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Dirt road to cochise stronghold west

Original Post
Howard · · Costa Mesa, CA · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 1,987

To those that made the drive to west cochise lately, can it be done without high clearance? I guess if you saw at the primitive campground undamaged average passenger vehicles, it evidently can be done by them without damage... Thanks.

Russ Walling · · · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 3,175

If you are talking about coming in on Middlemarch from Benson etc, then yeah, the road is like a smooth freeway as of a week or so ago.

Jacob Jones · · oklazona · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 0

Getting to sheepshead/isle isn't bad at all in a passenger car. You can make it to whale dome parking lot in passenger car. Last time I did it, I broke my sway bar end links and ripped off all the plastic aero undercarriage stuff. (Protege5 wagon)

Howard · · Costa Mesa, CA · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 1,987

Jacob, when was that?

Jacob Jones · · oklazona · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 0


Dow Williams · · St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 240

Howard, that section of the road is different than the washboard in. The reason high clearance helps is because of the dips and will not change in the near future. If you are making a rental decision and have your eye on Cragoholic's Dream or something in that vicinity, coming from the Sheepshead area, I advise a SUV or truck for the extra clearance. Chance to lose a bumper or something otherwise. If you are just hanging out at Muttonhead and Sheepshead, then any car will do.

Paul Zander · · Bern, CH · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 702

I would say its usually tough to get to the end of the road (Whale Dome) in a sedan. I was last there in Oct. I bit bottom once in my forester. Easy to get to Isle of You or Sheepshead in passenger car.

Howard · · Costa Mesa, CA · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 1,987

Angela, pm sent.

ClimbLikeAGirl · · Keene Valley · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 15

My partner and I spent a week camped in the West Stronghold just this past November. We prefer the sites further down the road since its much more quiet and you're tucked in amongst some really cool trees (we're from the North East and like our trees). We ended up mostly climbing at Sheepshead and Mutton head and successfully made the drive every day in my Honda Fit. I will admit that on the first drive back, we did move a handful few small baby-head sized rocks in the road and had my partner spot me in a few sections, but after that it was smooth sailing. It certainly took some careful driving in several spots but by the end of the week I had my beta dialed and knew exactly where put my wheels for each wash/pothole. If you don't enjoy technical driving I absolutely recommend a higher clearance vehicle but Fitty handled it great and left AZ without any body or undercarriage damage.

I think I'll also add that I definitely felt like having a vehicle with such a short length was helpful-- my car essentially has no body behind my rear axle so likelihood of scraping plastic as I dropped in or pulled out of the wash was pretty much zero. The short wheel base also gave me more options to drive further left or right of an obstacle. I recall thinking that a Subaru or other wagon might not fair as well but I think it really comes down to knowing how to drive your own vehicle.

For comparison we also drove back to Black Velvet Wall earlier on this same trip and I felt that it was similar in terms of difficulty of driving.

TJ Aguilera · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 5

Getting back to the Whale dome parking area is now a piece of cake. My grandmas caddy would do just fine.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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