The rugged Dragoon Mountains offer challenges to rock-climbers as well as breathtaking views of the mountains and forests. A recent guide to Arizona climbing* devoted a whole chapter to the challenges of the rock formations in Cochise Stronghold. These include the Entrance Dome, Stronghold Dome, Cochise Dome, The Tombstone, and Sheepshead Dome. The Dragoons are part of the Coronado National Forest and areas are periodically closed to protect sensitive species such as the peregrine falcon. Day use fee, $3. Check with Douglas Ranger District to learn which areas are currently open for climbing, (520) 364-3468.
Before you start, check out these safety tips from the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
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 hyperthermia 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.