Chiricahua – Echo Canyon

(nr Dos Cabezas AZ)
Heading east from Cochise Stronghold, got me to Chiricahua National Monument. What a treasure of rock formations and hiking trails with spectacular views. A good video at the Visitor Center explained the history, geology and creation of the monument.

Mountains, trees, rock formations

Chiricahua National Monument

Echo Canyon Loop Trail
A paved road goes up Bonita Canyon with a few viewpoint pull-outs along the way. Near the top of the mountains was a parking lot and trail head where several trails could be accessed. The Loop trail went into Echo Canyon, and then followed the Hailstone, and Ed Riggs trails.

Rock formations, trees

Echo Canyon Hoodoos

Rock walls trail

Entering the Grotto

The trail slowly descended into the canyon through tall rock formations that reminded me of hoodoos. Giant rocks were everywhere; and, with great views across to the other side of the canyon too. After about a mile, it went into the Grottoes winding amongst the massive boulders with sudden drop-offs between them.

Rock walls on trail

Within the Grotto

Creek, rocks, trees

Stream on the trail

Near the bottom of the canyon, the trail crossed a gently flowing stream and the scenery changed a bit with lots of tall trees. More views of the opposite canyon walls appeared as the trail ascended some. At the juncture with Upper Rhyolite trail I picked up the Hailstone trail which passed by very tall rock formations.

Canyon, trees, rocks

View across the canyon from trail

Tall rock cliffs, trees

Towering rock formations

At the intersect with Ed Riggs trail, was the Mushroom Rock trail which was closed due to flood damage. The Riggs trail headed back uphill, passing a fork for the Massai Point trail, and eventually returned to the parking area. What a fantastic hike it was!

Tall rock formations

Tall pillars by trail

Rocks, trees

Balanced rock

It was an exhilarating hike into fantastic rocks and impressive views. I really enjoyed the loop trail. It was getting late, and the campground in the park was full. So, it was time for a drive into the Chiricahua Mountains to find a boondock camp.

Camp: Coronado NF – Pinery Canyon boondock
Scene: Mountains, canyons, rocks, creek, forest

See also: Chiricahua-Bonita Creek

4 Responses to Chiricahua – Echo Canyon

  1. Bradford Harris April 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    What spectacular views! How is the painting going? I imagine you’re seeing plenty of beautiful things to paint.

    • Pleinguy April 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm #

      It was a marvelous place with fantastic views. I am still struggling with the acrylic paints; but, will be trying a different approach. All is well.

  2. Michelle April 26, 2015 at 6:15 am #

    Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful, magical place.

    • Pleinguy April 26, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed the post. And, thanks for following the plein air journey.

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