Monday, January 26, 2015

Coronado National Memorial - 1/25/15

This memorial was established by President Harry Truman in November, 1952, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first major organized European expedition into the American Southwest.

In 1540 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado left Mexico City with an entourage of 340 Spaniards and 1,000 Native Americans on a journey through the southwest to Salina, Kansas. He was in search of cities of gold based on stories that had been told of the region. Coronado returned to Mexico City in 1542 without having discovered any gold. The expedition was considered a failure at the time, but it was the beginning of the cultural exchange between the Europeans and the Native Americans of North America.

The memorial is 4,750 acres near Hereford, AZ, and runs along the international border with Mexico.

When visiting today we first stopped at the Visitor Center to obtain information about the park and the hiking trails.

From the Visitor Center we drove to the Montezuma Pass Overlook. It is located about 3 miles west of the Visitor Center, with about 2 miles of it on an unpaved, winding road. We hiked the Coronado Peak Trail from the parking lot. The views from here are spectacular.

My hiking buddies...John is telling Sadie about Coronado.

It was a strenuous hike (for us old folks) up the trail, but the views in all directions were incredible as we approached Coronado Peak.

Water break.

The trail is well maintained with interpretive signs along the way. And Sadie is waiting patiently for us to catch up!

The elevation at Coronado Peak is 6,864'. We spent some time at the peak to have a snack and enjoy the panoramic view.

The hike down from the peak was a whole lot easier than the hike up! I loved the windblown trees that dot the landscape. It was about 15 degrees colder here than Tombstone.

There are man other trail in the Memorial including one that leads to Coronado Cave. We didn't make it there on this trip, but would love to see that part of the mountainous region when we come back some day.

There is no admission to this National Memorial. We were so glad that we visited here before leaving Arizona. I have never been disappointed in any of the National Parks or National Memorials. Check out other website for additional information on hiking trails. There is no camping permitted in the park.


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