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The old mining town of Bisbee, set deep in canyons of the Mule Mountains, has a lot of character. Starting as a tiny mining camp in 1877, the demand for copper ore by the new electrical industries transformed Bisbee into a solid and wealthy town by 1910. More than 50 saloons roared in Brewery Gulch during the early 1900s. Today you can stroll the twisting streets and admire the many commercial buildings, Victorian houses, and churches built during the boom years. Perhaps start your visit at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum for an excellent historic overview and a look at the many colorful minerals unearthed at Bisbee. Staff at the ...

The old mining town of Bisbee, set deep in canyons of the Mule Mountains, has a lot of character. Starting as a tiny mining camp in 1877, the demand for copper ore by the new electrical industries transformed Bisbee into a solid and wealthy town by 1910. More than 50 saloons roared in Brewery Gulch during the early 1900s. Today you can stroll the twisting streets and admire the many commercial buildings, Victorian houses, and churches built during the boom years. Perhaps start your visit at the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum for an excellent historic overview and a look at the many colorful minerals unearthed at Bisbee. Staff at the nearby Bisbee Visitor Center can make suggestions for walking tours and, if you are keen, supply a map for the Bisbee 1000, The Great Stair Climb! At the famous Copper Queen Mine across the highway, retired miners will fit you out in helmet, lamp, and yellow slicker for a ride deep underground, then explain how miners dug out the rich copper ore. Jeep tours will take you up steep narrow lanes that few but locals have the courage to tackle. Historic hotels and bed and breakfasts abound in Bisbee. Local cafes have lots of character, and some feature fine dining.

Bill Weir
About the Expert

Bill Weir is the author of Moon Handbooks on Arizona, Utah and the Grand Canyon.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year, with spring and autumn offering the most comfortable temperatures. The mile-high elevation moderates summer's heat. Snow can arrive in winter, but rarely lasts long.