Coronado National Memorial is located in the southeast corner of Arizona, right near the Mexico border. This memorial was established to commemorate the first major exploration of the southwestern part of the United States by Europeans. Featured in the memorial is a view of the valley through which the exploration of Coronado first entered the current boundaries of the US. From this view, one can see the San Rafael Valley, the Patagonia Mountains and the Santa Rita Mountains. On clear days it is even possible to see the summit of Baboquivari Peak (7,720 feet) which is 80 miles away from Coronado National Memorial. The goal of the expedition through this area was to find the fabled golden Cities of Cibola.
Geographically, the memorial is situated on the border of Mexico and Arizona. The Huachuca Mountains make up the northern boundary of the memorial. Most of the area of Coronado National Memorial is known as the Montezuma caldera. This caldera is made up of some pretty complex geology. It was formed as a result of cataclysmic eruptions with more volcanic events following. In some areas of the park there is relatively young Cretaceous rock which is covered by much older Jurassic and Pennsylvanian-Permian layers. This complex geology is complicated further by the intrusion of Tertiary rocks into the formations.
Map of Coronados Expedition:
The General park map handed out at the visitor center is available on the park's map webpage.
View the park's map to create your own personal maps and images right here.For information about topographic maps, geologic maps, and geologic data sets, please see the geologic maps page.
A geology photo album for this park can be found here.For information on other photo collections featuring National Park geology, please see the Image Sources page.
Currently, we do not have a listing for a park-specific geoscience book. The park's geology may be described in regional or state geology texts.
Parks and Plates: The Geology of Our National Parks, Monuments & Seashores.
Lillie, Robert J., 2005.
W.W. Norton and Company.
9" x 10.75", paperback, 550 pages, full color throughout
The spectacular geology in our national parks provides the answers to many questions about the Earth. The answers can be appreciated through plate tectonics, an exciting way to understand the ongoing natural processes that sculpt our landscape. Parks and Plates is a visual and scientific voyage of discovery!
Ordering from your National Park Cooperative Associations' bookstores helps to support programs in the parks. Please visit the bookstore locator for park books and much more.
For information about permits that are required for conducting geologic research activities in National Parks, see the Permits Information page.
The NPS maintains a searchable data base of research needs that have been identified by parks.
A bibliography of geologic references is being prepared for each park through the Geologic Resources Evaluation Program (GRE). Please see the GRE website for more information and contacts.
NPS Geology and Soils PartnersAssociation of American State Geologists
Geological Society of America
Natural Resource Conservation Service - Soils
U.S. Geological Survey
General information about the park's education and intrepretive programs is available on the park's education webpage.For resources and information on teaching geology using National Park examples, see the Students & Teachers pages.