Things to do

There is something to do for everyone in Arizona’s Copper Corridor!  Shopping, hiking and dining and so much more.  You will find yourself immersed in an authentic Arizona adventure!  Check out one of these unique itineraries to help you plan your trip!

Vistas and Ventures: A Day in Arizona’s Copper Corridor
1-Day Itinerary – From Phoenix

Only have one day? That’s plenty of time to get a taste of the rich local flavor and stunning beauty of Arizona’s Copper Corridor. As you traverse scenic routes 177 and 77, you’ll see an awe-inspiring scene of mountain peaks, saguaro cacti and unique Arizona treasures around every bend.

Start early and head east on Route 60 to start your day in Superior (~1 hour). First stop is Picketpost trailhead for a hike along the Arizona Trail (budget as much time as you’d like and be sure to bring your water bottle!). Did you know the Arizona Trail is 8,000 miles long and connects Mexico to Utah?

After hiking to your heart’s desire, stop by Superior’s Caboose Visitor Center on the left side of the road to talk with the locals and stock up on information for your Copper Corridor visit. Grab a selfie with the caboose before heading on your way, and don’t miss seeing the ore cart sculpture, showcasing the area’s rich mining history. (15 minutes)

Refuel with a beverage and light snack on Superior’s Main Street and peruse the treasures in their boutique shops before continuing on your journey through the Copper Corridor (1-2 hours). As you get back on the road, follow signs for 177 to Kearny (~ 30 min drive). Be sure to stop off at the ASARCO viewpoint before you reach Kearny. A trip to Copper Corridor isn’t complete without seeing this expansive copper mine.

You’re approaching Winkelman, Arizona’s oldest and smallest incorporated town. Gaze at the beautiful Gila River and historic bridge and stock up on water at Winkelman’s convenience store before turning right onto 77 toward Oracle. You spot another ore cart as you drive through Mammoth. Stop for another selfie to commemorate your trip.
Turn left onto American Avenue to reach Oracle’s dining district. Sit down for lunch at Oracle Inn Steakhouse. You’ll feel like a local as you enter this friendly establishment and local favorite.

A must-see attraction in the Copper Corridor is Biosphere 2, a living Earth system with seven ecosystems all under one roof. To get there, turn left onto AZ 77. A short distance down the road make another left and follow signs to Biosphere 2. Smell the ocean, explore a tropical rainforest, and walk through the desert in this world-renowned science center and research facility, named one of 50 Must-See Wonders of the World by Time Life Books. (Tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes, but leave time to take in the exhibits and film at the visitor center.)

If time allows, stop by Arizona Zipline Adventures to take in the spectacular view or get in another short hike and watch the zipliners fly by.

After a full day making Copper Corridor memories, you head back north to Phoenix (~2 hours) or south to Tucson (~1 hour 15 minutes), your next Arizona destination!

Copper, Cacti, and Culinary Delights in Arizona’s Copper Corridor
2-Day Itinerary – From Phoenix

Day 1
Expansive beauty and rich local flavor await you in Arizona’s Copper Corridor. As you traverse scenic routes 77 and 177, you’ll see an awe-inspiring scene of mountain peaks, saguaro cacti and unique Arizona treasures around every bend.

Start your journey on Route 60 going east to beautiful Superior (~1 hour drive). Your first stop is Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. At Boyce Thompson Arboretum, discover the intricate beauty of plants from the world’s deserts, towering trees, captivating cacti, sheer mountain cliffs, a streamside forest, panoramic vistas, many natural habitats with varied wildlife, a desert lake, a hidden canyon, specialty gardens and more (2-3 hours).

After a morning of botanic beauty, continue your journey into Superior, a gateway to the Copper Corridor. Stop by Superior’s Caboose Visitor Center on the left side of the road to talk with the locals and stock up on information for your Copper Corridor visit. Grab a selfie with the caboose before heading on your way, and don’t miss seeing the ore cart sculpture, showcasing the area’s rich mining history. (15 minutes)

Sit down for lunch on Superior’s Main Street (Porter’s Café is just one of the many local favorites). Pop into the Bob Jones Museum operated by the Superior Historical Society to learn about the rich mining history and culture of the area. And peruse the treasures in Superior’s boutique shops before continuing on your journey through the Copper Corridor. (2-3 hours)

Time to hop on the road again and take in the stunning sights along scenic route 177 toward Kearny (~ 30 min drive). Be sure to stop off at the ASARCO viewpoint to take in the expansive copper mine, one of many mining sites from which the Copper Corridor gets its name.

Before you reach Kearny, it’s time for some outdoor fun on the Arizona Trail as you drive to Florence-Kelvin trailhead. From 177, turn right onto Florence-Kelvin Highway as you approach the railroad tracks (if you cross the railroad tracks you’ve gone to far). Follow the highway as it turns into dirt road and you’ll soon see trailhead parking on your left. On a longer trip you may choose to hike the entire 8,000 miles of the Arizona Trail, but today just a short jaunt is in order. Astounding views and the great landscape of Arizona’s desert await for your enjoyment as you hike or bike as long as you’d like (be sure to bring your water bottle). (1+ hours)

After a full day, it’s time to spend a relaxing night along your Copper Corridor journey at the General Kearny Inn. Dinner and drinks can be enjoyed right there at GKI, or one of the dining options just down the street, such as Old Time Pizza.

Day 2
After a restful night in Kearny, grab breakfast at West End Café, a popular spot with the locals, as well as pilots using the nearby airport.

It’s back on 177 towards Winkelman. Stock up on water for the day at Winkelman’s convenience store and take in the beauty of the Gila River and historic bridge before turning right onto 77 toward Oracle. You spot another ore cart as you drive through Mammoth. Stop for a selfie to commemorate your trip!

Named one of 50 Must-See Wonders of the World by Time Life Books, visiting Biosphere 2 is a unique site not to be missed. From 77, turn left into Biosphere 2 and follow signs for visitor parking. Smell the ocean, explore a tropical rainforest, and walk through the desert in this world-renowned science center and research facility. Biosphere 2 is a living Earth system with seven ecosystems all under one roof and is the world’s largest earth science laboratory. (Tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes, but leave time to take in the exhibits and film at the visitor center.)

Turn right on to 77, and make another right just up the road onto American Avenue to head into Oracle, known for its eclectic artists. Grab a bite to eat at local favorite, Oracle Patio Café. The fresh and creative flavors, as well the joyful artwork on the walls, will quickly make this your local favorite as well.

Get ready for an exciting ride at southern Arizona’s longest zipline tour at Arizona Zipline Adventures. Fly along five separate ziplines while taking in the breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert and the striking mountain ranges surrounding you. Whether you’re up for riding the five ziplines or just want to take in the atmosphere, Arizona Zipline Adventures is a great place to relax and enjoy an Arizona day. (Reservations required. Three-hour zipline tour, but schedule more time for enjoying the area.)

A wonderful weekend in the Copper Corridor has you planning your return visit. For now, continue on to Tucson for their culinary treasures and the cacti of Saguaro National Park, or continue farther south to discover the art scene of Bisbee, Arizona.

Vistas and Ventures: A Day in Arizona’s Copper Corridor
1 Day Itinerary – From Tucson

Expansive beauty and rich local flavor await you in Arizona’s Copper Corridor. As you traverse scenic routes 77 and 177, you’ll see an awe-inspiring scene of mountain peaks, saguaro cacti and unique Arizona treasures around every bend.

From Tucson, head north on Arizona 77 toward Oracle. Your first stop is Biosphere 2, named one of 50 Must-See Wonders of the World by Time Life Books, and a world-renowned science center and research facility. Here you’ll smell the ocean, explore tropical rainforest, and walk through desert in this living Earth system with seven ecosystems all under one roof. (Tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes, but leave time to take in the exhibits and film at the visitor center.)

After leaving the Biosphere, turn right to get back on AZ 77 and follow it just up the road for another right onto American Avenue to take you into Oracle. Sit down for a nice breakfast at local favorite, Oracle Patio Café. The fresh and creative flavors, as well as the joyful artwork, will start your morning right. Before you leave, peruse the Market and stock up on snacks for the day. (Be sure to get a piece of their famous pie for an afternoon treat!)

Pop into the Tri-Community Visitors Center up the road to get the latest info and brochures on visiting the area, and also admire the paintings and creations of local artists (~15 minutes).

Enjoy the ideal Arizona weather and take in a bit of the great outdoors as you drive down the road to Oracle State Park or hike/bike the Arizona Trail from American Flag trailhead or Tiger Mine trailhead (1+ hours).

If adventure’s on your mind, make a reservation ahead of time at Arizona Zipline Adventures. Get ready for an exciting ride at southern Arizona’s longest zipline tour. Fly through five ziplines and take in the breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert and the striking mountain ranges surrounding you. Whether you’re up for riding the five ziplines or just want to take in the atmosphere, Arizona Zipline Adventures is a great place to relax and enjoy an Arizona day. (Reservations required. Three-hour zipline tour, but schedule more time for enjoying the atmosphere.)

After enjoying the treasures of Oracle, hop back on 77 going north toward Mammoth. It’s selfie time, as you spot an ore cart sculpture in Mammoth, part of the ore cart trail commemorating the Copper Corridor’s rich mining history.

As you approach Winkelman, stop to take in the beauty of the Gila River and historic bridge, before turning onto 177 north to Kearny. Stop at one of Kearny’s restaurants or thrift shops to stretch your legs and enjoy another quaint community of the Copper Corridor.

When you get back on the road, you’ll be headed north on 177 toward Superior for more stunning views (~ 30 min drive). Be sure to stop off at the ASARCO viewpoint on your right-hand side to take in the expansive copper mine, one of many mining sites from which the Copper Corridor gets its name.

Colorful buildings catch your eye as you approach Superior. Take time to peruse the treasures in the boutique shops of Superior’s Main Street and pop into the Bob Jones Museum operated by the Superior Historical Society to learn about the rich mining history and culture of the area. (1 hour)

Next stop is Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. At Boyce Thompson Arboretum, discover the intricate beauty of plants from the world’s deserts, towering trees, captivating cacti, sheer mountain cliffs, a streamside forest, panoramic vistas, many natural habitats with varied wildlife, a desert lake, a hidden canyon, specialty gardens and more. Take your time and explore to your heart’s desire. (2-3 hours)

Your camera is full of beautiful photos and you are full of memorable experiences as you end your day in the Copper Corridor. Enjoy sunset dining at Porter’s Café on Main Street in Superior before your leave, or take Highway 60 west to your next Arizona destination, sunny Phoenix!
Traversing the Trails and Treasures of Arizona’s Copper Corridor
2-Day Itinerary – From Tucson

Day 1
Beyond the borders of Tucson, expansive vistas of cacti and desert beauty greet you as you drive north on Arizona 77 toward Oracle (~1 hour). Grab a light snack before you hit the road, as the first stop is Biosphere 2. You’ll be turning right off of AZ 77 to start your tour of this world-renowned science center and research facility. Here you’ll smell the ocean, explore tropical rainforest, and walk through desert in this living Earth system with seven ecosystems all under one roof. Named one of 50 Must-See Wonders of the World by Time Life Books. Biosphere 2 is the world’s largest earth science laboratory and a unique site not to be missed. (Tour is 1 hour and 15 minutes, but leave time to take in the exhibits and film at the visitor center.)

After leaving the Biosphere, turn right to get back on AZ 77 and follow it just up the road for another right onto American Avenue to take you into Oracle. Sit down for a nice breakfast at local favorite, Oracle Patio Café. The fresh and creative flavors, as well as the joyful artwork, will start your morning right. Before you leave, peruse the Market and stock up on snacks for the day. (Be sure to get a piece of their famous pie for an afternoon treat!)

Pop into the Tri-Community Visitors Center up the road to get the latest info and brochures on visiting the area, and admire the paintings and creations of local artists (~15 minutes).

Enjoy the ideal Arizona weather and take in a bit of the great outdoors as you drive down the road to Oracle State Park. (Look for a calendar of their dark sky parties for stargazing during a future Copper Corridor visit…it’s an International Dark Sky certified park!) Or hike/bike the Arizona Trail from the American Flag or Tiger Mine trailheads and be sure to bring your water bottle! (2+ hours)

Get ready for an exciting ride at southern Arizona’s longest zipline tour. Fly through five ziplines and take in the breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert and the striking mountain ranges surrounding you at Arizona Zipline Adventures. Whether you’re up for riding the five ziplines or just want to take in the atmosphere, Arizona Zipline Adventures is a great place to relax and enjoy an Arizona day. (Reservations required. Three-hour zipline tour, but schedule more time for enjoying the sites.)

After enjoying the treasures of Oracle, hop back on 77 going north toward Mammoth. It’s selfie time, as you spot an ore cart sculpture in Mammoth, part of the ore cart trail commemorating the Copper Corridor’s rich mining history.

You’re headed to Kearny for the night. As you approach Winkelman, stop to take in the beauty of the Gila River and historic bridge, before turning onto 177 north to Kearny.

Spend a relaxing night along your Copper Corridor journey at the General Kearny Inn. Kearny is in the heart of the Copper Corridor, a perfect overnight stop. Dinner and drinks can be enjoyed right there at GKI, or one of the dining options just down the street, such as Old Time Pizza.

Day 2
After a restful night in Kearny, fuel up for another great day of trails and treasures at West End Café, a popular spot with the locals as well as pilots using the nearby airport.

Drive to Florence-Kelvin trailhead to bike or hike along the Arizona Trail. From 177, turn left onto Florence-Kelvin Highway immediately after crossing the railroad tracks. Follow the highway as it turns into dirt road and you’ll soon see trailhead parking on your left. On a longer trip you may choose to hike the entire 8,000 miles of the Arizona Trail, but today just a short jaunt is in order. Astounding views and the impressive landscape of Arizona’s desert await for your enjoyment. Bring your water bottle! (2+ hours)

When you get back on the road, you’ll be headed north on 177 toward Superior for more stunning views (~ 30 min drive). Be sure to stop off at the ASARCO viewpoint on your right hand side to take in the expansive copper mine, one of many mining sites from which the Copper Corridor gets its name.

Colorful buildings catch your eye as you approach Superior. Take time to peruse the treasures at in the boutique shops of Superior’s Main Street and grab a snack or drink at one of the cafés, such as SunFlour Market. Pop into the Bob Jones Museum operated by the Superior Historical Society to learn about the rich mining history and culture of the area. (1-2 hours)

Next stop is Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. At Boyce Thompson Arboretum, discover the intricate beauty of plants from the world’s deserts, towering trees, captivating cacti, sheer mountain cliffs, a streamside forest, panoramic vistas, many natural habitats with varied wildlife, a desert lake, a hidden canyon, specialty gardens and more. Take your time and explore to your heart’s desire. (2-3 hours)

If you’re up for more trail action, head just up the road to the Picketpost trailhead, a popular spot along the Arizona Trail, and take in the awe-inspiring landscape and colors of sunset.

You’re already planning your return visit to the Copper Corridor. Sit down for dinner at Jade Grill, Los Hermanos Café, or one of Superior’s other restaurants along Highway 60, or take 60 westward to continue your Arizona visit in Phoenix or one of its many surrounding towns.