent) leads to the Mexican Border and represents the start of the Arizona Trail a trail leading from Mexico to Utah (not complete yet), and the Coronado Peak Trail a short detour from Joe's Canyon Trail leading to the top of Coronado Peak offering historical information along the way. Joe's Canyon Trail rises 1300 feet in the first mile and is not easy. The road leading to Montezuma Pass is closed from 15 October to mid or late November so Joe's Canyon Trail is the only way to get up to Montezuma Pass. Bring water and protection from the sun.

    The photos show some of the views of Mexico along the trail.

    View of the San Rafael Mountains From Joe's Canyon View of Mexico
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    Joe's Canyon Trail Arizona Views

    by Basaic Written Oct 22, 2007

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    Joe's Canyon Trail leading to Montezuma Pass Overlook (3.1 miles each way; great views of Arizona and Mexico, and joins up with the Montezuma Pass Parking Area), Yaqui Ridge Trail (a 1 mile detour off Joe's Canyon Trail with a steep descent) leads to the Mexican Border and represents the start of the Arizona Trail a trail leading from Mexico to Utah (not complete yet), and the Coronado Peak Trail a short detour from Joe's Canyon Trail leading to the top of Coronado Peak offering historical information along the way. Joe's Canyon Trail rises 1300 feet in the first mile and is not easy. The road leading to Montezuma Pass is closed from 15 October to mid or late November so Joe's Canyon Trail is the only way to get up to Montezuma Pass. Bring water and protection from the sun.

    The photos show some of the views of Arizona along the trail.

    View of Arizona From Joe's Canyon Trail View of Arizona From Joe's Canyon Trail View of Arizona From Joe's Canyon Trail
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    Coronado Cave Trail

    by Basaic Updated Oct 22, 2007

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    The Coronado Cave Trail is a steep and rocky climb 3/4 mile in length. Exercise caution going up and coming back down. The usual trail is under construction but a temporary trail to Coronado Cave is open! Because there is still some construction work occurring on the trail near the cave, visitors are asked to pay close attention to areas that are flagged off and to use areas of the trail that have been re-routed around the work zones. Bring a flashlight and sturdy waking shoes. Photos next visit.

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    Joe's Canyon Trail

    by Basaic Updated Oct 22, 2007

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    Joe's Canyon Trail leading to Montezuma Pass Overlook (3.1 miles each way; great views of Arizona and Mexico, and joins up with the Montezuma Pass Parking Area), Yaqui Ridge Trail (a 1 mile detour off Joe's Canyon Trail with a steep descent) leads to the Mexican Border and represents the start of the Arizona Trail a trail leading from Mexico to Utah (not complete yet), and the Coronado Peak Trail a short detour from Joe's Canyon Trail leading to the top of Coronado Peak offering historical information along the way. Joe's Canyon Trail rises 1300 feet in the first mile and is not easy. The road leading to Montezuma Pass is closed from 15 October to mid or late November so Joe's Canyon Trail is the only way to get up to Montezuma Pass. Bring water and protection from the sun.

    The photos show some of the views along the trail.

    View along Joe's Canyon Trail Neat Looking Tree
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    Stop at the Visitor's Center

    by Basaic Updated Oct 22, 2007

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    Your first stop in the Coronado National Memorial should be the Visitor's Center. The ranger there, Denise, was very nice and helpful. You can get brochures for Coronado and other nearby parks. If you plan on hiking get the map of the trails there. There is also a small museum with several paintings explaining Coronado's Expeditions. There is a short trail by the Visitor's Center and the other main trails start there. There is also a picnic area near the center. As of 14 October 2007 the Visitor's Center is open from 8 AM to 4 PM daily. The Visitor's Center is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

    Visitor's Center View From Visitor's Center Historical Sign
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    Nature Trail

    by Basaic Written Feb 6, 2008

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    There is a very short trail right next to the Visitor's Center to introduce you to the plants native to the area.

    Nature Trail
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    Coronado Cave

    by Basaic Written Feb 4, 2008

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    Once you get to the end of the trail you can tour Coronado Cave. Make sure you have good sturdy shoes and a good flashlight with extra batteries.

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    Hike the Coronado Cave Trail

    by Basaic Written Feb 4, 2008

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    The Coronado Cave Trail is only about .6 miles long; but is very steep and rocky. You also have to remember that you are around 7000 feet up. Towards the end the trail has a lot of steps.

    Coronado Cave Trail
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    Beginning of the Arizona Trail

    by Basaic Written Jan 22, 2008

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    The Yaqui Ridge Trail is the beginning of the Arizona Trail, a proposed 790 mile trail leading from Mexico to Utah.

    Arizona Trail Sign
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    See the Border

    by Basaic Written Jan 22, 2008

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    The Yaqui Ridge Trail leads to International Boundary Marker Number 102 just across the Mexican Border.

    International Boundary Marker Number 102 Border Fence
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    See the Plants

    by Basaic Written Jan 22, 2008

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    As you walk along the trail, you will see some interesting plants. The yellow on this cactus is new growth.

    Cactus
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