Must See & Do
Gammon’s Gulch Movie Set
Gammons Gulch is located north of Benson, Arizona, in the High Desert of Cochise County. “Step back into time” as founder Jay Gammons has and enjoy the fond memories of days gone by. Imagine yourself stepping back in time, walking down the main street of an old west town. In the distance you hear sounds of a honky-tonk piano slip in and out of the still, eerie silence as you walk past the saloon. At any moment you expect to see a cowboy step out of the doorway, or hear the pounding of a blacksmith’s hammer. Join Jay on his tour that is given when you arrive at Gammons Gulch.
331 W. Rockspring Ln Benson, AZ. 85602. (520)212-2831. www.gammonsgulch.com
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Experience a stunning limestone cave in Southeastern Arizona that boasts world-class features. This “live” cave, discovered in 1974, is host to a wide variety of unique minerals and formations. Water percolates from the surface and calcite formations continue to grow, including stalactites dripping down like icicles and giant stalagmites reaching up from the ground. Tour guides will unveil this fascinating underground landscape during a memorable 1½ hour tour. The Discovery Center features museums exhibits, a large gift shop, regional displays, theater, and educational information about the caverns and the surrounding landscape. There are also campgrounds, hiking trails, lockers, shaded picnic areas, a deli, an amphitheater, and a hummingbird garden.
9 mi. S of Benson on Hwy 90. (520)586-2283. www.azstateparks.com/parks/KACA/index.html
Singing Wind Book Shop
At Winifred Bundy’s Singing Wind Bookshop, the wind sweeps more than it sings. With the mountains in the distance and the trees crowded along the river, there’s nothing to stop it from howling through windows or beating on the door. But the wind isn’t the only visitor to Bundy’s outpost. This book lover’s haven sits on a ranch with no paved road or parking lot, no Web site, no advertisements—and no shortage of customers. They come because they’re curious, or because the rain drives them indoors, quips Bundy, who usually goes by “Winn.” But mostly they come for her expansive and eclectic collection, much of which is about the Southwest.
700 W. Singing Wind Rd Benson, AZ 85602. (520)586-2425. www.azpm.org/s/7262-web-feature-a-bookstore-at-the-end-of-the-world/
The Famous (or better known as) The Infamous Brewery Gulch
German-Swiss immigrants founded the first breweries on what became known as Brewery Gulch in 1881. Bisbee grew from 400 to thousands and Brewery Gulch became famous (or notorious some would say) as the number of saloons multiplied, at one time numbering 47 and almost as many brothels. The Gulch was considered by some to be the "Hottest spot between El Paso and San Francisco." Today, you can find remnants of brothels and many saloons including St. Elmo’s Bar opened in 1902 and is the longest, continuously operating drinking establishment in Arizona. The upstairs was once a brothel. Some say the bar is haunted. Only nice ghosts hang out in the bar. Up the Gulch, the Muheim Heritage House Museum, a Registered National Historic site, was built by Joseph and Carmelita Muheim beginning in 1898. The Old Bisbee Brewing Company serves up mighty fine craft beers. And then there is the Stock Exchange Saloon. Built in 1905, the beautiful Muheim building housed the Brewery Saloon, the most popular libation hall in Bisbee. A map of Brewery Gulch is available at the Visitors Center.
Queen Mine Tour
Tour one of the most productive copper mines of the 20th century. Don the mining lanterns, hats and slickers of the miners....ride the mine train deep into the mine....search for remaining veins of copper, gold, turquoise, silver, lead and zinc....and, experience the lives of miners as they toiled in the subterranean tunnels. Listen for the little people known as “Tommy Knockers” who were said to warn miners of danger by knocking on rocks. Tour times: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM - Noon - 2:00 PM & 3:30 PM. Open 7 days per week. Tours last approximately 1 hour. The mine is a cool 47 degrees year-'round. Dress warmly and arrive 20 minutes prior to the tour. Tours leave from the Queen Mine Tour Building located on Dart Road, immediately south of Old Historic Bisbee Exit off the U.S. Hwy. 80 interchange.
St. Patrick’s Church
Perched 200 feet above the floor of Tombstone Canyon in historic Bisbee,Arizona, St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church stands as a monument to the exuberant determination of the town's early residents to transform a primitive mining camp into one of the largest commercial centers in early Arizona. Famous for its beautiful stained glass windows and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Gothic Revival church is a copy of St. Mary's Catholic Church in the Irish district of Whitehaven, England. St. Patrick's 41 stained glass windows were designed and produced by Emil Frei, who studied at the Munich Academy of Art before immigrating to the United States in the late 1800s. The windows are believed to be one of the 5 most photographed stain glassed windows in the United States. The church is located on Oak Avenue on Higgins Hill.
Fairbank Historic Ghost Town
Fairbank was originally built in 1881 as a railroad stop near Tombstone. You can now enjoy a self-guided tour that reveals one of the area’s most complete ghost towns with buildings, including the post office, a general store, small homes, a schoolhouse and of course, the ever-present saloon, as well as the foundation of a warehouse and the Montezuma Hotel. The Fairbank one-room schoolhouse has been restored and serves as a museum and gift shop, staffed by volunteers on weekends. Still in use until 1944, former students and teachers helped with the building’s historical accuracy and restoration. The Fairbank Cemetery is just a short hike from the townsite. Allow 1–2 hours. Hwy 90 North 13 miles to Hwy 82; turn east (right) on Hwy 82, 10 miles; entrance to the north (left). (800)288-3861 or (520)439-6400 (BLM).
Fort Huachuca Museums and Old Post Cemetery
The Fort Museum commemorates more than 150 years of history, from the first attempts to tame the territory in 1846 to the battles of the Pacific during World War II. You’ll learn about the Buffalo Soldiers and their role in American history, the 4th Cavalry patrol and their Indian scouts’ campaign that resulted in the surrender of Geronimo, and the hardships of living in a frontier fort. Allow 1–2 hours. Free admission; donations appreciated. Hours & directions www.huachucamuseum.com/mi-museum.html (800)288-3861 or (520)533-5736.
The U.S. Army Military Intelligence Museum
See surveillance and espionage tools from the Civil War, the notorious Enigma Machine coding device used by the Germans during WW II, a U.S. espionage Jeep used during the Cold War, a surveillance drone and a 12' x 10' section of the Berlin Wall, replete with political statements in colorful graffiti. Allow 1 hour. Free admission; donations appreciated. Hours & directions www.huachucamuseum.com/mi-museum.html (800)288-3861 or (520)533-5736.
Old Post Cemetery
Before the end of the Post’s first year in 1877, the 6th Cavalry troopers suffered their first casualty and established the need for memorial grounds. The Old Post Cemetery is an emotional “read” for devotees of military history and the final resting place of many historic figures like the corporal who was the first casualty of the Post, Indian scouts, a commanding officer’s first-born son, the postmistress, and a commander forced into exile. You’ll also find a lone headstone with the inscription The Unknowns, representing the graves of 76 unidentified remains transferred from old Fort San Carlos in 1928. Allow 30 minutes. Hours & directions www.huachucamuseum.com/mi-museum.html (800)288-3861 or (520)533-5736.
Nature Conservancy's Ramsey Canyon Preserve
You won’t want to miss this world-renowned attraction, a 280-acre National Natural Landmark bestowed to The Nature Conservancy in 1975. The canyon’s unique interplay of geology, biology, topography, and climate make it a unique habitat for a variety of plant and animal life with over 170 varieties of birds, including 14 species of hummingbirds. Inside the Visitor Center at Ramsey Canyon Preserve is the kid-friendly Please Touch Room with bird nests, snake skins and other wildlife bits. Allow 3 hours. Two-hour guided tours leave at 9 a.m. on Monday, Thursday and Saturday throughout the summer. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday; closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Free admission on the first Saturday of each month.
Hwy 92 South, 6 miles; west (right) onto Ramsey Canyon Road, 3 miles to the Preserve. (800)288-3861 or (520)378-2785. www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/arizona/placesweprotect/ramsey-canyon-preserve.xml
Get a glimpse of the true old West at Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Built in 1882 in the shape of a Roman cross, the two-story Victorian structure once housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, jail, and courtrooms of Cochise County. Today, the 12,000 square foot courthouse is a museum filled with the glitter and guns of those who tamed the territory. Exhibits portray the authentic history of Tombstone as a frontier silver mining boomtown. Learn about miners, cattlemen and pioneers, and see a reproduction of the courtroom and sheriff’s office. Displays include a tax license for operating a brothel and an invitation to a hanging. A replica of the gallows in the courtyard represents where seven men were hanged. The park includes a museum, exhibits, a gift shop, restrooms, and shaded picnic areas.
223 E Toughnut St, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520) 457-3311. www.tombstonecourthouse.com
Gunfighter Ghost Tour
Visit the 10 most haunted spots in Tombstone's Historic District including the Birdcage Theatre, China Mary's in old China Town, Tombstone's General Hospital where patients died excruciating deaths and much more! Hear about the cold-blooded killing that happened in front of the O.K. Corral and see the corner where the Earp's and Holliday began their famous walk down to the O.K. Corral on the fateful day of October 26, 1881! The total time of this exciting tour is one hour. Tours are held every night at 6:30pm at Big Nose Kates'.
421 E. Allen St., Tombstone, AZ 85638. (800) 979-3370. www.tombstone-ghost.com
Shootout at the OK Corral
The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a 30-second gunfight between outlaw Cowboys and lawmen that is generally regarded as the most famous gunfight in the history of the American Wild West. The gunfight took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona. See Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Virgil and Morgan Earp fight the McLaurys and Clantons in daily reenactments at the O.K. Corral®. Stand beside life-size figures of the eight gunfighters located on the very spot where the Gunfight began according to a map on display drawn by Wyatt Earp himself. Hear what caused the 30-second showdown that left three cowboys dead, Virgil and Morgan Earp wounded. Walk through the O.K. Corral® as it appeared in the 1880s.
326 E Allen St, Tombstone, AZ 85638. (520) 457-3456. www.ok-corral.com
Apple Annie’s Orchard
During season, July 1- October 31, visitors can pick apples, peaches, pears, vegetables, and pumpkins, enjoy a corn maze, and more. www.AppleAnnies.com
Chiricahua National Monument
A "Wonderland of Rocks" is waiting for you to explore. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site. See beautiful Ryolite formations, lots of wildlife and the Faraway Ranch. From Willcox follow Arizona State Highway 186 for 32 miles to the junction of Arizona State Highway 181. Turn left and 4 miles later you will be at the Chiricahua entrance station. www.nps.gov/Chiricahua
Willcox Wine Country has great wines located in 11 tasting rooms located in Old Town Willcox and in some of the operating vineyards around Willcox. Over 75% of the vineyards producing wine in the state of Arizona are located in this region. Wine events and festivals are scheduled in Willcox and at individual tasting rooms throughout the year. www.WillcoxWineCountry.org
Celebrate Cochise County's unique heritage and culture throughout the year.Upcoming Events Calendar