In the mid-16th century, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his soldiers marched from Mexico into the San Pedro Valley searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola and its fabled gold. The National Park Service operates the 4,750-acre Memorial Park; it’s also the beginning of the famous Arizona Trail, with outstanding hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. While at the Memorial, explore the Coronado Cave. This cave is perfect for folks who would like a caving experience without rappelling, squeezing through tiny passageways, or belly crawling. Legend has it that Geronimo used the cave as a hideout in the late 1800s.
Be sure to include Montezuma Pass (elevation 6,575 feet), just a 15 minute drive from the Memorial Visitor Center. Allow 2 hours. Daylight picnic area; no overnight camping. 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. 800-288-3861 or (520) 366-5515 (National Park Service).