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Sunday, February 17, 2019

Coronado National Memorial - Southern Terminus Of AZ Trail

Today was planned to be a busy day with the Tubac, AZ Festival Of The Arts filirst thing in the am, lunch in Nogales, AZ and finally go see the southern terminus of the Arizona Trail in the Coronado National Monument.

The problem in my plan was that it took a long time to drive east from Nogales through Patagonia and Sierra Vista to get to my destination.

My destination was Montezuma Pass in top of a mountain. 

To the west the Mountains slopecawsy ftom Arizona into Mecico.

I decided to hike towards the Mexican Border knowing I was going to run out of daylight.

I hiked down to this trail in the center of the picture above that trails off to the right.

I had hiked .7 of a mile in and it was still a mile to the Mexican Border.  This trail down the mountain to the AZ Trail terminus was about 1000 ft elevation change that I would have to quickly turn around and climb back to the parking lot.  I just didn’t want yo risk the hike as the sun was low in the sky.  

The road to get out closes at sunset and it is a very steep and windy dirt road that is only 1.5 car widths wide in spots.  This is no place to drive after dark.

In the picture above is the Mexican Border where the valley in the middle meets the small hill.  So the distant mountain is in Mexico.

I was a great day and drive from Tubac, but I now have a long drive back to Tucson for the night.  Above was the route for my day trip.  Google gave this trip 4 hours and 41 minutes.

The scenery from Nogales over to Coronado is first mountains then high grasslands to lower desert before entering Coronado National Monument.

This is my first visit to Coronado, and there are 3 ways to get to Montezuma Pass from the west that would have taken libger due to dirt road conditions.  Those routes will be worth exploring at another time.


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