Coronado National Memorial has announced the return of free, ranger-guided programs in the park. Late winter and early spring are ideal seasons to join park rangers fora hike to explore the natural and cultural history of the park. Mild daytime temperatures ensure comfortable hiking conditions in the park’s oak woodlands and mountainous terrain. All programs are free of charge, and no reservations are necessary. Check out the calendar of events: www.nps.gov/coro/planyourvisit/calendar.htm.
Ranger-led Coronado Cave tours leave from the Coronado Cave trailhead, ¼ mile west of the visitor center, on Saturdays at 10:00 am from January 30 to April 16. The cave is nestled in a limestone layer at the base of the complex geological puzzle that isMontezuma Peak. Exposed in the beam of a flashlight or headlamp, cave formations suchas stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and columns emerge from the darkness. This guided hike and cave tour requires a moderate, one-mile roundtrip hike to the cave entrance (500foot elevation gain), and a steep, 40-foot rocky descent from the cave entrance to the cave floor. Participants are asked to bring a flashlight or headlamp, extra batteries, gloves,water, and sun protection. 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 agroup tour.
In celebration of the centennial year of the National Park Service the park is offering anew program – a guided hike to the summit of Coronado Peak. Join a park ranger for a hike through history on this easy to moderate one mile roundtrip walk to the top of Coronado Peak. Sweeping views of northern Sonora and the San Pedro River Valley await those who join the 1.5 hour hike. Meet the park ranger on Saturdays at 2:00 pmfrom January 30 to April 16 at the Montezuma Pass parking area, three-miles (approximately a 20-minute drive) from the visitor center along a graded forest road (unpaved). Participants should bring water and sun protection.
Attend a special lecture given by NPS volunteer Ron Stewart and learn about those who lived in the San Pedro River Valley when the Coronado Expedition arrived in the area nearly 500 years ago. Two lectures are scheduled for Friday, February 12 and Friday, March 18 at the Coronado National Memorial Visitor Center at 11:00 am.
The park is open every day from sunrise to sunset. The visitor center is open daily from 8:00am to 4:00 pm. For more information about programs or directions to the park, please contactthe visitor center staff at 520-366-5515, ext. 0, visit the park website at nps.gov/coro or find us on Facebook at facebook.com/coronadonationalmemorial.