Geography of Cochise County, Arizona

By | March 12, 2024

Geography of Cochise County, Arizona

Cochise County, located in the southeastern corner of the state of Arizona, is a region of diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Spanning approximately 6,219 square miles, it is one of the largest counties in Arizona. The county is characterized by its rugged mountains, vast deserts, and unique ecosystems, making it a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs, and those seeking to explore the beauty of the American Southwest. Let’s delve into the geography, climate, rivers, lakes, and other features of Cochise County.┬áCheck thembaprograms to learn more about the state of Arizona.


Cochise County is situated in the Basin and Range Province of the southwestern United States, bordered by the state of New Mexico to the east, the state of Sonora in Mexico to the south, Graham County to the north, and Pima County to the west. The geography of Cochise County is defined by its diverse terrain, which includes mountain ranges, valleys, and desert plains.

The county is home to several prominent geographical features, including the Huachuca Mountains to the west, the Dragoon Mountains to the northeast, and the Chiricahua Mountains to the southeast. These mountain ranges rise sharply from the desert floor, creating dramatic landscapes and providing habitat for a variety of wildlife.

In addition to its mountainous areas, Cochise County is also characterized by its desert plains and valleys, including the San Pedro Valley, Sulphur Springs Valley, and Willcox Playa. These valleys are fertile agricultural areas and support a variety of crops, including cotton, alfalfa, and pecans.

The county’s diverse geography has made it a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, rock climbing, and birdwatching.


Cochise County experiences a diverse range of climates, ranging from arid desert conditions to cooler mountain climates. The region’s climate is influenced by its elevation, latitude, and proximity to the Gulf of California.

In the lower elevations of the county, including the desert plains and valleys, the climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters. Average high temperatures in the summer months often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures typically range from the 50s to 70s Fahrenheit. Rainfall is scarce in these areas, with most precipitation occurring during the summer monsoon season from July to September.

In the higher elevations of the county, including the mountain ranges, the climate is cooler and more temperate. Summer temperatures are milder, with average highs in the 80s to 90s Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures can drop below freezing, particularly at night. These areas receive more precipitation than the desert plains, with snowfall occurring in the winter months.

Rivers and Lakes:

Cochise County is home to several rivers, streams, and lakes that provide habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The most significant river in the region is the San Pedro River, which flows northward through the county from its headwaters in Mexico. The San Pedro River is one of the last free-flowing rivers in the Southwest and provides critical habitat for a variety of wildlife, including migratory birds, fish, and mammals.

In addition to the San Pedro River, Cochise County is also intersected by several smaller rivers and streams, including the Babocomari River, the Dragoon Wash, and the Turkey Creek. These waterways meander through the desert landscape, providing habitat for fish and other aquatic species and offering opportunities for fishing, birdwatching, and hiking.

While Cochise County does not have any large natural lakes, there are several reservoirs and ponds scattered throughout the region. These bodies of water provide habitat for fish and other wildlife and offer opportunities for swimming, boating, and picnicking.


In conclusion, Cochise County, Arizona, is a region of diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From its rugged mountains and desert plains to its pristine rivers and lakes, the county offers a wide range of attractions for residents and visitors alike. With its diverse range of climates, hot summers, and mild winters, Cochise County remains a beloved destination for those seeking to experience the beauty and adventure of the American Southwest.