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Isle of You

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Isle of You Rock Climbing 

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Location: 31.8746, -110.0148 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: James DeRoussel on Aug 20, 2002
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Morning Snow in the Isle of Ewe area


Cochise Stronghold is a spectacular landscape of rugged canyons and towering granite domes. While those seeking traditional, multi pitch climbing will have a special appreciation for climbing here in the Dragoon Mountains, Isle of You offers an opportunity for the sport-inclined clip-up artist to enjoy this beautiful landscape.

There are three adjacent rocks that comprise this area; Rad Rock, Trad Rock, and Glad Rock. They host several excellent climbs of varying grade from 5.6 and up. But beware, the easier climbs tend to be on lower angle slabs. For some climbers, broken ankles have been the price of a blown clip.

Bring a 60 m rope and quickdraws.

In regard to new lines, ask yourself if you are truly contributing something of quality to the area. While there is lots of rock in the Stronghold, most of it has been explored and you may be looking at a line that has already been done! Ask around and, please, think before you drill.

Additionally, this area is of great cultural significance to many people. Treat it with due respect.

Though it does not affect Isle of You, 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 There 

From 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 another two miles north. Make a final right turn on a dirt road that leads to a circular parking area. The crags are visible from the road.

Climbing Season

Weather station 6.1 miles from here

29 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Isle of You

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Isle of You:
OK Corral   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Trad Rock
Rabbits Feat   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Trad Rock
Isle of You   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 170'   Trad Rock
Stone Woman   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Trad Rock
Cochise Toecheese   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Trad Rock
Hairs on Fire   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b R     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Rad Rock
Now It's My Turn   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Trad Rock
Jizzneyland   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Trad Rock
Hell in a Handbasket   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Trad Rock
Rise and Shine, Cupcake   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Trad Rock
Fire in the Hole   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Rad Rock
Liquor and Porn   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Rad Rock
The Chosen One   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 165'   Trad Rock
Ass Over Teacup   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   Trad Rock
Evangeline the Rascal   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 210'   Grad Rock
Gringo en Quema   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Rad Rock
Hotter than a Three Peckered Goat   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Rad Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Isle of You

Featured Route For Isle of You
Rock Climbing Photo: steven philips on 3 peckered goat

Hotter than a Three Peckered Goat 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  Arizona : Cochise Stronghold : ... : Rad Rock
Sustained and very fun 11 climbing on great rock. It gets a little steeper on top and has a great finish....[more]   Browse More Classics in Arizona

Photos of Isle of You Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking northeast from the main road near the Isle...
Looking northeast from the main road near the Isle...
Rock Climbing Photo: Yup.  Trad, Rad, and Glad rock.
Yup. Trad, Rad, and Glad rock.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rad and Trad rocks. We saw a newer route on the fa...
Rad and Trad rocks. We saw a newer route on the fa...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset, Isle of You camp area
Sunset, Isle of You camp area
Rock Climbing Photo: Trad Rock from the campground area.
Trad Rock from the campground area.
Rock Climbing Photo: Panorama  (180+ degrees) of the first campsite you...
BETA PHOTO: Panorama (180+ degrees) of the first campsite you...
Rock Climbing Photo: Jerrod on...?  It was probably a 5.8 and was prett...
Jerrod on...? It was probably a 5.8 and was prett...

Comments on Isle of You Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 30, 2011
By Vincent Greene
Jul 5, 2004
GPS: The left turn onto Middlemarch s N31.73482 W11007771, The next left is N31.84694 W110.00329, The next right is N31.87078 W110.02101, The parking area is at N31.87342 W110.01665, and finally the crag itself is at N31.87455 W110.01490 at 5083 ft elevation.
By Almonzo Wilder
From: Flagstaff, Arizona
Dec 13, 2004
One more note on directions. After the left turn off of Middlemarch Rd onto FR 687, the right to the Isle of You parking area lies IMMEDIATELY AFTER A CATTLE GUARD about two miles in.
By cobra652004
Feb 24, 2009
Tried to get out to Trad Rock last weekend - we parked at the top of the circular parking area, and found a decent trail with a little bit of fine gravel/sand leading up along the side of a rock face. I don't think this was Trad Rock, but it was bolted with about 6-8 routes up some pretty good face climbing. There were 2 big trees at the base of the rock and on the left-most part of the clean rock face was a nice rolling section you could probably scramble up to get at some of the anchors up top. Any info on this area? What is an easier way to find my way to the REAL Trad Rock? Thanks very much

By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Feb 24, 2009 ????
By cobra652004
Feb 26, 2009
thinking maybe what we were on was on the way to sweet rock - do you walk down a narrow sandy trail past a face shorter than sweet rock on the way? past where we were was a nice horseshoe shaped rock alcove that looked more similar to the pics i'm seeing for that area. also the climbs we did looked to be shorter than the ones i'm seeing on here - there were definitely not any climbs over single pitch - probably all less than 90 feet or so. sorry i can't give a better description/provide pics...
By Christian
From: Casa do Cacete
Mar 18, 2009
Hey Cobra,

Sorry for the late response

Haven't been to Isle of You area in ages. Darryl Allan's a great guy, send him an e-mail and he'll figure it out for you. I'm sure he knows about any areas close to Sweet Rock too.
By JLPierce
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Sep 21, 2009
That sounds like Trad Rock. Ironic that Trad Rock has sport routes, hmmm... Anyway, I will post a picture of the rock face. I know this was MONTHS ago but maybe it will help others.
By JohnP
From: Broomfield, CO
Dec 7, 2009
I am headed out west on a road trip and have a couple questions about the Isle of Ewe...

1.) Can I camp out at this area? I keep finding things about parking, but no camping information other than the one area off ironwood road, which is kind of far. Any suggestions on the whole camping topic would be helpful also!

2.) What is the current access situation? Do I have to pay to get to these areas? It seems like there is conflicting information on this...

Any other tips or even recommendations for ANY other good one pitch routes (I'll have to come back later for the multi-pitch)that are currently listed would be awesome!

Thanks for the help.
By Daryl Allan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Dec 7, 2009
The Stronghold has an East and West side. The [end of] Ironwood road area is a pay area over on the East Stronghold with facilities but there is plenty of non-facility, free camping over there as well. You will be on West Stronghold if you're going to the Isle of Ewe though.

There are no facilities on the West Stronghold but parking, climbing, and access are free. There are several campgrounds and campsites in the Isle of Ewe area. You shouldn't have any trouble finding a spot out there.

Plenty of good climbing out there to keep you entertained. Check out Rad, Trad and Glad rocks for stuff in the Isle of Ewe area, and Sheepshead, Muttonhead, Squaretop, and Westworld Dome for multipitch areas on the west side. There are plenty more than i listed but those will give you somewhere to start.
By Laura Howey
From: Gilbert, AZ
Apr 7, 2010
I would love to go. New climber. Low clearance vehicle. Need more information on camping conditions.

By Jonah Sturges
May 29, 2010
Hello, I was curious about a guide for this area.

Laura- Ive been wanting to do this area as well.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jun 3, 2010
Jonah, this will get you started. You can buy a used copy (out of print) on Amazon or Make sure you get the 2nd edition (1997 I think). Not sure if there are any newer guides.
By Aaron Divine
Feb 11, 2011
Loose bolts/anchor Question:

I was last at Trad Rock in spring of 2005 - and am planning to return soon. At the time, I seem to recall at least a few bolts and some of the anchor bolts (not just the hangers - but the bolts themselves) being suspiciously loose on climbs along the left side of the crag (can't remember exactly which routes). Does anyone who climbs here more regularly know if any these have been replaced / repaired since then?

Many thanks
By Leif Gruenwoldt
May 30, 2011
@Jonah, "Rock Climbing Arizona" from Falcon Guide has reasonably good coverage for the area.

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