Dragoon Mountains

Dragoon Mountains banner scene. Photo from: www.saguaro-juniper.com.

PHOTOS

Forest sign near the entrance to Cochise Stronghold Campground.
This is the Forest sign near the entrance to Cochise Stronghold Campground. This is one of the few well maintained roads into this mountain range. Photo by Charlie McDonald.

An evergreen oak woodland is in the foreground of this photo with the granite slopes that form the core of the Dragoon Mountains in the background.
An evergreen oak woodland is in the foreground of this photo with the granite slopes that form the core of the Dragoon Mountains in the background. Photo by Charlie McDonald.

Granite boulders in the Dragoon Mountains.
The granite boulders in the Dragoon Mountains make good habitat for desert ferns. Photo by Charlie McDonald.

High Point: Mount Glenn, 7,532 feet

Elevation Change from Base: 2,932 feet

Vegetation at Highest Elevations: oak-pine forest

The Dragoon Mountains are a small range only about 25 miles long. These mountains are steep and rugged with forests confined to a few north facing slopes at the higher elevations. The mountain slopes at lower elevations support scattered evergreen oaks, desert forbs, and grasses.

Special Places:

  • Cochise Stronghold: In the 1860s, the charismatic Chiricahua Apache leader, Cochise, adopted the rugged canyons that cross the midsection of the Dragoon Mountains as a refuge for himself and his people. One feature of this natural fortress was that two rocky canyons, one from each side of the mountain range, nearly meet high in the Dragoons. No one knows how many times Cochise and his people used these two canyons and the trail that connects them to move across these mountains. Today, there is a Forest Service campground in the western canyon. It has a 0.4 mile self-guided loop trail that wanders among the yucca, cactus and rocks providing an introduction to a number of desert plants as well as some of the principles of desert ecology. A hiking and equestrian trail from the campground follows Cochise’s old escape route across the mountain range.

Special Plants:

  • Hexalectris colemanii
  • Lupinus lemmonii
  • Penstemon discolor