Every once in a while you you see a roadsign that attracts your interest and decide to make a detour to see it. I had never heard of Chiricahua National Monument until I saw the brown sign on the side of I-10 on a prior trip heading east from Tuscon, and a few days ago when I was looking for something to do I decided to go there.
It’s a fair drive from I-10 to the monument, but given that it is up in the higher elevation grasslands it’s a reasonable change of scenery from the Tucson area and not at all unpleasant. About the time you start to wonder if it is worth it, you come around a bend into a valley and find yourself presented with a stunning sight of rock pillers. A few minutes more is the visitor center, and from there the drive up to the top of the monument is stunning. Depending on the time available there are a number of different trails of varying lengths and difficulty to explore, but for those not interested in hiking there is a good road all the way up to the higher trailheads where a fairly mild walk leads into a preview of what can be seen off the main trails.
All in all a highly worthwhile place to visit, and one I wish I had discovered earlier.