Hiking to the “B” in Bisbee

Naco, AZ

Like many towns nestled along hillsides in the west, Bisbee has a large “B” located above the town on Chihuahua Hill.  During the day it looks a bit like it could use a fresh coat of paint, but at night it looks very nice as it is outlined in lights.

 

After reading Amanda’s blog about their hike up to the top (Watsons Wander), we decided we needed to go up and check out the view.  We found a trail description online that would take us up the back of the hill past a couple of interesting sites.  The trail begins at the end of OK Street, which is the easternmost street in downtown Bisbee, paralleling Brewery Avenue.

After reaching the end of the road we found the trail on the right just before a gate.  We followed the trail up as it meandered to the top of what is known as Youngblood Hill.

Our first point of interest was a Buddhist Shrine that someone has built at a curve in the trail.

We continued up the trail headed for the cross that can be seen at the top of the rocks in the photo below.

This turned out to be a quite elaborate shrine made of whitewashed concrete sprawling  across a rock formation,.  A plaque attached to the construction attributes the work to “Adolfo D. and Mary Vasquez, May 1980.”

The shrine contains a crucifix, a statue of Mary, a statue of Jesus, a cross made of horseshoes, and devotional bottle candles. A series of steps are built into a pathway around the structure.  No one knows precisely who built the shrine as no records of its construction exist.  Local legend has it that the many sacks of concrete mix needed for the work were hauled up a narrow path from the end of OK Street on mules.

View of Bisbee from the shrine

 

From the shrine on Youngblood Hill we hiked down a very steep, rocky path as we headed for Chihuahua Hill nearby.

As we made our way down the steep path we came upon a shrine dedicated to Martin Luther King.

The reference to the Struggle for Justice in the Borderlands in the photo below refers to a breakfast held at a local church on MLK Day.

We made it down the steep trail from Youngblood Hill onto an unused Jeep road leading up to the top of Chihuahua Hill.

The top of Chihuahua Hill is covered with brush, but if you bushwhack through it, you can find great views of the pit mines and Old Bisbee below.

North end of the huge copper pit mine

 

Old Bisbee – the white along the hillside is the “B”

Another view of Old Bisbee from above the “B”

Heading back down on a side trail

 

This hike is just over two miles over some fairly rough trail.  But the shrines along the way and great views from the top make it well worth the effort.

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16 Responses to Hiking to the “B” in Bisbee

  1. Sue says:

    Loved seeing Bisbee from a different point of view.

  2. Lenore says:

    Never a dull moment in Bisbee!

  3. pmbweaver says:

    Interesting place for a Buddhist Shrine. I am sure it is very quiet up there.

    That next shrine is a large one. That had to take some work for sure. And then the MLK shrine. People find so many different ways to say thank you to those they love and admire.

    That looks like quite a rough trail for sure. Good thing you have those poles. Wonderful views of the city. Looks like it was taken with a drone…hehe

  4. Sherry says:

    Gorgeous sunset photo. I’ve never really understood the letters on the hill thing. Interesting the three very different shrines. I assume there must be current folks maintaining them all. Really nice pictures of the mine and Bisbee from up there. Thanks for taking the trip so I could see it and even bushwhacking. What is your tool of choice??

  5. Again your Bisbee photos brought back pleasant memories for me. Makes me just want to throw some things in the RV & head on down there for a week. I get very nostalgic about certain places & Bisbee is one of them. We did that trail to the shrines but didn’t follow through to the big ‘B’ sign. I don’t think we knew the trail led over that way. There’s a nice looping Jeep drive to Parker Canyon Lake west of the Huachuca Mountains. Go up & over Coronado Peak & follow the road to the lake & come back through Fort Huachuca or slide on up to Sonoita. If you want to see a real old western cemetery untouched by commercialism like Boot Hill I would suggest you go to another old ghost town nearby called Fairbank on highway 82 north of Sierra Vista. Fairbank was once bigger than Tombstone. Not much left of another old mining ghost town called Millbank in the area also. It’s on the Charleston Road right close to where the San Pedro River crosses the road. Charleston Road runs between Tombstone & Sierra Vista. The hidden ghost town of Charleston is right across the San Pedro river from Millbank but it’s hard to find. Took us 3 tries to finally find it’s old crumbling adobe walls hidden away in the Mequites. If your looking for a challenge….there ya go:))

  6. P.S. Am liking the quality of your photos:))

  7. Mary says:

    That looks like a fun hike. Great view of the town.

  8. Gay says:

    Interesting hike you found there…love the pictures of Bisbee from the “B” and the copper mine pit and beyond.

  9. I’d say you guys have really explored Bisbee up and down and sure gave us a different perspective. I don’t recall seeing a B, maybe it was covered with snow. Looks like a great hike with some shrines to perk your interest.

  10. jimandbarb says:

    You certainly are getting the most out of the Bisbee! The views from the hill give the you a totally different perspective of the area.

  11. Like the different perspective on Bisbee. Thanks for taking me there!

  12. Janna says:

    Love your sunset photo!

  13. Jodee Gravel says:

    While the loose and steep looks treacherous, the shrines and views are wonderful. If I were lost in the desert and stumbled upon the shrines I would likely think “we must be near Bisbee” as their quirkiness is so at home there 🙂 The photo of the mine almost makes it look lovely – a tough trick indeed! Us teenagers climbed up the rocks above our little desert homes to paint the I for Iron Mountain. The big blob of white from the spilled gallon of paint just below the letter always looked brightest 😦

  14. LuAnn says:

    The shrines would do it for me. It reminds me of a hike we did when we lived in Mexico.

  15. I live in Bisbee and promote Bisbee Weekly. I was wondering if I could have permission to post some of the pictures and article on my webpage.

  16. Laurel says:

    So glad you made the pilgrimage to the shrines! We always make the trek up there and enjoy the solitude and the beautiful views. We didn’t find the path to the “B” though — next time!

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