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Wilderness Hiking and Camping

Before you start, check out these safety tips from the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

Miller Peak Wilderness, Huachuca Mountains
Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District
This wilderness area of over 20,000 acres contains many sheer cliffs and rugged canyons abounding with wildlife. Numerous species of hummingbirds are regular visitors, being especially numerous in spring and fall. Coati and deer are frequently seen, and there are more than fifty species of reptiles in residence. Challenging hiking trails lead to Miller Peak at 9,466 feet. Travel is legally limited to foot and horseback. No vehicles are permitted. For information and current trail conditions, contact the Sierra Vista Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, (520) 378-0311.

Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area
Seven perennial streams within the Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area provide an aquatic habitat rare in Arizona, supporting several native fish. Warblers, hawks and flycatchers are abundant, and the rugged mountain areas are home to deer, big horn sheep and mountain lion. The road to Galiuro and Redfield Canyon Wilderness Areas is for four-wheel drive vehicles only.For more information call BLM Saftord Field Office, (520) 348-4400.

Chiricahua Wilderness, Chiricahua Mountains
Coronado National Forest, Douglas Ranger District

The Chiricahua Wilderness is 87,700 acres surrounding 9,797 ft. Chiricahua Peak. Steep canyons radiate from the high point. Travel is difficult in this area because of a heavy accumulation of dead and down trees. The only openings are old fire sites, rock outcroppings and a few natural parks. Travel is legally limited to foot and horseback. No vehicles are permitted. If you like high adventure in an extremely rugged area, the Chiricahua Wilderness is just the place for you. For information and current trail conditions, contact the Douglas Ranger District, Coronado National Forest, (520) 364-3468.

Peloncillo Mountains Wilderness
Bureau of Land Management, Safford Field Office
In the extreme northeast corner of Cochise County lies this remote and primitive area which shows little signs of human activity and offers opportunities for high adventure camping, hiking, rock scrambling, hunting and sightseeing. High-clearance or 4-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. Access to the southern portion of the wilderness area is reached by going north from San Simon on either West Doubtful Road or the road leading to McKenzie Peak. For more information call BLM Saftord Field Office, (520) 348-4400.

Recommended reading:

Ghiglieri, Michael P. and Thomas M. Myers. Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon. Flagstaff: Puma Press, 2001. River guide Gliglieri 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.