Chiricahua National Monument - A Hidden Gem?
Named after the band of Native American Indians, Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona may not have made your shortlist of must-visit National Park Units. But after spending several days exploring it in December, let me tell you why we think this is a hidden gem of the National Park System. [...]
Fascinating History at Fort Bowie National Historic Site
In July 1862, Brigadier General James Henry Carleton was leading his regiment from California to New Mexico. As they passed through the Apache Pass in Arizona, they were ambushed by a band of Apaches in what became known as the Battle of Apache Pass. With tensions already high after the Apache raid on the ranch of John Ward the year before, the 5th California Infantry were ordered to build a fort which they named after their colonel, George Washington Bowie. This was the first of two forts that were built at Fort Bowie. [...]
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument - Home of the Mogollon
45 miles north of Silver City in south-eastern New Mexico, at 6,000ft in the Gila Wilderness, the Mogollon people built dwellings high up in the cliffs. They only lived here for around 20 years, but their legacy lives on and the caves are now protected within the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. [...]
White Sands National Monument - World's Largest Gypsum Dunes
Spanning 275 square miles in southern New Mexico, the brilliant white dunes at White Sands National Monument are a sight to behold. But they’re also remarkably young - these dunes started forming just 12,000 years ago! We spent 6 days exploring to see what other secrets White Sands might be hiding.
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Chamizal National Memorial - History in El Paso
For millennia, the Rio Grande river has meandered through El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, supporting thousands of people who lived by its shores. But its role in defining the boundary between the US and Mexico was the cause of a centuries-long border dispute. We visited Chamizal National Memorial in El Paso to learn more about how this dispute arose, and its largely peaceful resolution. [...]
Guadalupe Mountains National Park: Stunning Hiking in Texas
Built from a magnificent Permian fossil reef, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park hosts the 4 highest peaks in Texas and offers incredible hiking opportunities. Amongst the intrigues of the park are its unusual timezone, giant gypsum sand dunes and McKittrick Canyon - said to be the most beautiful trail in Texas. Intrigued? So were we - read on to learn more! [...]
Carlsbad Caverns National Park: World's Most Beautiful Cave?
Nestled in the southeastern corner of New Mexico, hidden inside the Guadalupe Mountains, is Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Although not the largest or deepest cave in the world, it's a strong contender for the most beautiful! We spent a week exploring everything that Carlsbad has to offer - and there's a lot to see and do! [...]
Saguaro National Park
Saguaro National Park in Arizona near Tuscon consists of two separate districts on separate sides of Tuscon. We had an afternoon to visit the west side, and a morning to visit the east side in February 2017. We started with Sonora Arizona Desert Museum, which is located right outside the west side of the Saguaro National Park. The museum is not part of the national park, but I highly recommend to stop by the there. [...]
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
This is the first post in series of blog posts about a road trip we took around Arizona and New Mexico in February of 2017. After driving from Phoenix and setting up our rented RV for the first time we had an afternoon to explore the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. [...]
Driving through Joshua Tree National Park
By now we have visited the Joshua Tree National Park twice. The first time was in November 2015 on our way back a Grand Canyon tour and the second time was February 2017 on our way to Phoenix for an RV road trip through Arizona and New Mexico. Joshua Tree National Park is big and it takes time to drive through it, but even if you only have a half day to spare, it is totally worth it to drive through and stop by to experience the surreal desert landscape of rocks, cacti, and Joshua Trees (which are actually plants, not trees). [...]
Skyline Trail, Mount Rainier National Park
I've been to Bellevue, WA many times - almost always on business trips. From our office we have beautiful views across to Mount Rainier, but I have never been there before. This time, at the suggestion of a colleague, I had flown up on Saturday (rather than Sunday evening or early Monday morning as I would otherwise have done) so that we could go for a hike around Mount Rainier on Sunday. We would drive up to Paradise and hike the Skyline Trail from there. [...]