Echo Canyon / Rhyolite Trail
Trailhead: Echo Canyon
Length: 4.2 miles one way
National Park: Chiricahua National Monument
**Kid Friendly Hike**
Directions to Trailhead:
From Willcox, take AZ186 to the Chiricahua National Monument. There is a fee to enter the park. Once inside, take Bonita Canyon Drive through the park to the Echo Canyon Trailhead. Note: to do this trail as a one-way hike (recommended), you can either do a two-car shuttle, or you should plan on getting to the Chiricahua Visitor Center early enough to catch the free shuttle to the Echo Canyon Trailhead. There is one shuttle daily, and it leaves at 8:00 a.m. (times subject to change).
This amazing trail takes visitors on a fantastic tour of the amazing hoodoos and rock formations that make up the Chiricahua National Monument. The trail begins on the Echo Canyon Trail, which immediately begins a gentle descent towards Wall Street. Wall Street is an wonderful display of gigantic boulders, though which you will hike for about one mile, as the trail takes you further and further down into Echo Park. Soon, you will leave the hoodoos behind and find yourself in a lush, riparian canyon. There is one small creek crossing, and then the trail will begin to climb gently out of the canyon.
At 1.6 miles, the Echo Canyon Trail ends at a trail junction with the Upper Rhyolite Trail and the Hailstone Trail. The Upper Rhyolite Trail will take you back to the visitor center. Take the Hailstone Trail to continue the Echo Canyon Loop.
The Upper Rhyolite Trail takes you through the cool, riparian area of the canyon. The trail follows along the creek, under a canopy of sycamore trees. At 2.1 miles, you will encounter a jog in the trail, where it appears that the trail forks off to the left and to the right. Take the left fork. (John once took the right fork and got lost. The right fork has since been blocked.) The left fork will take you across the creek, where the trail will begin to climb out of the canyon on the other side.
At 2.7 miles, you will reach a trail junction with the Lower Rhyolite Trail and the Sarah Deming Trail. Stay on the Lower Rhyolite Trail. The Lower Rhyolite Trail will start on a gentle descent towards the visitor center, 1.5 miles away. The trail is exposed in some parts, but as it approaches the visitor's center, you will find yourself back under a canopy of pine trees again. The hike ends at a picnic table next to the parking lot of the Visitor's Center.
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