Wilcox, AZ: Valley of the Sun Chapter, Chiricahua National Monument Hike

Apr 23, 2023 8:00AM—12:30PM


Chiricahua Visitor Center, 12856 East Rhyolite Creek Road, Willcox, AZ 85643

Event Contact Darryl Toupkin 602-284-1765 | Email


Distances: Echo Canyon Hike: 4.2 miles easy/moderate; Heart of Rocks Addition: 7.5 miles moderate with challenging 1.1 mile Heart of Rocks loop.

The Chiricahua National Monument has to be among the most magical places on earth! Friend’s who have hiked this area say: ‘I can’t believe this isn’t more crowded than the Grand Canyon!’, ‘How am so I lucky to get to experience this?!’ and ‘This place is definitely sacred!’ In addition to the splendor of the area, the temperature is cooler at elevations between 5124 and 7310 ft which make it a perfect place for a hike at the end of April.

About the hikes: We will take the shuttle from the Visitor Center to Echo Canyon Trailhead (if available) otherwise we will carpool to the Echo Canyon Trailhead. Both hikes will begin on Echo Canyon.
Echo Canyon Walk: The route winds through spectacular rock formations including the Grottoes and Wallstreet to the densely wooded Echo Park. You will transition to a beautiful Canyon and take Upper Rhyolite Canyon (creek crossing) to Lower Rhyolite Canyon back to the Visitor’s Center.

Heart of Rocks Addition: You will veer off on Sarah Deeming Trail into the canyon with a gradual climb of 880 ft on even surfaces to the Heart of Rock Loop. Heart of Rocks Loop has many of the most unusual rock formations in the monument. Start the loop to the left and hike clockwise for the best views and easiest walking. Lots of rock steps make this a challenging loop, but it’s worth the effort. Take your time and use your poles for balance. This section is optional and the walk through the canyon and up is beautiful should you decide to sit and have a snack at Big Balanced Rock while the adventurous walk the loop. Since it is a loop – you can also try it and retrace your steps should you decide not to proceed. We will retrace our steps and return to the Visitors Center via Lower Rhyolite Canyon.

There are restrooms but no water at the trailhead so bring your own (at least 2 Liters for Heart of Rocks), along with poles, sun protection, first aid, nutrition and a bio-break kit.

After the hike you are invited to stay for a picnic at Darryl & Kathleen’s Bonita Campground site. Bring a beverage and a dish to share.

All our hikes and activities are planned & led by volunteers and donations are appreciated to support the chapter. If you are a member of the American Pilgrims on the Camino and interested in leading a hike or walk, please contact us at phoenix@americanpilgrims.org.

Please stay home if you are feeling sick. No pets on group walk due to chapter liability.

Contact Darryl Toupkin 602-284-1765 if you are running late or your plans change.