Bisbee - Pop. 6,300. Elevation
5,300'. Bisbee became internationally renowned
in the 1880's with the discovery of the Copper
Queen Lode. By the early 1900s, Bisbee was
the largest city between St. Louis and San
Francisco. But, by the early 1970's most of
the mines had closed and the miner's shacks
had been replaced with artist studios. Today,
over 100 resident artists with more than 25
galleries and studios, and a culture geared
to encouraging art and history make Bisbee
a year round place to stop on a Quick Getaway.
It's a good place to spend the night (click
Approved Lodgings). Plan to take a tour
of the Queen Mine, a walk through the downtown
shops & galleries and a visit to the Bisbee
Mining & Historical museum. For information
call the Bisbee Information Center, (866) 224-7233
or (520) 432-5421.
Located on I-10 at the eastern end of our "Copper
Horseshoe," Willcox is
the gateway to the Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise
Stronghold and the deserts of southern Arizona.
At one time, Willcox was considered the cattle
capitol of the nation. The 3,733 residents
of Willcox are proud of their cowboy heritage
and their favorite cowboy, Rex Allen, who was
raised there. The town holds Rex Allen Days
on the first weekend of October every year.
Visitors will want to see the Rex Allen Museum
and Cowboy Hall of Fame (on Railroad Ave).
Pop. 3,824. Elevation 3,576'. In the early
1900's, the community grew along with the demand
for copper and silver, which were mined in
the San Pedro Valley and shipped to Benson
for smelting and distribution via the railroad.
Today, Benson provides important services to
travelers on Interstate 10 and is a gateway
for tourists visiting southeastern Arizona
and Kartchner Caverns. Benson Visitors Center:
520-586-2245 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stronghold - Cochise Stronghold
is located west of Sunsites, Arizona in
the Dragoon Mountains at an elevation of
5,000 ft. This rugged natural fortress
was, for some 15 years, the home and base
of operations for the famed Chiricahua
Apache Chief, Cochise. Cochise and about
1,000 of his followers, of whom some 250
were warriors, located here. Good hiking
Getting There: At exit 331 (e. of
Benson), take U.S. 191 south from I-10 about
18 miles to Sunsites, AZ. Turn west on Ironwood
Rd. 9 miles to campground entrance. No services.
Caverns Discovered in 1974,
the cave's existence became public knowledge
in 1988 when it became an Arizona State
Park. Extraordinary precautions have been
taken to make the cave accessible to the
public while conserving it as a "living" cave.
See Soda straw formations, a 58-foot-high
column (Kubla Khan) said to be the state's
tallest, and first occurrences of turnip
shields and birds nest needle quartz formations.
The skeleton of a Shasta ground sloth from
the Pleistocene period is among the fossil
finds. Within the 550-acre park are a discovery
center with exhibits and interactive displays,
an interpretive nature path and 5 miles
of hiking trails. Picnicking is permitted.
Food is available. Campgrounds with hookups
are available for $22 per night.
Getting There: 9 mi. s. of I-10 on
SR 90 (just west of Benson).
Admission: $10 per private vehicle
(up to 4 persons and $1 each additional person).
Cave tour $14 (ages 7-13, $6). Cameras are
not permitted in the cave. Reservations
Hours: Daily 7:30am - 6:00pm. Closed
Dec. 25. Guided 1-hour cave tours are given
every 15 minutes 8:40-4:40
National Monument - 12,000
acres in the Chiricahua Mountains about
31 miles southeast of Willcox on State
Route 186. The mountains rise above the
surrounding grasslands to elevations ranging
between 5,100 and 7,800 feet. Drive to
the top for spectacular views of the surrounding
valley and unique volcanic columns. Daily
tours of the Faraway Ranch house tell about
the Swedish immigrant family that settled
in the area. Mecca for hikers (17 miles
of trails) and birders (hummers, orioles,
more). The Monument is also home to animals
not often seen in other parts of the Sonoran
Desert--white-tailed deer, bears, and mountain
Not strictly part of the Copper Horseshoe drive
trip, Bowie was named after Old Fort Bowie.
For more than 30 years Fort Bowie and Apache
Pass were the focal point of military operations
eventually culminating in the surrender of
Geronimo in 1886. The Fort Bowie National Historic
Site is 14 miles south of Bowie. Remnants of
the old Fort have been preserved.
Pop. 13,780+, elevation 3,955'. Douglas lies
right across the border from the Mexican town
of Agua Prieta. In 1901, Douglas was founded
as the site of a smelter to process copper
from the mines in nearby Bisbee. Maps for self-guided
historical tours are available at the Douglas
Chamber of Commerce 1125 Pan American Ave.,
Douglas AZ 85607 or phone (520) 364-2477.
Sierra Vista -
Pop 38,710. Established in 1877, Sierra Vista
hosts Ft. Huachuca, home of the U.S. Army Intelligence
Center. A nature lover's paradise, Sierra Vista
lies on the slopes of the Huachuca Mountains,
a haven for bird and wildlife, with more than
170 species, including 14 species of hummingbirds.
Visit Coronado National Memorial, San Pedro
Riparian Conservation Area and Ramsey Canyon
Preserve. This area could (and will) be an
Arizona Outing all by itself. Visitors Information
What exactly did happen at the OK Corral? See
the Earps and Doc Holliday fight the McLaurys
and Clantons in daily reenactments. "The
Town Too Tough to Die" offers numerous
tourist attractions, stores, historical sites
and museums including:
- The Bird Cage Theatre at 6th and Allen
Street. It remains virtually unchanged
- Boothill Graveyard, at the north city limits
just off AZ Highway contains 250 marked graves
- Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
-- Built in 1882, it was a stylish building
as well as a symbol of law and stability
in those turbulent time