Chiricahua National Monument’s Bonita Canyon Campground Reopens

Tuesday, October 01 2013 06:20   Other NPs
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Editor's Note: On Oct. 1, 2013, the National Park Service began shutting all of its parks and monuments due to a lack of appropriations. When Congress and the President reach an agreement on the federal budget, parks will again reopen, including Chiricahua National Monument. The following story was prepared before the government shutdown.

The entire Bonita Canyon Campground in Chiricahua National Monument (NM) in Arizona is now fully open, according to monument Superintendent Robert Love.

Portions of the campground have been closed since early July 2013 due to the potential of significant flash flooding during the monsoon.

bonitacanyoncampsite"The safety of park visitors and our employees is always our highest priority", said Love. "Although we understand the closures were inconvenient for some, we wanted to be sure we weren't putting anyone at risk by allowing folks to camp in the most flood-prone areas."

The National Weather Service defines Sept. 30 as the official end to the monsoon season. Late September conditions in the park, including low soil moisture levels and extremely low probability for precipitation, allowed managers to reopen the campground.

The historic Bonita Canyon Campground offers 25 sites on a first-come, first-serve basis. Campsites are $12 per night. Hookups are not provided, but potable water is available throughout the campground.

Each site includes a fire grate, picnic table, and a place to pitch a tent or park a small RV or trailer. Campground restrooms include flush toilets and sinks. Vehicles exceeding 29 feet in length are not allowed in the campground. Wood collection is prohibited in the monument; campers should bring firewood or charcoal with them.

Campers requiring electricity for medical needs are encouraged to call the park ahead of time. A larger group site is also available for parties of 9-24 persons. The cost is $3 per person, per night, and includes a $24 non-refundable deposit. Reservations for the group site are recommended and can be made by calling the Chiricahua NM visitor center at (520) 824-3560, ext. 0.

Now that fall has arrived, more visitors are likely to be enjoying the outdoors. Hikers are always encouraged to check weather forecasts before heading out and pay attention to their surroundings at all times. Temperatures in the Chiricahua mountains are often 10-20 degrees cooler than nearby Tucson.

Contact the Chiricahua NM visitor center at (520) 824-3560, ext. 0 for more information regarding hiking and camping in the monument or visit
www.nps.gov/chir. Chiricahua NM is located four miles east of the junction of Arizona Highways 186 and 181.

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