For quite sometime Ive had making a climb of Cochise Head on my bucket list. Finally made it!! This remote and seldom traveled area of the Chiricahuas is as every bit as puzzling as it is intense. After having started our day from the Lower Rhyolite Trail at the National Monument Visitor Center (Because the NPS had extended the road construction. Come to find out they were opening the road for the weekend at the last minute) Once we reached the Echo Canyon TH we got a ride back down to pick up our cars, we parked our cars 1.1 miles from Echo canyon TH on a small roadside pull off area below.
We then started our hike up an old mining road with a moderate climb passing the site of the old mine. The road continues its way up further at the end of the road theres a big cairn indicating the start of the "trail" travel all the way to the top. Almost immediately we figured these "trails" where active cattle trails with some cairs here and there indicating the way. Quickly we all figured out our route was taking us. Lots of overgrowth and burned down trees made travel slow going and uncomfortable at times. We reached the bottom of a saddle where we would climb up along several of its hills along the ridgeline. Overgrowth, cow manure, and thorny shrubs reign this area before we reach the sketchy loose talus area just below the summit. After almost four hours we made summit at 2.40 PM, the views are amazing with many far reaching mountain ranges visible in the distance. On our way down we made it back in a little over 2 hours. We then headed outside the NATMON area along Pinery Canyon Rd inside the Coronado NF where there are plenty of car camping sites.
Two nights of camping along Pinery Canyon Road included a Saturday hike to Cochise Head from within Chiricahua National Monument. This hike is not long but is steep and tough, combining road, trail, bushwhack, and scrambling. Absolutely fantastic views and rock formations abound. Summit is listed as 8087 feet.
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.