Apr 12, 2013 9:10 AM by Jeff Beamish
TUCSON - Coronado National Memorial (NMem) will offer ranger-led hikes to Coronado cave every Friday afternoon through April 26. The hikes are free of charge and are a great way to learn more about the rich cultural and natural history of the park.
Coronado cave is a natural limestone cave that displays the geologic, hydrologic, and biologic history of this region. The cave interior extends 600 feet in length, with 20-foot ceilings and several crawlways and short passages. Exposed in the beam of a flashlight or headlamp, beautiful formations, such as stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, and helictites, each formed by calcite deposits, emerge from the darkness of the cave.
The Friday hikes begin at the Coronado NMem visitor center at 1 pm and last about two hours. The roundtrip hike is one mile and includes a 500 foot elevation gain. The hike is considered moderate and participants will drop in to the cave by scrambling down approximately 25 feet of rocks to reach the cave floor. No reservations are necessary for the guided hike. Programs are open to both individuals and groups. Participants should bring a flashlight or headlamp and are encouraged to bring water, a snack, sun protection, and a camera. Wear sturdy shoes and layered clothing.
Coronado NMem is south of Sierra Vista. From Phoenix or Tucson, take I-10 east and exit south on Hwy. 90 to Sierra Vista. After reaching Sierra Vista, go south on Hwy. 92 about 20 miles to S. Coronado Memorial Drive. From Bisbee, take Hwy 92 west. Follow S. Coronado Memorial Drive 5 miles to the visitor center.
For more information, contact visitor center staff at 520-366 5515, ext. 0 or visit www.nps.gov/coro.