Monday, November 11, 2019

Coronado National Memorial

Monday, November 11
Ever have one of those days when your plans didn't work out.....and you are glad they didn't? Today we had planned to head a bit south to Ramsey Canyon Preserve. This is a 280 acre site known for the 170 odd varieties of birds that call this home. Apparently lots of hummingbirds here. We drove down the tree lined road to the entrance. A nice lady on her way out said the parking lot was full and that she recommended coming back later. We drove through the parking lot just to be sure there wasn't a last minute departure. Nope! So we headed back out to HWY 90 and turned south to another spot I had read about, Coronado National Memorial.

Great late fall foliage.

Turns out Coronado National Memorial was very quiet. No crowds and lots of parking. It's not a huge park but they have an interesting visitor center.

The Coronado National Memorial highlights the Spanish explorer Coronado who passed through this area in 1540.

Through the window of the Visitor Center the deer were coming up to a small pond to drink. There were about a dozen of these small deer taking turns having a drink.

This and the next series of photos shows the history of this area in political terms. It was a confusing 50 years. First Spain, then Mexico, then USA 'owned' this land.

Outside the Visitor Center were examples of some of the plants growing here.

The staff recommended we take a drive to Motezuma Pass. It was paved for the most part except the last two miles. A series of tight switchbacks got us to the top. There was a short trail to the top of one of the peaks. The views were incredible, even with the rain showers that were inhibiting the far mountains.

Dry creek bed.

We're going up there!

The road we drove up here.

We are only a mile or so from the Mexico border. Monitoring equipment was commonly seen around here.

On a clear day all of these prominent points would be in view. Not today though.

The walking trail takes you to the top of this hill.

This Tarantula was protecting his territory. He was about three inches across from toe to toe. First one I've seen in the wild.

The view from the top.

The view to Mexico.

Growing out of the rock.

Back at the bottom we retraced our route and headed north back to Sierra Vista. This city is certainly the commerce hub of the area. All the usual home improvement stores, groceries, malls, and two Walmarts, of course. We dropped a few (quite a few) dollars on groceries at Fry's (our favorite grocery chain) and headed home.

So we didn't see any hummingbirds at Ramsey Canyon today, but Coronado National Memorial was a great substitute. We'll try Ramsey another day.

I don't know how Arizona does it but sunsets seem to get better every day!

....and that was Our View From Here!


  1. Nice sunset pictures! I think you got lucky with your last minute change of plans, it looked like a great place to spend your day.

  2. Thanks for sharing your new "find". Looks like a very interesting place to see and take pictures. Maybe we will get there this year ... maybe not. lol