Clifton Arizona

Explore Clifton| Arizona Ghost Towns

Clifton, Arizona is in southeast Arizona about 50 miles from Safford. This old west mining town is a cool piece of Arizona boom and bust history. It was once a lively copper mining town, but visiting Clifton now is like taking a step back in time. Chase Street was once a happening place, now the downtown looks all but abandoned.

Downtown Clifton

Downtown Clifton

If you like old buildings you will enjoy walking down this narrow street. Many of the doors on Chase Street are locked. I love old doors, especially colorful ones. Take a step back in time and visit Clifton, Arizona.

downtown clifton arizona

Doors on Chase Street

Things to See in Clifton

Just south of Chase Street is the town's first jail, Clifton Cliff Jail. The jail was built in 1881 into the side of  a solid granite cliff.

Clifton jail

Clifton jail Things to See in Clifton Arizona

The jail is part of the town's National Historic Register.  You can walk inside to see the jail and while you are there you should just to see what it is like. There are a few stairs to walk down to the dirt jail cells below.  Ironically, the man credited for building the jail was also the first person to spend the night there.

Inside Clifton Jail

Inside Clifton Jail

Next to the jail is a narrow gauge steam engine. This engine is part of Arizona's first steam powered railroad. It was built in 1897 and used at the mines until the early 1920's.

Copper Head

Copper Head

Mining copper is still a big deal here. If you drive a few miles north to Morenci you can see the Freeport-McMoRan Copper Mine.  The mine runs 24/7.  There is an area you can pull over to get a better view of the open-pit mine and take photos if you like.

morenci mine

Morenci mine

Coronado Trail Scenic Byway

If you are in this area take a drive on the Coronado Trail Scenic Byway, also known as Hwy 191,   from Clifton to Alpine. The Coronado Trail is one of the curviest roads in the United States. The road has many tight turns and no guard rails.  This scenic road is one of the best motorcycle roads in Arizona.

Hwy 191