Last time I was at Cochise, several years ago, we stayed at the primitive camprground on the west side. It was great, but as I recall, no facilities. Is it still the same?
This trip we will have more time (6 days) in January. What I was thinking was to spend half of the time on the west side and then drive over to one of the campgrounds on the east side for a few nights to access the climbs in the east stronghold (which I've never been to).
What do people think about this plan?
Any suggestions on recommended campgrounds?
Is the pay site on the east side the only one with outhouses?
Is there a free or pay campground on the east side that is nicest?
Camping at the Isle of Ewe is shaded, level, spacious, and convenient for vehicle access to get to the domes in the backcountry to the north (Whale Dome, Warpaint, ...) as well as the Sheepshead to the south. Additionally, the single pitch cragging while belaying from your chair next to the fire ring is hard to beat. It's also easy to get out of the wind there (which was a huge problem for us in March).
My vote is for the campground at the Isle of Ewe/ Sweet Rock area. Still no facilities. I have not visited the east side.
By Ryan Williams Administrator From London (sort of) Nov 13, 2012
I think the pay site is the only one with facilities. There are a few different areas near the pay site with free camping sites. I don't remember much, but we didn't have a guide or anything and seemed to find a nice spot on that side for free.
East is awesome. Dont visit again without climbing on the east side.
When primitive camping for an extended period of time I find it least intrusive to dig a pit style latrine. We used a long handled shovel and dug about 3' into the soil and used that hole for about 6 days.
Sprinkle a bit of sand over each deposit to prevent odor and keep flies away and DO NOT urinate in the hole of the microorganisms that aid in decomposition will not be able to function as they are aerobic.
Least obtrusive would be a river style ammo can and disposal elsewhere...
If you camp on the east side you will have access (3mi on good road) to gas, food & water in the Sunsites community. There is pay or free camping there and better/more climbing on that side. The westside only has free camping and no access to bathrooms or water. Closest services would be back out middlemarch road to Tombstone which is a rougher road.
Either way you will have fun. Maybe split your time on each side.