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Which Campground at Cochise is best?
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Nov 13, 2012
Last time I was at Cochise, several years ago, we stayed at the primitive camprground on the west side. It was great, but as I recall, no facilities. Is it still the same?

This trip we will have more time (6 days) in January. What I was thinking was to spend half of the time on the west side and then drive over to one of the campgrounds on the east side for a few nights to access the climbs in the east stronghold (which I've never been to).

What do people think about this plan?

Any suggestions on recommended campgrounds?

Is the pay site on the east side the only one with outhouses?

Is there a free or pay campground on the east side that is nicest?


Nick Weinberg
From Essex, NY
Joined Sep 1, 2009
5 points
Nov 13, 2012
Camping at the Isle of Ewe is shaded, level, spacious, and convenient for vehicle access to get to the domes in the backcountry to the north (Whale Dome, Warpaint, ...) as well as the Sheepshead to the south. Additionally, the single pitch cragging while belaying from your chair next to the fire ring is hard to beat. It's also easy to get out of the wind there (which was a huge problem for us in March).

My vote is for the campground at the Isle of Ewe/ Sweet Rock area. Still no facilities. I have not visited the east side.

-Dylan Weldin
Dylan Weldin
From Athens, OH
Joined Dec 5, 2010
865 points
Nov 13, 2012
I think the pay site is the only one with facilities. There are a few different areas near the pay site with free camping sites. I don't remember much, but we didn't have a guide or anything and seemed to find a nice spot on that side for free.

East is awesome. Dont visit again without climbing on the east side.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,215 points
Nov 13, 2012
Yep you have to pay for the established campground.

It has good access to the upper Stronghold area, the free unimproved sites may require driving up to the day use parking at the campground.

For Wasteland and other crags out near the entrance there is free camping right where you need to be.

I would say start with a night for free out near the entrance and climb the Wasteland.

Then move up to the fee area to camp for access the the upper crags.

Once you make the move to the other side it's all pretty close together camping wise.
Tim McCabe
Joined Oct 15, 2006
110 points
Nov 13, 2012
bring a porta potty or bags. Dont leave your trash and shit behind. Please... dale polen
From arivaca, az
Joined Jan 29, 2008
95 points
Nov 13, 2012
I find the best method of shitting on the west side is to shit on an existing cow pie, then fold it. Dow Williams
From St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB
Joined Mar 13, 2006
75 points
Nov 13, 2012
When primitive camping for an extended period of time I find it least intrusive to dig a pit style latrine. We used a long handled shovel and dug about 3' into the soil and used that hole for about 6 days.

Sprinkle a bit of sand over each deposit to prevent odor and keep flies away and DO NOT urinate in the hole of the microorganisms that aid in decomposition will not be able to function as they are aerobic.

Least obtrusive would be a river style ammo can and disposal elsewhere...
Dylan Weldin
From Athens, OH
Joined Dec 5, 2010
865 points
Nov 13, 2012
Clearly, if you climb on the east side camp there and if you climb on the west side camp there........ Pretty obvious, eh

And please, use a wag bag!!!
Princess Mia
From Vail
Joined May 22, 2006
30 points
Nov 13, 2012
was just down their east is nice west is nice a lil more exposed but great sun sets ... +1 wag bags... Devin Fin
Joined Jan 14, 2010
2,845 points
Nov 13, 2012
Marc H
From Denver
Joined May 10, 2007
20 points
Nov 13, 2012
There is no water, even at the pay campground. Larry
From SoAZ
Joined Jan 23, 2006
35 points
Nov 16, 2012
If you camp on the east side you will have access (3mi on good road) to gas, food & water in the Sunsites community. There is pay or free camping there and better/more climbing on that side. The westside only has free camping and no access to bathrooms or water. Closest services would be back out middlemarch road to Tombstone which is a rougher road.

Either way you will have fun. Maybe split your time on each side.
Joe Brophy
From San Diego
Joined Aug 13, 2003
293 points
Nov 16, 2012
Isle of Ewe campground is pretty sick. It's in between Sweet Rock and Trad/Rad Rock, two of the most prolific crags in Stronghold...walking distance (5-10 min) to both. mikehilbert
From Tucson, AZ
Joined Oct 8, 2012
1,072 points
Nov 16, 2012
Dow Williams wrote:
I find the best method of shitting on the west side is to shit on an existing cow pie, then fold it.

This is why I can't wait to get a chance to climb with Dow. That is just great.
Christopher Gibson
From Frisco, Texas
Joined Feb 13, 2012
0 points

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