Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona – The species-rich sky island

Who thinks Arizona is a flat desert overgrown with cacti is only 50 percent right. There are quite a few mountain ranges separated by desert areas and therefore called sky islands. Only big animals and birds can move from one mountain range to the other, small animals are stuck. That’s why there are a lot of endemic species in Arizona’s mountains. There are altogether 40 sky islands in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. Up to 1200 plants (there from 233 trees), 70 mammals, as well as 136 reptiles and amphibians live here. You can watch half of North America’s 295 birds.

Richard joins us on our today’s hike in Chiricahua National Monument. He doesn’t like to hike alone and doesn’t mind that we’ve planned a long one. The 68 years old widower is in perfect shape. One of the most beautiful parts of the National Monument is Echo Canyon where we walk through a marvellous maze of rock piles. The second highlight is the Heart of Rocks Loop where bizarre rock formations can be found: There are different balancing stones, “kissing” rocks and a stone duck. The hike wasn’t only one of the most beautiful of the last months, but we’ve had a most pleasant person to talk to. Richard is taken with our hike in a certain manner and invites us to Tucson for the upcoming week.

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