Coronado National Memorial
Coronado National Memorial commemorates the first major exploration of the American Southwest by Europeans. It lies at the southern end of the Huachuca Mountains, on the United States-Mexico border, within sight of the San Pedro River Valley. It is here, in February 1540, that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado's Expedition first entered the present U.S. in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola.
Although Coronado, together with his 1,400 men and 1,500 animals, never found the city of gold, they discovered the Zuni, Hopi, Apache, the Pueblo Indians along the Rio Grande River and even the Grand Canyon, before retracing their route to Mexico in 1542.
The Memorial encompasses 4,750 acres of mostly oak woodland, a natural mountain habitat at an elevation about 5,000 feet where a variety of plants and animals abound. Yucca, Cholla, Beargrass, Bobcats and Mountain Lions are also quite common
Rates & Fees
None. Donations accepted at the Visitor Center.
Seasons / Hours
- Open year round 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Information concerning road conditions to Montezuma Pass is available at Visitor Center.
A bookstore in the Visitor Center managed by Southwest Parks and Monuments Association. Small museum with authentic and replica 16th-century arms and armor; 9-minute video on Coronado's Expedition; period costumes for visitors to try on; wildlife and bird exhibits.
Programs & Events
History and nature programs and tours of Coronado Cave for groups when scheduled in advance and for the general public on weekends during the busy seasons.
- Food & Supplies
Restaurants and groceries in Sierra Vista and Bisbee.
Visitor center parking, rest rooms, museum and bookstore are accessible for persons in wheelchairs. Video is closed captioned. Picnic area has one site with accessible parking, rest room and table. Montezuma Pass has accessible parking and rest rooms. Video, most museum exhibits and all wayside signs are in English and Spanish. Buses and RV's should park in the picnic area.
Located in the far southeastern corner of Arizona, on the United States-Mexico border 25 miles west of Bisbee, Arizona in the southern Huachuca Mountains.
Summers are warm with frequent thunderstorms in July and August. Winter temperatures often fall below freezing at night with occasional light snowfalls.
- From Interstate 10, exit south on Arizona Hwy. 90 south to Tombstone to Sierra Vista, then south on Hwy. 92 to Coronado Memorial Highway. (From Bisbee, take Hwy 92 west). The Visitor Center is 5 miles southwest of Arizona Hwy. 92.
The nearest commercial air to Coronado National Monument is The Sierra Vista Air Port. The nearest Amtrak and Greyhound is in Benson. There are also locally owned trasportation vans in Sierra Vista serving Cochise County and Tucson.
Things To Do
- Allow two hours to visit the museum and scenic overlook at Montezuma Pass, and an additional half-hour to hike to Coronado Peak.
- Allow two hours for a visit to Coronado Cave -- bring two flashlights per person. Permits for Coronado Cave are obtained at the Visitor Center free of charge.
- East Montezuma Canyon Road is paved from Hwy. 92 to one mile west of the Visitor Center, then it is a narrow, unpaved mountain road (24 ft. vehicle length limit) to the scenic overlook at Montezuma Pass. The dirt road continues west into the Coronado National Forest.
- There are hiking trails from the Visitor Center west to Montezuma Pass (3.1 miles); from Montezuma Pass south to Coronado Peak (0.4 miles); from Montezuma Pass north to Miller Peak (5.3 miles) connecting with trails in the Miller Peak Wilderness; and from the Visitor Center to Coronado Cave (0.75 miles, permit required).
Camping & Lodging
No lodging or camping is available in the Memorial.
There are hotels and motels in Bisbee, Tombstone or Benson with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list. Click on city for Rates, availability and reservations online
Precautions, Rules, Regulations
It is the visitor's responsibility to know and obey park rules. Regulations are designed for visitors' protection and to protect natural resources.
- Pets are not allowed on hiking trails and should not be left unattended in parked vehicles, especially in warm weather. They must be leashed in picnic and parking areas.
Resources - nearby
Cities & Towns
Sierra Vista, Arizona: 8 miles north.
Bisbee, Arizona: 25 miles east.
Benson, Arizona:47 miles north.
Tombstone, Arizona: 38 miles northeast.
Wilcox, Arizona:83 miles northeast.
Tucson, Arizona: 93 miles northwest.
Nogales, Arizona: 68 miles west.
4101 East Montezuma Canyon Road
Hereford, AZ 85615
Share this page on Facebook:
DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)
The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms
SEARCH THIS SITE
Click here to see current desert temperatures!