The first time we visited Duncan we were on a 3-day road trip that included Clifton & Morenci as well as Black Hills Back Country Byway. Click HERE if you would like to see some of the interesting places not far from Duncan.
Here are our recommendations for Things To Do In Duncan Arizona; plus dining, lodging, & local history.
Duncan is a small farming town 5 miles west of the New Mexico border on Hwy 70 (Old West Highway). The town of Duncan was actually established in 1883 with the coming of the railroad, but the early settlement here was started in the 1870's along the Gila River on an important stage & freight route. Duncan is named for the managing director of the Arizona Copper Company, Duncan Smith.
Duncan prospered until the Interstate Highway (I-10) was build further south. The new highway re-directed traffic away from Duncan and businesses began leaving the area. In 2001, local citizens formed the Duncan Pride Society and began restoring and re-purposing some of the old buildings. So far, they have done a splendid job.
There are primarily three reasons to visit Duncan. First, it's a quaint little town worthy of a good walkabout. You can get a self-guided walking tour map at the Duncan Visitor Center on the main highway through town. It will guide you to more than 50 points of historical interest.The Visitor Center shares space with an interesting little shop called Country Chic Art Gallery & Crafts Boutique at 205 SE Old West Highway: 928-359-1955.
Second, it's on the Gila Rivers and near adjacent riparian areas for bird and wildlife observation. Click HERE to see the substantial variety of birds that have been sighted in or near Duncan recently.
Third, the Simpson Hotel B&B is located here. Read our Review here. It serves as an excellent base from which to explore the surrounding countryside for several days. Interestingly, the hotel website, simpsonhotel.com also has the best information on visiting the surrounding area.
Recommended Dining In Duncan
Hilda’s Kitchen (Mexican-American grill): 105 SE Old West Highway, 928-359-1771
Three Sisters Bakery (bakery products): 113 SW Old West Highway, 928-359-2253
Humble Pie (pizza, calzones, lasagna, salad, garlic bread): 117 Main Street, 928-359-9866. Excellent pizza and calzones. Haven't tried the lasagna yet.
Recommended Lodging In Duncan
Simpson Hotel. One of the finest B&B's in all of Southern Arizona. The website is also a very good source for knowledge about the region.
High Desert RV Park, High Street, 928-359-3030
Nine Rail RV Camp, Highway 75, 928-359-9107
Stephens RV Park, Madison Street off Highway 70, 928-359-2113