FKT: Matthew Matta - Cochise Stronghold Loop (AZ) - 2021-01-29

Route variation
Standard loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4h 55m 59s
GPS track(s)

On January 29, 2021 I ran the Cochise Stronghold Loop in SE Arizona. I started from Middlemarch Canyon at 9:14am and went clockwise. The first 10 miles or so are on forest road, up and over the ridge to the W side of the range. After that you go back and forth between singletrack and forest roads, climbing back up to the Stronghold Divide. Down on singletrack, up a short canyon to the top of Middlemarch Canyon, then back to the car.

It was in the upper 40s at the start and low 60s by the finish, a beautiful day, but I could have started earlier to keep the temperatures lower. There was a dusting of snow up high. I ran by myself, unsupported, drinking a little more than 1 1/2 liters of water and eating 700 calories. I would have had trouble finding water to filter but apparently you can find some in streams if it’s been raining recently.

I didn’t see any other runners though there were a lot of people on quads, some on mountain bikes, and some camping. I saw a few cows. There were some thorny plants on the singletrack on the NW side of the loop but they weren’t terrible. Pretty decent Verizon coverage, especially on the W side of the ridge. This is a beautiful area with many side trails to explore.