Bisbee: Southernmost Mile-High City in U.S.

Bisbee is a former mining town located a mile high in the Mule Mountains. It’s the southernmost mile high city in the United States!

Today, it is home to a thriving arts and antiquing community. Bisbee’s unique shops and galleries along Main Street are complemented by an array of fine restaurants. For a glimpse of what life was like in Bisbee’s 1800’s heyday, be sure to explore any one of the many available historical tours, including the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour.

Photo Credit: (top) Visit Sierra Vista, (bottom) @jaiemare

Explore Bisbee and enjoy the community’s top attractions, from art and museums to an incredibly fun and eclectic downtown and historical tours. Finish your visit off with a pint at the local brewery.


Why do we go on vacation? To get away from our daily lives? To experience something new? If this is the case, why do we constantly return to the tourist locations we have heard of or experienced before? In order to truly escape the mundane schedule of everyday life; one should experience something new, strange, and spectacular. This exact reason is why so many people find themselves in Bisbee, and why so many more choose to stay.

The town of Bisbee is known as a progressive and free-spirited town. The arts and culture in the area are what make Bisbee such an amazing place to be. There are murals on different corners, colorful houses, and a collective of local artists within the town. In order to further promote this innovative spirit of Bisbee, the town has been registered as an Arts and Cultural District. This classification not only enhances the appreciation for the arts in the area, but it also accepts the art, culture, and heritage as vital to the town’s character.


Lowell was, at one time, a sizable mining town located just to the southeast of Old Bisbee. The majority of the original townsite was consumed by the excavation of the Lavender Pit mine during the 1950’s.

However, what remains of Lowell today is a strikingly intact, historical mid-century street – often utilized as a backdrop for film and video shoots, and well worth a visit to walk back in time. Lowell is perched at the southern end of the dramatic Lavender Pit, itself a must see while in Bisbee.


One of Bisbee’s most magnificent architectural achievements are the countless concrete stairs that cling to the steep canyon sides. The owners and occupants of the irregularly shaped, sometimes nearly vertical, parcels had to develop dependable routes to reach their properties.

The sturdy early Bisbee-ite initially relied on precipitous trails featuring switchbacks and then the clever canyonside dwellers constructed a network of wooden stairs, often resembling ladders!

This, however, changed in the 1930s. Many of the major concrete stairways we still see today were constructed during the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It is still common for nice houses to be situated on a parcel that is accessible only by climbing 100 or 200 steps to reach the front door! 


With a history deserving of National Landmark status, it’s only fitting that Bisbee’s past be captured and reflected in a museum like no other. The Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum recently joined forces with the Smithsonian’s Affiliation Program.

Once known as The Queen of the Copper Camps, Bisbee is nestled among the Mule Mountains and is renowned for its diverse minerals and wealth of copper. Although its mines closed in the 70s, the small town’s legacy has long been preserved not only in its architecture and mining landscape, but in a museum that has welcomed, educated, and entertained more than a half-million visitors ever since.

Featured among its exhibits is “Bisbee: Urban Outpost on the Frontier,” an in-depth look at the depths – and heights – to which miners and settlers went to carve a community and a living out of rock.


Old Bisbee Brewing Company is boutique brewery with an ultra-modern design, built to create beers of the highest quality. Established in 2010 above legendary Brewery Gulch in the mile-high, historic town of Bisbee, the brewery is well-known for its unique, quality beers.

With great brewing capabilities of both equipment and staff, Old Bisbee Brewing Company is incorporating local ingredients such as local, native hops, Sonoran mountain limes, and Sonoran white wheat to create brews you won’t find anywhere else.

If interested, request a tour of the brew house.  And, yes, the beer is pumped under the street between the brew house and Tap Room buildings!


Tour the Queen Mine, 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, and search for remaining veins of copper, gold, turquoise, silver, lead, and zinc.

You’ll 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.

Tours last approximately 1 hour. The mine is a cool 47 degrees year-round. Dress warmly, wear closed-toe shoes, and arrive 20 minutes prior to the tour.


Whimsical, flamboyant, and a little haunted, Bisbee is anything but ordinary. The town was voted “Best Historic Small Town in America” by USA Today Readers Choice and “Frommer’s Best Places to Go in 2018.”

Remarkably preserved architecture, Bisbee Farmers Market, Arizona’s oldest baseball park, and the underground Queen Mine Tour, along with unique events – like Bisbee PRIDE and the Return of the Turkey Vultures – make for a culture of historical significance, acceptance, and entertainment.

If you’re interested in the town’s eerie past, an evening walking tour with Old Bisbee Ghost Tour will show you the town and introduce you to some ghostly members of society.


Looking for more information on Bisbee? Check out the resources below.


1 The Bisbee Visitor Center is a great starting point to learn about all of the area attractions. Visit
2 Visit the City of Bisbee website for information on city services, departments, economic development opportunities, and more. Visit


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