Tonto National Forest and Coronado National Forest
The Copper Corridor area provides a large number of opportunities to enjoy the outdoor environment. Whether you are camping in a national forest or hiking the Arizona Trail you will find multiple areas to explore and enjoy.
The first section of the Arizona Trail, which ran 45 miles, was dedicated in 1988 by the Forest Service. Today, the Arizona Trail offers tourists an opportunity to follow continuous trails, extending more than 750 total miles, traversing the entire Grand Canyon State from Coronado National Forest to the Kaibab Plateau.
The Northern portion of the Copper Corridor rests with in the Tonto National Forest. The town of Superior is in the Tonto National Forest and Miami and Globe are within very close proximity. With camping areas including Oak Flats, Devils Canyon, Sulphide Del Rey and Kellner, there are plenty options for you and your family to enjoy the area.
The southern portion of the Copper Corridor rests within the Coronado National Forest. Near Oracle and Mammoth is the Galiuro Wilderness, Aravaipa Canyon and Rincon Mountain Wilderness. In Ranger District 5, the Peppersauce area is a popular area for camping.
Mammals, Birds and Butterflies
With wide open, unspoiled spaces, exploring the Copper Corridor provides the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the mammals that inhabit the area. Species that are common in the area include: white-tailed deer, mountain lions, skunks, white-nosed coati, ring-tails and the black-tailed prairie dog to name a few.
Seeking out and identifying birds and butterflies that are indigenous to the area is another fun way to discover
Copper Corridor. Butterflies that are common the area include the Pipevine Swallowtail, Black Swallowtail, Checkered White, Orange Sulfur, Sleepy Orange, Tailed Copper, Reakirt’s Blue, Silvery blue, Fatal Metalmark, Arachne Checkerspot, Question Mark, Mourning cloak, PAINTED Lady, Common Buckeye, Red-spotted Purple, California Sister, Queen, and the Pahaska Skipper.
Birds to watch and enjoy in the area include the roadrunner, hawks, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, eagles, finches, swallows, cardinals, jays and wild turkeys.
A man-made miracle amidst a stunning natural environment is the Boyce Thompson Arboretum which offers a special place for the casual stroll or a more intense investigation of Southwest plants, birds and butterflies Created by Colonel Boyce Thompson in the 1920’s, the gardens, lake, and indoor exhibitions is a “living museum” of diverse and rich examples of Southwestern plants in a 100-acre area below the peak of Picketpost Mountain.
Walk the 1.5 mile desert trail and you will see the 3,200 different desert plants and 300 birds, mammals, and amphibians at the arboretum. You may also see species watering at the Ayer Lake while you enjoy the special Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden along with the several other collections including Desert Legume Garden, Cactus Garden, Curandero Trail, Wing Memorial herb Garden, Eucalyptus Forest and Demonstration Garden. Celebrating and exploring the Sonoran desert is only part of its mission, The Boyce Thompson Arboretum houses African, South American, Asian and Mediterranean collections, as well.
Rockhounding in the Copper Corridor
Rockhounding occurs near the Magma Mine, Apache Mine, Seventy-Nine Mine, Mammoth-St. Anthony Mine and the Superior Mine
Six stages of mineralization in the mines have produced unique and beautiful rocks including barite-pyrite, vanadinite, wulfenite, rosasite, hemimorphite, dioptase and obsidian.The most legendary rocks are the Apache Tears, the obsidian nodules that exist at the flank of the Picketpost Mountain and managed by the Apache Tear Caves.
The unsubstantiated legend is that Apache Warriors, rather than being captured by U.S. Cavalry, leapt with their horses to their death off the Apache Leap Mountain. Their wives and girlfriends went to the site and cried. Their tears turned into the black, sparkling mineral known as the Apache Tears. Visitors can purchase their own apache tears in local gem shops.