Sheepshead Area (Southwest) Rock Climbing
|GPS:||31.87, -109.994 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||James DeRoussel on Aug 20, 2002|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick|
DescriptionCochise Stronghold is a spectacular landscape of rugged canyons and towering granite domes. While there is certainly something for everyone in this vast area, those seeking traditional, multi pitch climbing will have a special appreciation for climbing here in the Dragoon Mountains.
The amount of climbing in Cochise Stronghold is absurd, and most of the rock is of outstanding quality. Many super classic routes, put up by pioneering young climbers since the 1970's, ascend the various spires and domes in the area. Most of the quality crack climbs in Southern Arizona are found here, as are some of the longest routes in this part of the state. Many of these routes are difficult, committing, and very runout. If you cant climb them this way, go climb something else. Though bolts have made their way into the Stronghold, placing fixed gear here is still frowned upon. Additionally, this area is of great cultural significance to many people. Treat it with due respect.
Climbing is Cochise Stronghold is a true backcountry experience. The remote setting, coupled with the committing nature of many of the climbs here, require preparation beyond that of roadside cragging on Mt Lemmon. The terrain is rugged and maze-like, and it is generally easier to get lost than to get where you are going. Allow plenty of time for approaches and err on the side of caution.
While current closures do not effect the Sheepshead Area, a large portion of the climbing in Cochise Stronghold is closed annually for raptor nesting. Current closures are from February 15 - June 30 and include the entire Rockfellow Group and What's My Line Dome. Check with the Forest Service for changes and current closures.
For more information and some interesting background on Cochise Stronghold, see Bob Kerry's guide 'Backcountry Climbing in Southern Arizona.'
Getting ThereFrom Tucson, had east on I-10 to exit #303 (Tombstone/Bisbee). Turn right (south) on Arizona Highway 80 and drive for about 20 miles. Just before Tombstone, turn left onto Middlemarch Road. Follow this rough gravel road for almost ten miles to Forest Road 687. Make a left, towards the West Stronghold and follow this dirt road north. Make the first right turn on a dirt road that leads past a windmill to the road's end. Park and hike across the grassy field to the obvious domes.
Classic Climbing Routes at Sheepshead Area (Southwest)
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season