Willcox is a city in Cochise County, Arizona. The city is located in the Sulphur Springs Valley, a flat and sparsely populated drainage basin dotted with seasonal lakes. The city is surrounded by Arizona's most prominent mountain ranges, including the Pinaleño Mountains and the Chiricahua Mountains.
6 of Arizona's 10 largest mountains are located within a 70-mile radius including Mount Graham (31 miles north) which is Arizona's most prominent mountain, Chiricahua Peak (42 miles southeast), Mount Lemmon (57 miles west), Miller Peak (65 miles southwest), Mica Mountain (41 miles east), and Mount Wrightson (70 miles southwest). Scores of birds including Sandhill Cranes winter in the area, with some migrating from as far away as Siberia. A very large dry lakebed, the Willcox Playa, is located 5 miles south of the city. It is the remnant of the Ice Age-era Lake Cochise.
Willcox's high desert climate gives it large diurnal temperature variation, making it ideal for wine cultivation.
Originally known as "Maley", the town was founded in 1880 as a whistlestop on the Southern Pacific Railroad because of its position approximately halfway between El Paso, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona. It was renamed in honor of a visit by General Orlando B. Willcox in 1889.