Hiking Above Bisbee, AZ

Naco, AZ

We had intended to do some exploring around Silver City, NM, but the weather was just too cold and snowy in the higher elevations.  So when we left Las Cruces, we headed southwest to Naco, AZ.  Naco is a little community right on the Mexican border, just south of the town of Bisbee.  We made plans last year to meet Dave and Sue (Beluga’s Excellent Adventure) here on February 1st to play golf for a week, so we just got here a few days early.  We are staying in a small park called Turquoise Valley Golf and RV Park.  The RV park is small but nice, and the golf course is right across the street.

Dave and Sue next to us in Naco

Mexican mountains in front of us

The first day of our visit to this area we went into nearby Bisbee to get a little exercise. Bisbee is a former mining town that is now a funky, artsy community filled with ex-hippies and free spirits.  Most of the residential buildings have been constructed on the sides of the steep hillsides surrounding the small downtown area.  These houses are usually above or below street level and are accessed by steep steps.  Each year the town conducts a race up and down the steps called the Bisbee 1000 Stair Climb, a 5K run through the city that traverses 1,034 stairs.

Starting point for the Bisbee 1000

Looking back down the first 155 steps

A bit of sculpture next to another set of stairs

Message in the concrete next to the rose sculpture

The next day we decided to hike up a trail leading to a cross and shrine on top of one of the hills overlooking downtown Bisbee.  We did this hike two years ago and thought we had driven to the end of OK Street to the trailhead.  But when we drove up there (about a half mile from the downtown) we discovered there was no place to park.  We then remembered that you have to park downtown and walk up to the trailhead.  So back down the narrow OK Street we went.

Fortunately, no one drove up at us!

Guess someone was raining on their parade wall

Hiking back up OK Street

The trail goes up pretty steeply

View from the top with Bisbee below

The cross on top is visible from the downtown

Lunch with a view

The other side of the cross and shrine

Hiking back down the trail on the other side of the hill we found someone had been busy clearing the trail and adding more small shrines along the path.  Someone painted a picture of Che Guevara, an Argentinian physician who became a Communist revolutionary and Fidel Castro’s right hand man, on a rock wall.

Che Guevara

A religious shrine along the trail

Buddhist Shrine

The Dali Lama

Buddha Statue

Heading back down

We’re looking forward to enjoying some golf and a few meals in some of Bisbee’s many restaurants for the next week.  Then we’ll move a short distance up I-10 to one of our favorite cities, Tucson.

More on that later . . .

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19 Responses to Hiking Above Bisbee, AZ

  1. Laurel says:

    Great photo tour of one of our favorite towns! Bisbee is so much fun (as you know). Love hiking the zillion stairs and discovering the crazy art tucked away on the side streets, and also the hike up to the shrines. Anything goes in Bisbee. :-)) Sorry you missed Silver City—definitely keep it on your list!

  2. Sue says:

    I loved seeing all those shrines. I often think of doing a photo essay of all the little remembrance crosses and shrines along the road sides, especially down here near Mexico. They are really beautiful and so ornate.

    And……I didn’t think one ever became an “ex” hippie! Once a hippie, always a hippie – just an older one!

  3. libertatemamo says:

    Love Bisbee so much. We STILL order our coffee from there (about every few months). Lovely to see your pics from the area.

    Nina

  4. pmbweaver says:

    Cool header!
    If we weren’t three weeks behind, we would have visited Bisbee again. It is such a cool town. We were going to try the Bisbee 1000 challenge. I remember OK street. We would never get up that road with our big a– truck…lol
    Looks like that trail is getting pretty cowarded with all those shrines. Enjoy your time with Dave and Sue. See you in Tucson.

  5. Maxxtrails says:

    We loved our time in Bisbee a few years ago and were going to head there after Ajo, but had a change of plans. We are also heading to Tucson next week 😊

  6. Gerri Jones says:

    Those 1000 stairs would certainly do me in!! Very interesting trail with all those shrines. We’ve never been to Bisbee….should put it on our “to see” list.

  7. Jeff says:

    Just looking at those stairs and the elevation you gained for the ‘lunch with a view’ shot has my heart pounding and lungs burning! Quite a climb! The many shrines are quite interesting along the way – guess all faiths need a few prayers to finish the hike.

  8. Debbie L says:

    What an eclectic time you’ve had! Oh those stairs make my knees hurt just looking at them!

  9. Jim and Barb says:

    We will probably head to Bisbee as a day trip when we are in Tucson. We went to the mine tour there last year but did not spend any time in town.

  10. montanaclarks says:

    Enjoy your golf and Bisbee–it is an eclectic town!

  11. Mary says:

    We met an artist who lives in Bisbee, we are going to try and get over that way later this winter.

  12. Looks like a neat hike…of course anything in Bisbee is “neat”!

    Looking forward to seeing you in Tucson…

  13. Sherry says:

    I just love posts from Bisbee. It looks like so much fun. Well maybe not the 1034 stairs.
    Your description of it as “an artsy community of ex-hippies and free spirits” seems to capture it well based on your pictures. Although it seemed to me that a lot of those hippies became yuppies. LOL at the “rain”.

  14. Gay says:

    We haven’t visited Bisbee…I love the quirkiness of your pictures. Enjoy the golf…see you next week!

  15. geogypsy2u says:

    You sure regained your hiking muscles in a hurry. Those 1000 steps would be a good exercise too. Great lunch with a view. Not sure I like all that froufrou along the trail.

  16. LuAnn says:

    Silver City was very cold and snowy when we passed through. Bisbee continues to be one of my favorite towns in the west. We visited often on our motorcycles.

  17. What a really funky, interesting, cool town. I love the little shrines and art work along the way. It does look rather ominously steep though, in your one photo. Great post, I so enjoyed reading it!
    Peta

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Peta:) The trail is very steep with lots of loose rocks. I was so glad I had my poles. The last time we did this hike, we came down this way…not fun! So, if you were to do this loop, hike it counter clockwise. The return is much nicer and not as steep.

  18. I would love to go back to Bisbee,and do this hike up to the mountains.

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