Stronghold Canyon Trail

Scout Route
4.3/5 (3 reviews)

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Breathtaking scenery and several historical sites can be found scattered along this trail! The Chiricahua Apache, led by the famous chief Cochise, utilized this area to evade US Cavalry in the mid-19th century. This location provided a reliable water source and other resources in an otherwise harsh landscape. Today, Stronghold Canyon offers several hiking trails, a plethora of dispersed camping sites, and several historical areas to explore. The first quarter-mile features loose rocks that make the ride bumpy. It’s worth stopping early to air down your tires. The road soon evens out and becomes smooth and sandy. During the monsoon season, water flows over the sandy portions of the road and pools in low-lying areas creating muddy conditions. Approximately 2/3 of the way through the trail is the historical site of Council Rocks. Cochise and his band of Apache populated this area, and evidence of their livelihood can still be seen today. A quick look around the area shows why Cochise chose this area for his Stronghold. Maps delineate two roads, Slavin 687 and East Stronghold Canyon Road, joining soon after passing the Council Rocks. There is in fact, a single trail here. Those continuing past Council Rocks will pass several homes before reaching a Coronado National Forest Gate. Make sure to close the gate behind you when you enter this area. Road conditions become rough further into Stronghold Canyon and feature large loose rocks. There are multiple water crossings along the final part of the trail. During dry months, these water crossings are typically dry. However, these crossings may have running water during the summer monsoon season. Those that complete the trek are rewarded with beautiful woodland camping locations.