Description - Coronado National Memorial is the only unit in the National Park System that commemorates the Francisco Vásquez de Coronado Expedition of 1540-1542. When reporting to Congress in 1940 on the establishment of the Memorial, the Committee on Public Lands and Surveys noted that: “Coronado’s expedition was one of the outstanding achievements of a period marked by notable explorations. It made known the vast extent and the nature of the country that lay north of central Mexico, and from the time of Coronado, Spaniards never lost interest in the country. In no small measure their subsequent occupation of it was due to the curiosity so created.”
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Coronado National Memorial
The creation of the Memorial was not to protect any tangible artifacts related to the expedition, but rather to provide visitors with an opportunity to reflect upon the impact the Coronado Entrada had in shaping the history, culture, and environment of the southwestern United States and its lasting ties to Mexico and Spain. The Memorial has two sister parks in Mexico.
- Commemorating the first major exploration of the American Southwest by Europeans, Coronado National Memorial lies on the United States-Mexico border within sight of the San Pedro River Valley, through which the Coronado Expedition first entered the present U.S. in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibola. It is a cultural area situated in a natural setting comprised of 4,750 acres of oak woodlands.
Recreation - History and nature programs and tours of Coronado Cave for groups when scheduled in advance and for the general public on weekends during the busy seasons. Unfortunately there is no camping allowed on the monument.
Allow two hours to visit museum and scenic overlook at Montezuma Pass, and an additional half-hour to hike to Coronado Peak. Allow two hours for a visit to Coronado Cave and bring two flashlights per person. Pets are not allowed on hiking trails and should not be left unattended in parked vehicles, especially in warm weather.
Climate - Summers are warm with frequent thunderstorms in July and August. Winter temperatures often fall below freezing at night with occasional light snowfalls.
From I-10 exit south on Hwy. 90 to Sierra Vista then south on Hwy. 92 to Coronado Memorial Highway. (From Bisbee, take Hwy. 92 west). The visitor center is five miles southwest of Hwy. 92.