Monsoon rains close Bonita Campground in Chiricahua National Monument
Update: Chiricahua National Monument has reopened its facilities. (September 2012)
Hikers and campers, please note: The Bonita Canyon Campground in Chiricahua National Monument is closed until further notice.
Nearly an inch of rain fell on the evening of Monday, July 23. The area flooded and forced the closure of the campground and Bonita Canyon Drive, the only roadway in the mounment. Bonita Canyon Drive was cleared of debris and reopened July 24. However, due to saturated soils, and predictions for additional monsoonal rainfall, the campground will remain closed until further notice. The visitor center and all trails remain open.
Please remember that conditions can change rapidly during our summer monsoon season. Areas that have been affected by large fires have an increased risk of flash flooding. The Horeshoe II fire burned more than 200,000 acres in Chiricahua National Monumnet and the surrounding mountains in 2011. Floods are significantly larger following fires and floodwater can carry debris that could be hazardous to campers and their property.
Hikers: before you head out on the trail, check the weather forecasts and pay attention to your surroundings. Soils in a burned landscape can create slippery conditions, and mud and rockslides can be triggered by the heavy rainfall events that are typical during monsoon season.
For more info on the area's conditions, contact the Chiricahua National Monument visitor center at 520-824-3560 ext. 0.