The less used western trailhead to the Stronghold may be reached by several unpaved roads including Old Ranch Road
from the north (starting at Dragoon), FR 687
from the south, starting along Middlemarch Road, and Stronghold Canyon Road
, the main route, from the west (from Saint David). The three routes meet near the edge of the mountains and the latter continues 3 miles along a valley to the trailhead, but this section is rough in places and generally requires a 4WD vehicle. In contrast, the eastern approach is suitable for all vehicles, even quite large RVs. This is via Ironwood Road
starting from US 191 near Sunsites; the road is dead straight for 5 miles, crossing flat, sparsely-settled land, to a junction with Cochise Stronghold Road, this providing an alternative, northwards approach, from the vicinity of Dragoon.
Beyond the junction, Ironwood Road, now gravel, continues west a short distance across even emptier land, past a few side tracks to potential free camping places, and also several residences, then bends south and enters the wooded valley of Cochise Creek (Stronghold Canyon
), which also contains a few houses, and other buildings. The road is bumpy where it crosses the streambed (five times), but the amount of water is usually very low, and there should be no difficulties in reaching the campground, where the road ends. One short side road leads to Kerwin and Carlink canyons, two wooded, trailless, steep-sided ravines also within Coronado National Forest, but most people are here for the Stronghold.
The campground is a quiet and peaceful location, suitable for RVs up to 30 feet long, as well as smaller vehicles, and tents. All is shady, set amongst large oak and pine trees, resulting in only dappled sunlight on the forest floor, and limited views of the mountains, but the place is very popular, and may fill up at weekends during spring and fall. The camp is open all winter but closes for three months in summer, when high temperatures make hiking less enjoyable. The sites are quite close together. Fees are $10 per night, $5 for day use or hiking. The 0.4 mile Stronghold Nature Trail
loops across the slopes bordering the south edge of the campground, and has notices identifying some of the common plants, while the main hiking path - the 4.5 mile Cochise Trail
- branches off to the south.