|The Dos Cabezas ("Two Heads") Peaks are two dramatic rock outcrops that top the Dos Cabezas Mountains in southeast Arizona, between the city of Willcox and the Chiricahua Mountains. The notable summit is easily visible from Interstate-10 in southeast Arizona, with the best access coming from the north and west via the city of Willcox. The USGS topographical map lists an elevation of 8,354 feet, but this is for the benchmark which is located on the northern summit. The southern summit is higher by a few feet, and this has been conclusively demonstrated by various climbers over the years. Many people will seek both summits during the outing, but range highpointers can be satisfied with the southern summit only.|
Despite the imposing appearance, there is a convenient ledge and ramp system on the south face of the south summit that allows for reasonably easy access to the top. Parts of the ledge are exposed, but never too bad. There are a couple chutes higher up that are class 3 with some exposure and some awkward positioning, but most fit hikers with some bravery can easily handle these impediments. The north summit is usually achieved by dropping into the notch and up more chutes. I personally did not climb this, but others said the rock and exposure was about the same as the south face, perhaps a shade under class 4.
Most of the range is public/BLM, with a large segment of it protected as wilderness. However, the summit lies outside the wilderness boundaries. Unfortunately, most of the lower slopes and surrounding valleys are privately owned, and the landowners have little interest in allowing public access into the range. In previous years, hikers could start walking along Mascot Mine Road in the village of Dos Cabezas through an easement, but this has been shut, effectively barring access. This issue has become a point of contention, and some lawsuits have compelled at least one landowner to grudgingly allow access through organized hikes with the Southern Arizona Hiking Club, or through people with connections. Otherwise, you are out of luck, or may need to scamper on your own across these posted lands.
|From Willcox on Interstate 10, drive about 15 miles southeast on State Route AZ-186 to the small town of Dos Cabezas. Turn left at the green Mascot Mine street sign. If you have no permission to proceed farther, admire the summit from this vantage and emit a small sigh of frustration.|
If you do have permission to proceed, drive onward and up Mascot Canyon. Another gate at the second landowner's property comes after about 3 miles. Assuming you get past this, you can drive ever upward on the main road to a saddle immediately east of the radio tower, elevation 7,220 feet. The total driving distance is about 6 miles up steep, exposed roads. The roads are in pretty good shape, given they access a couple active tower complexes up here. However, a beefy vehicle and 4-wheel drive is a good idea. The roads on the map are accurate.
The Mascot Mine itself comes about a mile past the second gate. A couple of concreted adits can be found here along with tailings and old buildings in disrepair.
This link includes some phone numbers (but no names) that you can call to try to arrange permission.