Superintendent Allen Etheridge announced that the Southeast Arizona Group will kick off the 2016 NPS Centennial with hikes at each park on New Year’s Day.
Etheridge says, “"Start the New Year off right by joining a park ranger on a fun and educational hike at a local national park site. During 2016, there will be many special activities to celebrate 100 years of the National Park Service, which was established in 1916."
At Chiricahua National Monument, the hike will begin at 10 a.m. and travel the Echo Canyon Loop which is a moderate 3.3 miles round-trip. Meet the ranger at the Echo Canyon parking lot. As a shorter alternative, hike with the ranger to the Echo Canyon Grotto and then return by the same trail for a 1 mile round-trip hike. See the amazing rhyolite rock pinnacles and learn about how they formed.
At Coronado National Memorial, the hike will begin at 10 a.m. at Montezuma Pass and go to Coronado Peak. This is a 0.8 mile roundtrip hike with 300 feet elevation gain to a viewpoint overlooking the San Pedro River Valley and San Jose Peak across the border in Mexico. After the hike, be sure to stop in the Visitor Center to see the new exhibits.
At Fort Bowie National Historic Site, meet the ranger at the Visitor Center at 2 p.m. and tour the parade ground for an approximately one mile hike. Learn about this remote fort that guarded Apache Pass, access to Apache Spring, and helped protect the American frontier.
Be prepared by checking the weather forecast in advance and wearing appropriate layers of clothing. Bring water, snacks, and wear good hiking footware in case of snow or ice.
Those interested in attending can contact each park's visitor center for more information:
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