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

acres.

 

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

by ranchers.