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Southeast Arizona

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Southeast Arizona is a region of grand desert, with a few "sky islands" of mountainous country, some of it superbly scenic.


Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

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By plane[edit]

Tucson International Airport (IATA: TUS), 7250 S Tucson Blvd, 520-573-8000, [1]. Served by a number of airlines, this is the closest airport with commercial service. There is shuttle service available to Sierra Vista [2]

By train[edit]

Benson is the only city with an Amtrak station [3] at 105 E 4th St. It is served by two routes: the Sunset Limited [4] and Texas Eagle [5].

By car[edit]

Interstate 10 (I-10) is the main thoroughfare, with access from the northwest from Tucson and from the east from New Mexico.

Get around[edit]

A car is essential as there is no public transportation. To access some of the more remote off-road areas, a four-wheel drive is recommended.

See[edit][add listing]

Outdoors[edit]

  • Coronado National Memorial, S Coronado Memorial Drive (off of South Highway 92), [6]. 8am-4pm (Visitor Center). This memorial commemorates the expedition by conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, and has several scenic hiking trails of different levels of difficulty. Coronado Peak offers great views into Mexico, and is accessible via a short trail from the graded dirt road of Montezuma Pass. Free.  edit
  • Kartchner Caverns State Park, (9 miles south of Benson on Hwy 90), (520) 586-2283, [7]. 8am - 5pm daily. A living limestone cave with beautiful speleothems. The park also offers two scenic hiking trails and a campground with water. Reservations for the cave tour are required. $22.95 (cave admission). (31°50′15″N,110°20′50″W) edit
  • Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, N Coffman Rd (near McNeal and Double Adobe), [8]. An outstanding bird-watching site where 20,000 sandhill cranes winter each year, along with numerous other avian species and wildlife. The best time to see the cranes is from December until February in the early morning and afternoon, although other wildlife can be seen here year-round. Free. (31.561606,-109.719908) edit
  • Dragoon Mountains, (western access: turn east off of Hwy 80 onto Middlemarch Rd; eastern access: turn west off of Hwy 191 onto W Ironwood Rd), 520-364-3468, [9]. With very rugged terrain, the Dragoons provided refuge for the Chiricahua Apaches during the Apache Wars of the 19th century, and offer excellent hiking, rock climbing, and camping opportunities. Notable areas to explore include Cochise Stronghold, Council Rocks, Texas Canyon, and Dragoon Springs. The area is managed by the Coronado National Forest; maps and hiking information can be obtained from the Douglas Ranger District office. Free.  edit
  • Chiricahua Mountains, south of Willcox, north of Douglas, east of Portal. (Access from Hwy 80, Hwy 181, Hwy 186), 520-364-3468 (Douglas Ranger District), [10]. South of Chiricahua National Monument, managed by the Coronado National Forest Service. The area features excellent bird-watching and wildlife viewing opportunities, as well as hiking and camping. Unfortunately much of the range sustained damage in 2011 as a result of the Horseshoe II wildfire; however many trails have been repaired and the forest is now open to the public. Maps and trail information can be obtained from the Douglas Ranger District Office. Free.  edit

Historic sites[edit]

  • Amerind Foundation, 2100 N. Amerind Rd., Dragoon (one mile south of I-10, between Benson and Willcox), [11]. 10am-4pm Tues-Sun. A private museum dedicated to the preservation of Native American cultures and histories, with special events and educational programs. Located in scenic Texas Canyon. $8 adults, children free.  edit
  • Fort Bowie National Historic Site, Apache Pass Rd. (drive 20 miles south of Willcox on State Road #186, then 8 miles on unpaved road to trailhead), 520-847-2500, [12]. 8am-4:30pm (Visitor Center); sunrise-sunset (trails). A ruined army fort which played a pivotal role in the Apache Wars of the 19th century, and abandoned in 1894. The fort ruins are accessible via a 1.5-mile trail, which also passes by the remains of a Butterfield stagecoach station and a historic cemetery. Free. (32° 8′ 46″ N,109° 26′ 8″ W) edit
  • Fairbank Historic Townsite, Hwy 82 (east of Whetstone, just east of the San Pedro River), [13]. Dawn to dusk. A ghost town which once functioned as transit point for Tombstone, with an even wilder reputation. The town has been incorporated into the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, and a number of buildings remain, with the former schoolhouse now functioning as a gift shop. The old nearby cemetery is also worth a visit, and can be found along a foot trail heading north of the town. Free. (31° 43′ 23″ N,110° 11′ 18″ W) edit
  • Slaughter Ranch Museum, 6153 Geronimo Trail, Douglas (east of Douglas), [14]. 9:30am-3:30pm W-Su. Formerly known as the San Bernardino Ranch, the ranch was once the home of gunfighter and Civil War veteran John Slaughter. The buildings have been restored and declared a National Historic Landmark. Free, donations gratefully accepted.  edit
  • Murray Springs Clovis Site, Moson Rd (From Sierra Vista, head east on Hwy 90 four miles to Moson Rd, head north 1.1 mile to the entrance road on the east side), 520-439-6400, [15]. Dawn to dusk. One of the oldest archeological sites in North America, used by nomadic hunters approximately 12,000-13,000 years ago to pursue large game, including woolly mammoth. The site is managed as part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, and has several trails, including a .3-mile long interpretative trail with exhibits and shade. Free.  edit
  • Charleston & Millville Historic Townsite, E Charleston Rd, east of Sierra Vista (parking is just east of the San Pedro River, on the north side of the road), 520-439-6400, [16]. Remains of two ghost towns, both of which were founded in 1879 and completely abandoned by 1889. The sites have now been incorporated into the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area; an interpretative trail leads past some of the remains as well as past some pre-Columbian petroglyphs. Watch out for rattlesnakes! Free. (+31° 37' 48.75,-110° 10' 22.52) edit
  • Camp Naco (Fort Naco, Camp Newell), S Wilson Rd and W Newell St, Naco (west of Bisbee, south of Hwy 92). The only remaining fort on the US-Mexico border, built in 1917 to protect the US border from sustained fighting during the Mexican Revolution. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and some buildings have been partially restored. Unfortunately due to vandalism most buildings are behind a chain link fence, but they can still be seen from the road.  edit

Itineraries[edit]

  • Ghost Town Trail, Gleeson, Courtland, Pearce, and Cochise (west of Tombstone). Begin in Tombstone on Gleeson Rd, which becomes a graded dirt road. The Gleeson Cemetery will be on your left, a short distance before the townsite. Remains of Gleeson include a saloon, schoolhouse, hospital, and newly restored jail (31° 44′ 2″ N, 109° 49′ 47″ W) [17]. Head north to Courtland (31° 46′ 12″ N, 109° 48′ 31″ W) on N Gleeson-Pearce Rd, aka Ghost Town Trail, which has just a couple of ruined structures remaining. Go further on to Pearce (31° 54′ 18″ N, 109° 49′ 14″ W), with two structures on the National Register of Historic Places: the Old Pearce General Store and Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. From here continue on Hwy 191 to see Cochise and the historic Cochise Hotel (32° 6′ 17.36″ N, 109° 55′ 19.64″ W).  edit

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