Outdoor Activities - Scenic
Rock climbing, hiking, and great photography. The mountain range is one of Arizona's sky islands. Mount Glenn (7,520 ft/2,292 m) is the highest point in the range. The Little Dragoon Mountains are the continuation of the Dragoon Mountains north of Texas Canyon. The warrior Cochise and his army defeated a small force of Confederate soldiers here at the First Battle of Dragoon Springs but was defeated at the Second Battle of Dragoon Springs a few days later. There are several ghost towns in the Dragoon Mountains including Gleeson and Courtland. The Amerind Museum of Native American art is located a short drive off I-10 at the Dragoon exit. Located just off I-10 between Benson & Willcox. www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragoon_Mountains.
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Experience a stunning limestone cave in Southeastern Arizona that boasts world-class features. This “live” cave, discovered in 1974, is host to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations. Water percolates from the surface and calcite formations continue to grow, including stalactites dripping down like icicles and giant stalagmites reaching up from the ground. Tour guides will unveil this fascinating underground landscape during a memorable 1½ hour tour. The Discovery Center features museums exhibits, a large gift shop, regional displays, theater, and educational information about the caverns and the surrounding landscape. There are also campgrounds, hiking trails, lockers, shaded picnic areas, a deli, an amphitheater, and a hummingbird garden.
9 mi. S of Benson on Hwy 90. (520)586-2283. www.azstateparks.com/parks/KACA/index.html
Lavender Jeep Tours
Offers not only scenic tours, but great photo ops. The SKY ISLAND ADVENTURE TOUR is a (2) hour tour that rises above 7350 feet. This tour features a 360 degree view of the major mountain ranges in southern Arizona. Views include Tucson, Willcox, Sulphur Springs Valley, New Mexico, Mexico and an airplane view of Sierra Vista. Another scenic view tour is the SUNSET MOUNTAIN TOUR, a 90 minute tour to the top of Juniper Flats – 7200 feet. This is one of the greatest sunset tours in Arizona. View the setting sun over the San Pedro Valley.
Office located at the Historic Copper Queen Hotel, 11 Howell Avenue – Open 7 days per week. (520)432-5369. www.lavenderjeeptours.com
Carr Canyon (road trip and trails)
Another favorite, Carr Canyon provides a twisty ride to Carr Peak and Reef Townsite trailheads. If you’re looking for a picnic spot, campground, or easy stroll, head to Reef Townsite Campground about midway up Carr Canyon Road. The cool canyon is a terrific place to spot birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Hwy 92 South 7 miles to Carr Canyon Road; turn west (right) onto Carr Canyon Road. www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=25476&actid=105
Coronado National Memorial (road trips and trails)
In the mid-16th century, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado and his soldiers marched from Mexico into the San Pedro Valley searching for the Seven Cities of Cibola and its fabled gold. The National Park Service operates the 4,750-acre Memorial Park; it’s also the beginning of the famous Arizona Trail, with outstanding hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. While at the Memorial, explore the Coronado Cave. This cave is perfect for folks who would like a caving experience without rappelling, squeezing through tiny passageways, or belly crawling. Legend has it that Geronimo used the cave as a hideout in the late 1800s.
Be sure to include Montezuma Pass (elevation 6,575 feet), just a 15 minute drive from the Memorial Visitor Center. Allow 2 hours. Daylight picnic area; no overnight camping. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hwy 92 South, 14 miles; south (right) onto to South Coronado Memorial Road (milepost 334), 4 miles to the Memorial. (800)288-3861 or (520)366-5515 (National Park Service). www.nps.gov/coro/index.htm
Miller Canyon (road trip and trails)
A popular public bird feeding station is at Beatty’s Guest Ranch in Miller Canyon, where a U.S. record for hummingbird species sited in one day was set (14 species). You’ll also find trailheads for Miller Canyon, Perimeter, and Clark Springs/John Cooper trails for challenging hiking and mountain biking. Hwy 92 South 9 miles to Miller Canyon Road; turn west (right) onto Miller Canyon Road. Find Beatty’s Miller Canyon Guest Ranch 3 miles on Miller Canyon Road. (520)378-2728. www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recarea/?recid=25496
Our Lady of the Sierras
This site, with virtually unlimited panoramic views of the San Pedro Valley, is home to a shrine inspired by a religious pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Yugoslavia. The 75-foot Celtic cross, chapel, and 31-foot statue of the Virgin Mary provide a peaceful sanctuary that visitors of all faiths can enjoy. The views from the shrine of the surrounding mountains and valley are breathtaking. Allow 1 hour. 9 a.m. to sunset every day. Hwy 92 South, 11 miles; north (right) onto Stone Ridge; turn east (right) onto Prince Placer; south (left) onto S. Twin Oaks Road; entrance on the left. (800)288-3861 or (520)378-2950. www.ourladyofthesierras.org
Apache ATV Tours
Make memories for a lifetime with a guided ATV tour of some of the most beautiful moutons and canyons around SE Arizona. Tour the historical sites and trails of Tombstone, Cochise Stronghold, and Dragoon Mountains. See lakes, rivers and abundant wildlife along with the smell and sounds of Arizona's desert moutons. Family fun for adults and children. Each tour is custom designed for you and fun from 3 to 4 hours. Rates starting at $25 per hour for groups.
2130 N. Aspen Ave. Hauchuca City, AZ 85616. (520) 860-0178. www.apacheatvtours.com/Site/HOME.html
Bird Cage Theatre Ghost Tour
As seen on SyFy’s Ghost Hunters. An hour and fifteen minute family tour starting at 6:30 for 12 yrs and up. At 8:00pm there is an hour and half tour for patrons 18 and up. The Bird Cage Theatre is Tombstone’s most authentic attraction and one of the west’s most famous landmarks. Legend has it that 26 people were killed in The Bird Cage. Reportedly haunted circa-1881 landmark that once housed a brothel & gambling hall in Tombstone.
535 East Allen Street, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520) 457-3421. www.tombstonebirdcage.com
Ghost and Murder Tour
See all of the hotspots in Tombstone with our trolley tours! Our expert conductors know all the ins and outs of the history of the Town Too Tough Too Die. Features service to and from Legendary Boot Hill Cemetary! Also on the weekends (Friday and Saturday nights at dusk): don't miss the chilling Ghost and Murder Tour: taking you to Boot Hill and the 13 most haunted places in Tombstone! Call ahead for same day reservations.
137 S 4th Street, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520) 955-3090.
Gunfighter Ghost Tour
Visit the 10 most haunted spots in Tombstone's Historic District including the Birdcage Theatre, China Mary's in old China Town, Tombstone's General Hospital where patients died excruciating deaths and much more! Hear about the cold-blooded killing that happened in front of the O.K. Corral and see the corner where the Earp's and Holliday began their famous walk down to the O.K. Corral on the fateful day of October 26, 1881! The total time of this exciting tour is one hour. Tours are held every night at 6:30pm at Big Nose Kates'.
421 E. Allen St., Tombstone, AZ 85638. (800) 979-3370. www.tombstone-ghost.com
In July 1881, a disgruntled miner writes the Tombstone Nugget newspaper stating that instead of finding their "Eldorado" of riches, many men ended up washing dishes or other menial jobs, finding instead, their "Helldorado". The term stuck. Helldorado is Tombstone's oldest festival celebrating its rip-roaring days of the 1880's. Helldorado, started in 1929, is sponsored by Helldorado, Inc. whose membership is composed of residents in Cochise County. Check out the most rip-roaring celebration in Tombstone during Helldorado Days! Helldorado is held every third weekend in October and consists of gunfight re-enactment shows, street entertainment, fashion shows and a family oriented carnival. In addition, come and watch the Annual Helldorado Parade on Sunday at 11am.
(888) 457-3929. www.tombstonehelldoradodays.com
Tombstone Ghost Tours
Walking tour with a guide, takes you on a lantern stroll after dark throughout the streets of Tombstone. In the Town Too Tough To Die, many have violently lost their lives. Some of the departed chose to stay and haunt the streets and buildings of America's favorite wild west town. Let our Ghost Host guide you with their lantern on a stroll after dark through the haunted streets of Tombstone to hear it's ghostly tales.
6th and Allen St, Tombstone, AZ. (520) 432-3308.
Chiricahua National Monument
A "Wonderland of Rocks" is waiting for you to explore. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site. See beautiful Ryolite formations, lots of wildlife and the Faraway Ranch. From Willcox follow Arizona State Highway 186 for 32 miles to the junction of Arizona State Highway 181. Turn left and 4 miles later you will be at the Chiricahua entrance station. www.nps.gov/Chiricahua
Stunning rocks and great climbing and hiking. It is the place where Cochise and Tom Jeffords met as seen in the movie “Broken Arrow” with Jimmy Stewart.
Take US 191 south 2 miles to Ironwood Road. Turn right (east) on Ironwood Road. www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/coronado/recreation/picnickinginfo/recarea/?recid=25446&actid=70
The Muleshoe Ranch Cooperative Management Area is 49,120 acres of rugged beauty, lush riparian areas and an array of recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts including hiking, walking, wildlife watching, and birding. 30 miles northwest of Willcox. Take I-10 east to exit 340, go south, turn right onto Bisbee Avenue, then right onto Airport Road. Go north for 15 miles to junction just past mailboxes, bear right and continue 14 miles. Turn left into the Headquarters. (520)212-4295. www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/arizona/placesweprotect/muleshoe-ranch-cma.xml
Celebrate Cochise County's unique heritage and culture throughout the year.Upcoming Events Calendar