Coronado National Memorial

Coronado National Memorial offers a wide variety of recreational activities, along with an opportunity to reflect upon and appreciate the enduring influence of early Spanish explorers in the American Southwest.

The memorial traces the route taken by Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his conquistadores. In 1540, Coronado led more than 300 horsemen across Arizona in a fruitless search for gold. While he never found riches, Coronado did make first contact with the Hopi and Zuni Indians, and he is considered the first white man to see the Grand Canyon.

No physical(?) trace of Coronado’s journey remains, but you can still experience the landscapes he witnessed as you take in the sweeping views of the San Pedro River Valley and the nearby U.S.— Mexico border.

Drive out to Montezuma Pass, a scenic overlook 6,575 feet above sea level. You’ll enjoy panoramic 360-degree views of the San Pedro River Valley and the San Rafael Valley. Get out of the sun with a tour of the colorful limestone formations in Coronado Cave.

If You Go: 

Be on the lookout for bat-gates, a series of horizontal metal bars installed at many cave and mine entrances. The caves can be dangerous for people, so the gates keep them out, while allowing the bats to come and go freely.

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June 7, 2013

The small write up of Coronado National Memorial is enough to light the, "I wanna go flame inside me." My VERY FIRST NATIONAL PARK was just past Apr. 2013, and at the age of 60! As a young man, still in the U. S. Army and stationed at Ft. Carson, CO. I was able to volunteer on the El Paso County Search & Rescue Team. I was, "Rescue 19." While training and out on missions, I THOUGHT, no, I KNEW! I saw God's glorious artwork in the Rockies. Then, O my LORD! My GOD! I met, Yellowstone National Park!! O the grandeur! The RAW BEAUTY! Untouched nature! Unspoiled by man and still afraid of humans! O! My heavens! I'm a man, not easily moved like this. But on several occasions I felt tears well at the pure, clean, crisp, beauty, no, the splendor I was able to take in. Friends, my mind is FULL! Of gracious beauty from the flora to the fawna, the smallest rodent to soaring eagles, calves and kids, to HUGE bull buffalo, that stood majestically, 5 feet from our car as cameras clicked, whirred, and snapped dozens of this fine fellows pictures. Then as if to say, "Are you folks done?" He gave us a casual look with the deepest brown eyes, licked his lips, turned, walked 10-15 feet further away and pooped. Then looked again saying, "How's that for entertainment 'Flatlanders?' We do that for ya' too!" Snorted! And trotted back to the herd of probably 25-30! We saw mountain sheep, antelope, and so many more! Even a lone black wolf cruising early one morning! (O no! It wasn't a dog! Too far out from any homes. And the tracks we imprinted/photoed later were bigger than any pet dog I've ever seen, save the giant breeds!) We will go back to Yellowstone! And the other National Parks! Wonderful!!

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