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Cochise Peak, AZ

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Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Tucson > Douglas
3 of 5 by 3
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Difficulty 2 of 5
Route Finding 3 of 5
Distance Round Trip 4.2 miles
Trailhead Elevation 5,791 feet
Elevation Gain 979 feet
Accumulated Gain 1,009 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 2.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 9.25
Interest Off Trail Hiking & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
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3  2018-02-22 Steph_and_Blake
25  2016-04-20
Double Dragoon
12  2012-05-31 MAVM
10  2011-01-30 PrestonSands
Author PrestonSands
author avatar Guides 168
Routes 149
Photos 5,534
Trips 1,317 map ( 6,690 miles )
Age 42 Male Gender
Location Oro Valley, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Apr, Oct, Mar, Nov → Early
Seasons   ALL
Sun  6:08am - 6:17pm
Official Route
1 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Sorin' with Cochise
by PrestonSands

Cochise Peak, in the central portion of the Dragoon Mountains, is reached by a relatively easy off trail hike. One can look down at Cochise Stronghold, and enjoy a fine view of the Sulphur Springs Valley from its 6797 foot summit.

The hike described below begins at the turnoff for Forest Road 345A (Sorin Camp Road). If you choose to drive Forest Road 345A (high clearance 2wd), rather than hike it, you can cut this hike down to 1.5 miles and 733 AEG round trip.

In 1883, Tombstone miner Thomas Sorin purchased two copper claims in a canyon that would eventually bear his name. He constructed a five room adobe cabin, dug two wells, and planted a large orchard in the canyon bottom. When Sorin's mining claims failed to produce, he devoted his attention to constructing a toll road over Middlemarch Pass, and cutting firewood to sell in Tombstone. After many years spent in the mountains, Sorin passed away at his camp in March 1923, and was buried in Tucson. His home away from home, at the southern base of Cochise Peak, came to be known as Sorin Camp. Today Sorin Camp can be identified by a windmill and an old rock well, only a few hundred feet up canyon from the route of this hike.

Turning off of Middlemarch Road onto Forest Road 345A, hike or drive up Sorin Canyon. The road soon leaves the mountainside behind to travel along the floor of Sorin Canyon, among plentiful oak and alligator juniper trees punctuated by the occasional spiny yucca.

After 1.3 miles of rough and rocky road, the turnoff for Cochise Peak appears as a side road on the right (north). If you reach the windmill at Sorin Camp you have gone a bit too far, just backtrack a few hundred feet to the turnoff at 31.88873 N, -109.96916 W. The side road climbs out of the canyon, and reaches the top of a ridge in just under 0.2 miles.

As soon as you reach the ridge, turn around to see Cochise Peak. Leave the side road at this point, and head northwest along the top of the ridge toward the peak. Cochise Peak appears deceptively close, but there is a half mile of thorny plant life and steep terrain to go. Following the barbed wire fence is helpful, but you shouldn't get disoriented here, as the terrain is fairly open. Footing is tricky though, with knee deep grass hiding a steep surface of loose rounded rocks.

At 6797 feet, you'll top out on Cochise Peak's flattened summit. Enjoy the view and sign the register. For an even better view, head northwest across the summit to its north edge, where you can look out across the rocks of Cochise Stronghold (Stronghold view coordinates are 31.89485 N, -109.96988 W).

There are a few roadside campsites along Forest Road 345A, and on top of the ridge on the spur road to Cochise Peak. Cochise Peak itself has a potential small campsite in the trees a short distance north of the summit cairn.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2011-02-08 PrestonSands
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Reviews
Cochise Peak
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Double Dragoon
I made a trip down to our Cochise yard on Tuesday and ended up spending the night down there. Got all my work done, so that meant I could get a hike in Wednesday! As many times as I have been down this way over the years, I had still only hiked the Cochise Stronghold in the Dragoons, glad I could change that. I headed south to Middlemarch road in the trusty Nissan Quest hoping that the road would not prove too funky. As it turns out, the east side is a bit rough but very passable in a passenger vehicle (when dry), and the western portion is possibly one of the best dirt roads I have ever been on. I made my way up to Soren Camp road and parked shortly after the road junction. I started hiking up the road to the 'Trailhead' for Cochise. Nice temps in the morning, spring is finally starting to come to this part of the state. I followed the jeep road up to where the barbed wire fence is, I followed the fence up and eventually passed through a gate. Best bet is to stay just to the left of the barbed wire the whole way up, don't bother going through the gate. I got a little off track on the way up, but staying by the fence o the way back made for easier going. Nice little peak, a few scramble spots but all in all a decent bit of off trail. Took a nice break at the top enjoying some of the views, but the best was still to come. The summit jar was disintegrating, if anyone is coming up here anytime soon you should bring a new one! There are some nice campsites you pass on the way up Soren Camp road, I would imagine even some better ones once you get up the road further. I bumped my way down Middlemarch Pass over to forest road 4393 and parked in some shad to begin my next hike. The road up to Black Diamond is good and steep, and the temps were getting warmer with noon approaching. The track starts out nice and easy to follow, but then becomes a game trail that fades in and out. Nothing too hard to find, but it does traverse a pretty good slope, so watch your step. I was glad I brought my hiking stick along for this one, but I still ended up on my backside a few times thanks to the varied terrain, some loose rocks here and there, plus lots of vegetation to work your way around. Few things say fun like picking your way through the Catclaw and Manzanita, I left some donations along the way, and still have a few spines to dig out of my skin...The route up to the summit is not too difficult, there are a few false summits to negotiate around, but for the most part easy to find. I did not find a summit log up top, maybe I missed it. Took a quick break to enjoy the sweeping views of Southern Arizona and Mexico. So many mountains left to climb...I took a quick side trip tot he mine on the way back, but I just poked my head in the entrance. Looks like you could go quite a ways into this one if that is your thing, but I was solo and running short on time too. Chugged my way back down the forest road, and then continued westward down to Tombstone. Waved hello to a few BP agents blocking the road a few miles down and they let me pass by without any hassle. Took the 80 back through St. David and benson, and then back home by the I-10. Long day, but good to get these both in.

A few things in bloom, but it is just getting started down here.
Cochise Peak
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For the fourth time in a fortnight, I headed for the Dragoon Mountains. The morning was dead calm with the stifling heat of the day still to come. A light haze was palpable as I journeyed NE from Sierra Vista through Tombstone and onto Middlemarch road - most likely the smokey evidence of the wildfire I had heard was somewhere across the New Mexico state line; this coupled with 90F+ degree temps would set the backdrop for the day's Twin Peak bagging in the inner sanctum of the Goons.

Being as there was no defined trail with which to summit Cochise Peak, I had decided to make it a bit of an orienteering romp with only a basic Topo of the area to pull indicators from. The road to the south of Soren Camp would serve as initial access, and could be a mini-hike itself if fully engaged. I bushwhacked my way through the Catclaw skirting that defines the area between the camp and the dirt road which would most likely lead to a fence did of course. From here it is just upward ad hoc to the peak...I would return a different way so as to make it a bit more challenging. The Opuntia genus cacti (cane cholla & prickly pear) were blooming wherever they were to be found throughout! I ran up with the fence line as reference imagining a spine that would become an express elevator to the top. This in the ideal sense did not exist for me, and it was just a good steep off trail hike up...the kind where you know it will take just about as much time to get back down given the rocky grade.

The summit of the peak is flat and elongated to the north a bit. The very top is colonized by a typical large AZ anthill...making Cochise Peak one of the largest anthills in the state I would wager. I forgot to sign the log hiding in the rock pile...and only thought of it a few hundred yards down hill. I picked-out a pronounced tongue that was a visible landmark below and referenced it with the Topo map in hand. I chose the reentrant flanking it to the south as my target tangent and gingerly headed down in earnest. I found the drainage with ease and buffeted around the steep waterfalls with little difficulty...falling on my rear only three or four times in all given the loose grade, etc. I was pleased that I did NOT reach out for any Agave, Cacti or Amolillo (shin dagger) in the process! I returned to the road very near to where I had anticipated from above, finding my way to Soren Camp and lunch. An excellent warm-up for China Peak in the afternoon... Avg. Grade 112.1% See GPS route for details.
Cochise Peak
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After hiking Black Diamond Peak earlier in the day, I drove up Sorin Camp Road 345A to hike Cochise Peak. The route up was mostly obstacle free, other than having to avoid a catclaw thicket and having to cross a barbed wire fence a few times. Once on top, I was disapointed that I couldn't see the Stronghold, so I made a short walk to the north side of the peak and found the view I was looking for. Upon arriving back at my truck at Sorin Camp, I resumed my journey up FR 345A.

Permit $$

Coronado Forest
MVUMs are rarely necessary to review unless mentioned in the description or directions
Coronado Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs)

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
WEST ACCESS: (recommended) Take US 80 (south) from Benson. Turn left onto Middlemarch Road (one mile north of Tombstone), and follow it for 14.6 miles to Forest Road 345A (signed) on the left. Park here, or if you have a high clearance vehicle, you can drive farther up Forest Road 345A, but parking and turnaround spots become limited. There is parking available along FR 345A at 0.4 miles, 1.3 miles, and at Sorin Camp at 1.4 miles.

EAST ACCESS: (Warning: can get very muddy after wet weather!) From Tucson, take I-10 east to US 191. Turn right (south) and drive approximately 20 miles south to Ghost Town Trail road on the right (just before the highway curves west). Turn right onto Ghost Town Trail and drive 1.1 miles to the 4-way intersection at the old town of Pearce. Turn right onto Pearce Road (Forest Road 345) and continue west, eventually staying left as the road becomes Middlemarch Road (still Forest Road 345). Continue to the switchback in the road, where Forest Road 345A (signed) departs on the right, about 10.1 miles past the old town of Pearce. Park here, or if you have a high clearance vehicle, you can drive farther up Forest Road 345A, but parking and turnaround spots become limited. There is parking available along FR 345A at 0.4 miles, 1.3 miles, and at Sorin Camp at 1.4 miles.
page created by PrestonSands on Feb 08 2011 12:14 am
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