West Stronghold Rock Climbing
Evening magic in the West Stronghold
The West Stronghold is accessed from Middlemarch Road near Tombstone. Geographically the West Stronghold includes a much larger area than the east. Gems include Westworld Dome, Whale Dome, the Sheepshead, and about 1,000 unpublished routes waiting to be repeated.
A Google Earth .kmz file can be downloaded for this area using the link below: geir.com/googleearth/stronghol...
Access to this area is a privilege. Be a good steward of Cochise Stronghold by keeping the Leave No Trace principles in mind when visiting here. Below is a partial list of these principles and how they might be applied in the Stronghold. For further information, visit lnt.org
1) Travel and camp on durable surfaces. Stay on trails and avoid damaging surface vegetation. Use established campsites.
2) Dispose of waste properly. Pack out litter. Dispose of human waste in a cathole at least 6-8 inches deep and 200 feet away from water. Do not leave toilet paper out in the wilderness.
3) Leave what you find. Leave rocks, plants, archaeological artifacts and other objects as found.
4) Minimize use and impact of fire. If a campfire is constructed use existing fire rings. Do not cut down trees for firewood. Ensure campfires are completely extinguished before leaving.
5) Respect wildlife. If enough people approach or interfere with wildlife, it can be disruptive to animal populations.
6) Be considerate of other visitors. Many other people enjoy the area, including bird watchers, hikers, and horseback riders. They have as much right to be there as climbers.
From Tucson take I-10 east to exit 303.
Bear right on to highway 80 and head through Benson (2.2 miles).
Once through Benson keep right on to highway 80 and continue 21.7 miles to Middlemarch Road.
Turn left on Middlemarch road and continue for 9.9 miles. (This is a dirt road and can be rough but is passable by passenger cars so long as the washes are not full of water.)
Turn left on to forest road 687. (The road becomes rougher and is passable by passenger cars only when driven carefully. Your car can be damaged on this road, please be careful). The following mileage measurements are all relative to this intersection:
0.4 miles - Sheepshead parking area, free primitive camping.
2.0 miles - Sweet Rock, Isle of You (Ewe), free primitive camping.
6.5 miles - Parking for Warpath dome approach.
7.2 miles - Large private ranch
10.1 miles - end of the road. Parking for Whale Dome, Westworld Dome, Paleface, Ghost Dome, and Squaretop. Free primitive camping.
Weather station 7.6 miles from here
143 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',64],['2 Stars',60],['1 Star',12],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in West Stronghold
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in West Stronghold
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for West Stronghold:
Featured Route For West Stronghold
Moby Dick 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Arizona
: Cochise Stronghold
: ... : Whale Dome
From the main drainage below Whale Dome, take a steep side drainage west toward the south face of the dome. Some scrambling will get you to the base of the rock, under a giant flake and crack system. Moby Dick starts left of the flake at a double-crack. Five pitches of fun climbing. Pitch lengths are estimated.Pitch 1: Climb right of two thin cracks until it splits. Follow left fork up to cruxy face moves past one bolt. Continue up easier face climbing to two-bolt belay. (120')Pitch 2: S...[more] Browse More Classics in Arizona
By John Wason
Feb 5, 2013
My wife and son and I replaced the bashed hanger on pitch 3 (2nd bolt) on Ewephoria last Saturday. The nut and threads seemed to work just fine. John Wason
Max Wason leading pitch 3
From: Greenville, south Carolina
Dec 3, 2013
If you're trying to get to Whale Dome is there any reason one couldn't drive in from the North taking exit 312 from I-10? It's much shorter than heading down to Tombstone, then back up on Middlemarch. It will be my first time to the west side so I want to be sure.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Dec 3, 2013
You will encounter locked gates that you need a code to open.
Mar 13, 2014
In the upper left corner of the photo above you'll see a dark triangle.
This is where a refrigerator sized block cut loose and, apparently, smooshed a hanger.
I hadn't noticed any damage or scarring.
Thanks for replacing the hanger!
Aug 19, 2014
Any info on Elsie the Cow? Always looked impressive every time I walked by it. I think its worthy of its own page.
Cochise goes to Chicago and another route...wide 9ish??
Jan 10, 2017
Cochise Stronghold Guidebook
The new COCHISE STRONGHOLD: Rock Climbing on the West Side Guide just became available. Check out the 375+ routes found in it. cochiseclimbing.com