Hiking Coronado National Forest

Moving to Arizona

Moving all the way to Arizona is a scary thing to do. It was completely spontaneous. The entire five-day drive out here was spent searching for a city and an apartment. One of the toughest things about moving to from the east coast to the desert was saying goodbye to Shenandoah National Park. As soon as we settled in we were searching for a new outdoor spot to call our own to replace our weekly Shenandoah hikes.

Coronado National Forest

It took a few weeks but we’ve found another place outdoors that feels like home. Coronado National Forest. I almost feel guilty saying it, but I enjoy hiking through the Coronado National Forest much more than Shenandoah. Why? Mainly because we can hike for hours without seeing another person. I can’t say we ever had a minute alone at Shenandoah. The trails were becoming increasingly packed every weekend. Coronado presents the visitor with views like the one above, spectacular, serene, and quiet.

New Challenges

The amazing views above aren’t without challenges. The trails we hike here in Arizona don’t come with the safety and security of hiking in a crowded national park. For one thing, the Huachuca Mountains and Coronado National Forest are a favorite crossing point of drug and human smugglers. They use the mountains travel from Mexico up I-10 to Tucson and beyond. We are so close to Mexico when we hike that my phone switches from ATT to the Mexican Telecel.

We have been lucky enough not to run into any smugglers, but the trails we hike aren’t completely safe. Coronado National Forest is full of bears, javelinas, coyotes, and occasionally the worst of all, random drunk hikers firing weapons into the air.

Since Arizona has the most lenient firearm laws in America, everybody has one, including me. Is the view above worth the possible dangers of hiking in such a remote area? Definitely, but not without precautions. Stay tuned for my next post discussing whether or not we should hike while armed, and how we stay safe when we hike in remote locations.


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