Cochise Stronghold LbNA # 13179
|Owner||Kristal & Ron|
|Placed Date||Jan 20 2005|
|Last Update||Jan 25 2013|
Distance: 4 ½ miles roundtrip
Difficulty: moderate. It’s not too steep, but loose footing makes it slow-going up and down. It took us 2 ½ hours to get back to the car.
Cochise Stronghold was the home of the famed Chiricahua Apache Chief, Cochise, and his band of warriors and followers. Hiking through this beautiful country, you can imagine them here, watching from the surrounding rock formations. In fact, the trail you take is where they actually walked 150 years ago. It’s no wonder they settled here… a lush riparian area leads to a dense forest filled with plentiful signs of big game, and the red rocks hoodoos all around from which to defend themselves...
TO THE TRAILHEAD
From I-10, take exit 331 south 18.5 miles to Sunsites, AZ. Take Ironwood Road west 9.3 miles to its end at Cochise Stronghold Campground. There is a $5 fee to park, unless you have a Golden Eagle pass. The road becomes a little rough toward the end, and it does pass through the creek several times. We had no trouble in a family car, though.
TO THE LETTERBOX
From the campground, cross over the bridge near the restrooms. At the sign for the Nature Trail, go left for about 100 yards to the Cochise Indian Trailhead. Take this trail to Half Moon Tank, which you’ll find shortly after the 2-mile marker. When you get to the dam, stand on the near concrete corner and then take 45 steps due south to a large, flat rock covered in lichen. From there, it's 18 steps at 125* from north to the box, nestled in a man-made cave. Please make sure the rocks are replaced securely - our last box in this location was munched open by some local critter!