Chiricahua National Monument – Sunset at Massai Point

Chiricahua National Monument - Sunset at Massai Point

Light was fading fast after hiking Sugarloaf Mountain so I drove just up to the end of Bonita Canyon Drive where it dead ends at the Massai Point Overlook. Many trails begin (or end) here and it’s quite a large parking lot offering near 360-degree views although not quite as unobstructed. Had a quick dinner … Read more

Chiricahua National Monument – Sugarloaf Mountain Trail

Chiricahua National Monument - Golden hour views from Sugarloaf Mountain trail

Might be a few days behind schedule but I finally made it to Chiricahua National Monument for actual hiking & exploration. To start the afternoon I slowed down a bit and just cruised through the park getting a lay of the land & soaking in the amazing scenery.  Eventually I booked a campsite and then … Read more

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument

Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument - View from inside the cliff dwellings

Headed out from Las Cruces and bid my family farewell. Today was dedicated to a singular goal of visiting the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. I have made attempts in the past (see here in 2018) and always ran out of time or got turned back due to weather changes. No more barriers today and … Read more

Organ Mountains – Fillmore Canyon

Organ Mountains Fillmore Canyon Trail - Red rocks at sunset

Rolled into Las Cruces very early in the afternoon meaning I had a few hours of daylight for a hike – finally, A HIKE! Weather was perfect and I was dying to stretch my legs. Drove to a couple super off-beat trailheads I found on AllTrails but roads were impassable. Gave up and headed to … Read more

Chiricahua National Monument – First Attempt 2019

Storm clouds forming over Chiricahua Mountains

Spent the night in Sierra Vista, Arizona hanging out with my Dad who was on his own mini motorcycle vacation. Headed out in the morning with intention of visiting Coronado National Monument but it was windy, drizzling, and threatening rain all morning. Instead I decided to spend most of the day driving east-northeast. Passed through … Read more

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument - Hazy desert view from atop the Bull Pasture trail

After booking a terrible AirBnB in Maricopa it was time to get back on track with my plans. The original idea was to fly in and immediately drive to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and hike a couple days. Now plans have changed but at least I get one full day until I can come … Read more

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

Casa Grande Ruins National Monument – Entrance sign

Rental car snafus blew apart my original plan but that’s okay – it pushed me to some places I probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise. First stop was Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, Arizona. This site was the first prehistoric and cultural reserve established in the United States and a sacred place to the … Read more

Capulin Volcano National Monument [Failed]

Capulin Volcano National Monument

My final stop before reaching the Gila Wilderness was at Capulin Volcano National Monument, a large extinct cinder cone volcano that you can drive up to in Capulin, New Mexico. My only mistake was stopping at the entrance sign to get these two photos. Trucks for scale. See that red truck in the first image? … Read more

Homestead National Historical Park

Homestead National Historical Park - George Palmer cabin exterior

Sometimes visiting a place leaves you angry, upset, but ultimately glad it exits as a record of horrible things from the past. That’s pretty much how I felt after visiting Homestead National Monument today on a dreary and gray-skied morning in Beatrice, Nebraska. [Update: It appears the name has changed now to Homestead National Historic … Read more

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument - View from Fire Point

After making a mistake with campsite reservations at Wyalusing (and a less than restful stay at the last motel available), I woke early and headed to the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa.  I didn’t know much about this park, but it was on my list simply to check off another nationally-managed area. … Read more