A Wonderland of Rocks A "Wonderland of Rocks" is waiting for you to explore at Chiricahua National Monument. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site. Visit the Faraway Ranch Historic District to discover more about the people who have called this area home.
Bernadette C. on Heart of Rocks Loop
Really will maintained! Up hill hike all the way in, the turnaround back out is downhill. Awesome rock formations! Took me and my husband 3.5 hours to complete. Saw quite a bit of deer too!
Really short but cool trail. You get to go through a small man-made tunnel, which was a surprise. The view on top is incredible. Awesome view of the monument park in addition to the valley and nearby mountains.
I'd venture to say it's the best trail in the park.
There is no entrance fee to this National Monument. At the visitor center, we learned that the road leading into the park was closed for maintenance. We took the Sarah Deming Trail from the visitor center to the Heart of Rocks Trail. The Heart of Rocks Trail features the most incredibly unique rock formations! You will see Thor's Hammer, Duck Rock, the famous Balancing Rock, and more. The Heart of Rocks loop is about a mile in length and an easy hike. (The trail to the Heart of Rocks, the Sarah Deming Trail, was about 3.5 mi. each way- a slight uphill grade the entire way.)
The road up to the parking lot was under construction the day we hiked, so we started at the visitor centre lot, went up the Rhyolite trail to connect with the loop, and ended up with a 12 km (7.5 mile) hike. The Rhyolite section is easy, and the connector takes you through a pleasant forested section with dry creek beds kids would love.
The loop itself offers lots of variety, and is easy to moderate. The highlight is absolutely the Echo Canyon section, so take your time through here and explore. The views where this section meets with the Hailstone Trail are superb, especially on a brilliant February day. We went clockwise which makes the climb a little steeper but not an issue for most hikers. It was not busy at all, but then the road closure may have helped.
Took the shuttle from the Visitor Center to the top and hiked down the following trails: Ed Riggs, Mushroom Rock, Inspiration Point, Big Balanced Rock, Heart of Rocks Loop, Sarah Deming, and Lower Rhyolite Canyon. This was a beautiful hike up and down across the canyons with some outstanding rock formations and forests along the way. We ended up back at the Visitor Center where our car was parked.
LENGTH: 8.5 miles
We hiked this trail for the first time on November 10, 2015. The hike seemed a little strenuous to me but was well worth it. There is a lot of rocky uphill climbing and then the trail drops down into a beautiful valley. The area is still recovering from a previous forest fire, but new life is springing up (see picture). Once down in the valley there is less fire damage and parts seem to have none at all. The valley is full of beautiful pine trees. There is another short climb before you reach the end of the trail and the view is gorgeous from the trails end with little to no fire damage. I have posted some pictures to show the fire damage and the end of the trail. Enjoy!
Hiked Echo Canyon Trail on Saturday the 19th of September with my wife and daughter. This trail is the most scenic I have been on to date with it's amazing rock formations among tall pines and flowering plants. It's at the end of the Arizona monsoon season and there is a spectacular array of colors with the wildflowers still in full bloom. Definitely hike this trail counter clockwise where you start encountering the very cool rock formations. It is also the steepest part of the trail so your going down as opposed to climbing it at the end of the hike. I would rate this trail as a moderate hike taking the average person in decent shape around two hours. Be sure and take a camera so many great photo opportunities.