Dogs No Dogs
Coronado National Memorial is open year-round from civil twilight dawn to civil twilight dusk (approximately 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset). The park closes each night and visitors are expected to be back from hikes and activities 1/2 after sunset.
The Coronado Peak is a great trail if you want to take in sweeping views of the US and Mexico in this part of Arizona. To access the trail, take East Montezuma Canyon Road past the visitor center and up the gravel road to Montezuma Pass Overlook, where there is a large parking lot. The trailhead is at the top of the parking lot next to the restrooms. Shortly after leaving the parking lot, there is a junction where Joe's Canyon Trail
takes off to the left, and the Coronado Peak Trail breaks off to the right and starts climbing the ridge to the peak.
The trail climbs rapidly from the parking lot to the peak, so while it's not long, there is roughly 250 feet of elevation gain in about half a mile. There are benches along the way to take a break if you need to. The trail climbs up the ridge line before ascending a set of switchbacks and stairs to the summit.
Along the way, there is information on the Coronado Expedition, for whom the monument is named. You can find out how they measured distances (counting steps), the impact that Spanish culture had on the area and the US, and how they traded with local tribes for necessities like sandals and clothes as their clothing and shoes began to wear out in the desert.
When you get to the peak, a small gazebo awaits with several benches where you can sit and enjoy the view. You can see for 360 degrees from this point, with views of the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico, the Huachuca Mountains in Coronado National Forest, the border wall as it stretches off into the distances, and San Rafael Valley as it stretches off into the distance. It's a great place to relax and enjoy the view. It can be windy on top, so you may need a light jacket on a cool day.
As you turn around to head back to your car, as there are no other trails that lead to the peak, you can see the parking lot in the distance far below you. Enjoy the trip back to your car, taking in the views of both the Arizona and Mexico landscapes.
Flora & Fauna
Ironwood tress, agave, yucca, cholla, and other plants common to the area can be seen along the trail. Cacti were noticeably absent from this trail.
Shared By: David Hitchcock