Cochise County offers a number of challenging peaks over 9,000 feet that provide year-round recreational opportunities. In the winter you can enjoy the snow on the Huachucas and in the summer cool off on the high elevations of the Chiricahuas. Chiricahua Peak ranks 19th in a list of the highest summits in the state excluding those on Indian reservation land, and a number of other peaks in the range also top the 9,000 foot mark. Miller Peak in the Huachucas reaches 9.466 feet to rank 33rd, and Carr Peak is the 52nd highest point in the state at 9,237 feet. Many of the lower mountains offer breathtaking views.
The trail to Miller Peak is accessed through the Coronado National Memorial. Follow the road past the visitor Center to the Parking area at Montezuma Pass. (You can also hike from the Visitor Center.) From the parking area at the scenic overlook, take the trail north to the 9,466-foot summit, which offers views south into Mexico. Forest fires are frequent in the Huachuca Mountains so it is a good idea to check with the local ranger about trail conditions. The office is at 5990 S. Highway 92, Hereford AZ. Telephone: (520) 378-0311.
The trail to Carr Peak can be reached from Carr Canyon Road, off Highway 92, about 7 miles south of Sierra Vista. A high-clearance vehicle is needed to reach the trailhead at 7,380 feet. From there the trail leads to Carr Peak at 9,237 feet. Forest fires are frequent in the Huachuca Mountains so it is a good idea to check with the local ranger about trail conditions. The office is at 5990 S. Highway92, Hereford AZ. Telephone: (520) 378-0311.
The Chiricahua Range
This range was formed by volcanic action and offers many interesting geological formations. The 87,700 acres of the Chiricahua Wilderness contain wide variations in elevation, slope, exposure and precipitation, fostering an equally wide variation in plant and animal life. The range includes a number of significant summits including Flys Peak, Chiricahua Peak, Snowshed Peak, Raspberry Peak and Monte Vista Peak. The lookout tower at Monte Vista Peak provides excellent views. For information and current trail conditions, contact the Douglas Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest at (520) 364-3468.
Other notable peaks in Cochise County
Dos Cabezas Peaks, twin peaks resembling "two heads," high points of the Dos Cabezas Mountains, 8,354 ft.
Ramsey Peak, a significant peak in the Huachucas, though lower than Miller or Carr, 8,737
Apache Peak, high point of the Whetstone Mountains, (difficult terrain), 7,711
Mount Glenn, high point of the Dragoon Mountains, 7,500 ft.
Mount Ballard, high point of the Mule Mountains, 7,370 ft.
Swisshelm, high point of the Swisshelm Mountains, 7,185 ft.
Ghiglieri, Michael P. and Thomas M. Myers. Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff: Puma Press, 2001. River guide Ghiglieri and medical doctor Myers have collected more than 500 accounts of fatalities in the Grand Canyon, but this book should be required reading for anyone hiking, climbing or rafting anywhere in the southwest deserts. Flash floods, heat stroke and dehydration are dangers encountered throughout the state.
Kerry, Bob. Backcountry Rockclimbing in Southern Arizona. Tucson: Backcountry Enterprises, LLC, 1997. Published by Backcountry Books of Arizona, 100 N. Bella Vista Dr., Tucson, AZ 85745.