Friday, March 11, 2011

Superior, Arizona

Superior Arizona was a copper mining town. The trip from Phoenix is about 74 miles and about a two hour drive.
Superior is a town that is refusing to give up. It was once a prosperous town and now that the mine is closed large parts of the town are basically in ruin. That being said it is an older town and some of the buildings have some great architectural work on them. The mine itself is fenced off and is difficult to get any good details from it.
This is a good place to go and take photos of once magnificent buildings. The town and surrounding area has some great textures. There is a museum on US-60 the main road through town. There is also a public park with a mining theme. Take AZ-177 exit then turn left onto N. Ray Rd then on to N. Magma Ave to get to the center of town. The past grandness of town can be observed with a little imagination. The once grand Magma Hotel collapsed and was in the process of being torn down when I visited.
This is not a place to race through. In my theme of slowing down you should take your time and look in windows and check out the buildings. There is still evidence of the old method of advertizing by painting on the sides of some of the buildings.
The drive to Superior and just beyond is really interesting. The road is cut in the rock formation so sometimes you are driving in high rock valleys. This area is also dotted with smaller abandoned towns of the couple buildings and a gas station variety. For me and my imagination it is both exciting and sad to visit places like Superior that were once thriving communities.
I would say that if you have the time then a visit for a couple hours is well worth the visit.
If you are a photography buff as am I then time your visit to get there either at sunrise or sunset. I was there during a winter storm and there was rain and flooding. Remember if you are a tourist and you are going to visit Superior, Arizona only once then if you are taking photos you get what you get. Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t make that sellable photo. You have collected memories that are yours alone others may be similar but they are not yours.
This trip and any trip you plan in Arizona make sure that you bring plenty of water. It would be wise on your part to also include sun screen and lip balm in a travel kit. I sometimes forget to bring water. Arizona is a desert and while it offers many beautiful scenes and landscapes it can be inhospitable particularly in the summer. Also the weather here can be a bit extreme. It isn’t uncommon to use both the heater and the air conditioner in the same day.

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