This campground is located in a magnificent, rugged canyon that served the famous Apache Indian leader, Cochise, as a refuge against his enemies. As you enter the East Stronghold Canyon, you pass in the shadow of rocks that quite likely served the Apache warrior as perches for his lookouts. The haunting shapes into which the forces of nature have carved those rocks helps make a visit to this charismatic place an unforgettable experience.
Campsites at Cochise Stronghold are shaded by oaks and surrounded by a diverse community of vegetation that includes plants of both the Upper Sonoran and Chihuahuan Desert. To help you become better acquainted with this unusual environment, the Stronghold Nature Trail follows a 0.4 mile barrier-free loop that wanders among the yucca, cactus and rocks. This short, easy stroll provides a self-guided introduction to a number of desert plants as well as some of the principles of desert ecology. It also provides good views of the rocks that form the ramparts of the Stronghold. A barrier-free history trail in the campground tells of the area’s colorful past.
If you would like to retrace the steps of this area’s historic residents even deeper into their nearly impenetrable refuge, you may choose to follow the Cochise Trail past dozens of fantastic rock formations as it makes its way across the Dragoons to West Stronghold Canyon and the Council Rocks historic area.
Location: 92 miles east of Tucson.
Access: From Tucson, take I-10 east 72 miles to US 191. Turn right (south) and drive 12 miles to Ironwood Road. Turn right (east) on Ironwood Road. From Douglas, take US 80 two miles to US 191. Go north approximately 45 miles to Sun Sites, then turn left (west) on Ironwood Road.
Continue on Ironwood Road (which becomes Forest Road 84 at the Forest boundary) for 8 miles to Cochise Stronghold Campground.
Season: September through May
Accessible nature trail
10 individual sites
2 group use areas
No hook-ups. Trailers limited to 22 feet.
Campsites, toilets and interpretive area are barrier-free.
Groups of over 25 people must call Douglas Ranger District and obtain a Recreational Event Permit.
The Cochise Trail begins here and leads to the West Cochise Stronghold. The Stronghold Nature Trail (0.4 mile) begins in the campground, too.