Hayden is a copper mining community in transition. It was
founded in 1909 by Hayden, Stove and Company, which operated
mines near the community. Named for Charles Hayden, president of
the mining company, it was incorporated in 1956. Two years later,
Hayden was among 11 municipalities nationwide given the coveted
All-American City designation.
The community, at an elevation of 2,100 feet, is in the southern part
of Gila County on state Highway 177, about 30 miles southeast of
Superior and 35 miles south of Globe. It is 96 miles southeast of
Phoenix and 71 miles north of Tucson.
Due to the decline of copper production, Hayden is diversifying its
economic base to accommodate tourism and retirement facilities. A
small retailing sector serves the Hayden populace.
Agriculture is important to the area with ranches and farms located
in the San Pedro Valley along the San Pedro River. The San Pedro
and Gila Rivers converge in Hayden, providing fishing areas and sites
for picnicking and camping.
The rugged topography of the area provides numerous and varied
scenic attractions. In addition to being economic mainstays of the
area, the local copper mines and processing facilities provide interesting
attractions. State Highways 77 and 177 provide dramatic mountain and canyon
scenery. Nearby mountains, including Dripping Spring Mountains to
the north and the Tortilla Mountains, have numerous recreation
areas with camping and picnicking facilities.
Coolidge Dam, on the Gila River, forms the 10,000-acre San Carlos
Lake, which has facilities for boating and fishing. Hunting is popular
in the area with javalina, deer and quail as common game.
The Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum northwest of
Hayden displays 10,000 species of desert plant and tree life on 30
Hayden is surrounded by other mining and mountain communities,
including Kearny, Christmas and Winkelman. The giant Ray Mine is
about 20 miles north.
Eight miles northeast of Hayden is the ghost town of Chilito. It also
was founded as a mining community but failed about 1920 when
copper prices plummeted. The buildings of Chilito were later used