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Chiricahua National Monument–Massai Point

Willcox, Arizona 85643
Massai Point webpage
Chiricahua National Monument webpage
Chiricahua National Monument map

Also, see Chiricahua National Monument

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eBird Hotspot

Cochise County

Chiricahua NM–Massai Point
Coordinates: 32.0073299, -109.3120229
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Birding in Arizona

About Massai Point
Look deep into the Wonderland of Rocks. What ethereal shapes are set in stone? Early National Park Service and US Forest Service officials saw Massai Point as a major landscape viewing opportunity, and built a road, as well as trails, to the high plateau.

In 1932, the US Forest Service began constructing what they called “Bonita Canyon Highway,” a road that travelled up Bonita Canyon and ended on Massai Plateau (6870 feet/2094 meters). When Chiricahua National Monument shifted from USFS control to the National Park Service, the 1934 Dedication Ceremony took place at Massai Point. Over 6000 people in 1000 parked cars filled the area to its seams. Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees, who had been working in the monument, leveled the area and cleared it of vegetation. The enrollees also cooked a massive feast, which included 1,000 pounds of beans, several tons of beef, 1500 pounds of bread, and 150 pounds of coffee with 200 pounds of sugar.

Now, you can hardly tell thousands of people converged for the celebration, because of revegetation efforts. An observation tower at the high point of the plateau and Speaker’s Rock, built by the CCC, are all that remain from the Dedication ceremony. Today, visitors can still take in the spectacular views of the rhyolite rock pinnacles marching down the canyon towards the wide open Sulphur Springs Valley.
From Massai Point webpage

Tips for birding Chiricahua National Monument
On the west side of the range lies Chiricahua National Monument, also known as “The Wonderland of Rocks.” Eerie spires of rhyolite are the park’s biggest attraction, but wildlife is also abundant. Watch for the occasional Zone-tailed Hawk or Golden Eagle soaring high above the formations and Hepatic Tanager, Juniper and Bridled Titmice, Grace’s Warbler, and Strickland’s Woodpecker in the lush forests of the canyon bottoms. The second Berylline Hummingbird nest ever discovered in the U.S. was found here. The park is accessible from the Sulphur Springs Valley via AZ-181 from Sunizona or AZ-186 from Willcox, or you can stop in on your way down from Onion Saddle.
From Southeast Arizona Birding Observatory

About Chiricahua National Monument
A “Wonderland of Rocks” is waiting for you to explore at Chiricahua National Monument. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985-acre site. Visit the Faraway Ranch Historic District to discover more about the people who have called this area home.
From Chiricahua National Monument webpage