FKT: Matthew Matta - Chiricahua National Monument Big Loop (AZ) - 2021-02-01

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Total time
1h 41m 1s
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On February 1, 2021 I ran the Big Loop in Chiricahua National Monument. The best time I could find on Strava for that loop had an average pace of 11:27/mile, so that was my goal.

I started at 11:49am from the trail junction near the Echo Canyon Trailhead and went counterclockwise. Temperatures were perfect, around 50 degrees, but there was a couple inches of snow on about 20% of the trail. The first half mile goes through some amazing rock formations before dropping down into Echo Canyon. Then I climbed up to the ridge to see more cool rocks, including Pinnacle Balanced Rock and Mushroom Rock. I had to stop and take pictures.

By the time I left the Heart of Rocks Loop I had slowed down to a nearly 12:00 average pace and knew I would have to push on the downhill to make it. I did, barely, coming in at 1:30pm with an average pace of 11:23. I ran by myself, unsupported, and consumed 8oz of water and 100 calories. I’ll definitely come back here again to spend more time appreciating the incredible balancing rocks.