Ranger-guided programs return to Coronado National Memorial

Ranger-guided programs return to Coronado National Memorial

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Coronado National Memorial at 4101 W Montezuma Canyon Rd, Hereford, AZ 85615 announces the return of ranger-guided programs in the park.

All programs are free of charge, and no reservations are necessary.

Ranger-led Coronado Cave tours leave from the Coronado Cave trailhead, 1/4 mile west of the visitor center, each Wednesday and Saturday at 10 am between Jan.13 and April 28 (the first program on a Wednesday will be Jan.27). This is a fun and educational experience to a large limestone cavern. Learn about cave formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and columns, and the secret history of the cave. This activity requires a moderate, one-mile round-trip hike to the cave entrance, and a steep, 40-foot rocky descent from the cave entrance to the cave floor. The park will provide headlamps and gloves, but participants are encouraged to bring their own source of light, extra batteries, gloves, sun protection, and water. Sturdy shoes are required due to the uneven terrain. The tour lasts approximately two hours. Groups of 10 or more should call the park to arrange a group tour.

Beginning Sunday, Feb. 4, join a park ranger for a guided hike to Coronado Peak. Learn about the Coronado expedition and the indigenous people who lived here before the expedition on this hour and a half long hike. This program requires a moderate, less than one-mile round-trip hike to the peak and back (300 foot elevation gain). Hikers should bring sturdy shoes, water, and sun protection. Meet at the visitor center at 9:30 am to ride the shuttle, or meet the ranger at Montezuma Pass at 10 am.

The park will continue the free hiker shuttle service from the visitor center to Montezuma Pass. The shuttle van will leave the visitor center every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:30 am to transport riders to Montezuma Pass where a ranger will give a brief program about the park. Hikers can take the 3-mile Joe's Canyon Trail back to their vehicle and the visitor center. Riders can also opt to take in the views and spend about 20 minutes at the overlook before taking the shuttle back down to the visitor center. Contact the park for more information.

The park is open every day a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset. The visitor center is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm.

For more information about programs or directions to the park, please contact the visitor center staff at 520-366-5515, ext. 0, visit the park website at www.nps.gov/coro, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coronadonationalmemorial.

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