Our next destination was the Chiricahua National Monument, near Willcox, Arizona. When we drove into the park, we were disappointed to find the looming mountains to either side of the car almost entirely shrouded in mist. Chiricahua is packed with eerie towering rock formations, resulting from hardened volcanic ash from an eruption millions of years ago. We could see a hint of the formations toward the bottom of the hills, but the good views were entirely cloaked.
Disappointed, we drove to the highest point and stared out at the thick white wall of fog on all sides. Since we were there, we hiked anyway, though, and as we walked along, the mist gradually burned away, and we found ourselves hiking through a fairyland that looked like a landscape from a Tim Burton movie. Hundreds of obelisks towering on all sides, crowned with precarious-looking hats, blobs and drips of rock. Frankly, it was creepy, but in the best possible way, and we had the entire park to ourselves.
In hindsight, Chiricahua was my favorite stop of our entire trip. I was enjoying the hike too much to take many photos, but I took a few from the parking lot when we were done. These really don’t do the park justice, though.
(More photos of Chiricahua here.)