Black Hills Back Country Byway

Other than to explore the abandoned old downtown and a few scattered artifacts, there isn’t much to do in Clifton except take photographs and say you’ve been there. But there is a reason to go to Clifton.

Clifton is the northern entrance to the Black Hills Back Country Byway, a delightful couple-hours drive through the rugged beauty of Greenlee County that takes you from Clifton to Soloman on Hwy 70 near Safford. In fact, before modern highways, this unpaved 21 mile scenic drive was the only road from Safford to the mines at Clifton.

Map of Black Hills Back Country Byway

Black Hills Back Country Byway

The Byway crosses the Gila River several times and offers travelers many campsites and picnic areas. The campsites are barren places with a ramada, BBQ, and firepit.

The picnic areas are completely different. Some offer magnificent vistas. Others are in thick riparian areas along the Gila, particularly at Gila Box. You can see for yourself on this brief slideshow.

Owl Creek Campground Along Black Hills Back Country Byway thumbnail
Black Hills Country Byway. A Picnic Area By River Below Old Safford Bridge. thumbnail
Gila Box Raft LaunchREV thumbnail
Byway Wildflower01REV thumbnail
SE AZ Black Hills Picnic 01-001 thumbnail
Black Hills Country Byway. Picnic Area by Scenic Overlook. thumbnail
Black Hills Road REV thumbnail

Owl Creek Campground Along Black Hills Back Country Byway

Black Hills Country Byway. A Picnic Area By River Below Old Safford Bridge.

Gila Box Raft Launch & Picnic Area

Even in this harsh environment, wildflowers will bloom in the Spring.

One of several Black Hills Scenic Picnic Area.

Black Hills Back Country Byway: Almost to Solomon and Hwy 70.

Owl Creek Campground Along Black Hills Back Country Byway
Black Hills Country Byway. A Picnic Area By River Below Old Safford Bridge.
Gila Box Raft Launch & Picnic Area
Byway Wildflower
One of several Black Hills Scenic Picnic Area.
Black Hills Country Byway. Picnic Area with Scenic Overlook.
Black Hills Back Country Byway: Almost to Solomon and Hwy 70.
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