TOMBSTONE — Southeastern Arizona’s craggy mountain ranges, spectacular rock formations and riparian landscapes are just some of the natural features that contribute to the region’s diverse beauty.

Multiple trails crisscross this southeastern-most corner of the state, allowing access to horseback riding, hiking, off-roading and other outdoor activities.

Cochise County’s wide open spaces and old west history are why Tombstone Equine Company co-owners Penny Benson and Tieh Streety were drawn to this area.

“We came to Tombstone from Cave Creek in 2019 with our horses and mules and relocated our trail riding business here,” Benson said. “We loved Cave Creek, but it was getting too crowded.”

Tombstone Equine Company offers horseback riding excursions for all experience levels.

“We have horses and mules that we rent, and we welcome people who want to bring their own horses for a guided tour,” Benson said. “Both Tieh and I are passionate about horseback riding and we enjoy sharing our knowledge of horses with others.”

Trail rides are tailored to the customers, with one-, two- and three-hour rides, as well as packages that include all-day and sunset rides.

“Most of our customers request the two-hour loop ride, which starts at the historic old ghost town of Fairbank, then winds around different points of interest along the San Pedro River,” Benson said.

Located within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, Fairbank is nestled between Whetstone and Tombstone along State Route 82. Settled in 1881 as a railroad stop, remnants of the once-bustling town are still visible.

“Fairbank is rich with history,” said Streety while saddling a mustang before heading out on one of the guided rides. “Visitors are always fascinated by the old railroad beds, train trestles and silver mills from Tombstone’s mining heyday. There’s even an 1880s cemetery.”

Sprawling cottonwood trees lining the San Pedro River create a haven for wildlife. The riders encounter deer, javelina and an occasional coyote while exploring the area. A wide variety of bird species is another natural attraction riders enjoy.

While the San Pedro Riparian area is a popular trail riding destination, for those who prefer more challenging rides head for the hills and tackle rugged terrain found in the Dragoon, Chiricahua, Whetstone and Huachuca mountains.

“The trail options in Cochise County are vast,” said Benson, who has been a professional trail guide since 2004. “Some of our future plans are to hold breakfast and sunset dinner riders. All of our rides are by appointment only because each ride is customized to suit the needs of our clients. We fit the appropriate horse and tack the rider. So give us a call at 520-255-4441, or check us out on Facebook at Tombstone Equine Company. Our email address is tombstoneequinecompany@yahoo.com.”