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Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Pictographs at Council Rocks

We visited Council Rocks last year, but this slipped through the blogging cracks.   The Dragoon Mountains are one of our favorite places to go explore.  The fantastic rock formations are thrilling to climb on and explore around.  On the west side of the Dragoon Mountains, toward the center of the range is Council Rocks.  It's one of the more notable places in the Dragoon Mountains, which are well endowed with history in and of themselves.  Council Rocks is a place the Apache Indians used to meet in council.
Council Rocks forms a natural amphitheater, and was used frequently as the pictographs and grinding holes in the area attest.  Cochise and Geronimo are two of the most famous Apaches, and both of them wandered the Dragoon Mountains.  It is not unreasonable to state that both of them were familiar with Council Rocks.
As we explored, we found one large stone ledge that was pockmarked with grinding holes.  It's amazing to think of how much food was prepared here! 
The pictographs are one of the greatest attractions of Council Rocks.  There is one large panel with a sign in front of it, but if you explore the area further and crawl in other crevices and cracks there are many more pictographs to be found.  We found several of them without really looking.
At the base of many of the rock outcroppings, small ferns grow in the cracks.  It's amazing to think that there are ferns that grow in the middle of a desert, but they do in the Dragoon Mountains!
Nearest City: Tombstone, AZ
Location: Take Middlemarch Road east, then turn north right after crossing the cattleguard along the front of the Dragoon Mountains.  Drive to the parking area, then hike in.
Time Needed: several hours
Kid Friendly: yes
Additional Info:

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