Driving approx. 66 miles total for the day; about 1.5 hours. Hiking/walking approx. 6.5 miles total throughout the day; about 6.5 hours total on our feet. Fort Bowie National Park hike is approx. 5.5 miles roundtrip; about 5.5 hours total; elevation gain and loss of about 600 feet; rolling hills. Walking approx. 1 mile in Willcox; about 1 hour.
At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast buffet featuring a variety of healthy choices including milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Setting out via vans, we will travel to the scenic Chiricahua Mountains for a day of hiking in Fort Bowie Park. From the trailhead, a Park Ranger will lead us on an interpretive field trip of Fort Bowie National Historic Site. As we walk, we’ll learn about the history of the Butterfield Overland Trail, which ran through this area from 1857 – 1861, through background facts and anecdotes. Our three-hour hike will take us past the original fort, Apache Springs, the Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency, an Apache Wickiup, the post cemetery, and the remains of a Butterfield Stage Coach Station.
Along the trail, we’ll enjoy nutritious sack lunches prepared by a local restaurant as we enjoy the unique beauty of the area.
At the conclusion of our hike, we’ll transfer to Historic Downtown Willcox for a walking field trip led by a local historian and president of Sulphur Springs Valley Historical Society. Strolling down historic Railroad Avenue, we’ll learn about such landmarks as the restored 1880 Southern Pacific Depot, the Headquarters Saloon (where Warren Earp was killed), and the Willcox Commercial – one of the oldest operating stores in Arizona. We’ll conclude the walking portion with a visit to the Chiricahua Regional Museum where our expert will show us around the informative displays.
At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated meal featuring local cuisine, with soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
We’ll then return to the hotel with the remainder of the evening at leisure.