Superior is 63 miles east of Phoenix on U.S. 60 at the

junction of state Highway 177. The town, in a mountainous set-ting

at an elevation of 2,882 feet, is surrounded by peaks such

as Iron Mountain at 6,056 feet.

 

In 1900, George Lobb laid out the town and called it Hastings.

Mines dotted the hills around the prosperous Pinal County community.

Stockholders in one of the successful silver mines lived

in Michigan and named their mine Lake Superior and Arizona.

This mine fed the area economy and the community changed its

name to Superior after this mine. The Magma Copper Company

was established in 1910 and ran the Silver Queen Mine which

became a great copper producer after its silver ran out. A

smelter was built in 1924 and remained in operation for 47

years. Superior was incorporated in 1976.

 

Major employment sectors in the Superior area include mining,

and trade and service. The community is improving its trade and

service sector in order to expand the income from tourism.

Agriculture is significant to the Pinal County economy. Ranching

is conducted in the surrounding areas.

 

The famous Apache Trail is north of Superior. This 98-mile trek

on Highway 88 provides more insight into the character of

Arizona than possibly any other section of road in the state.

Along the roadway, imposing saguaros, rugged mountains jut-ting

out of the desert, and four lakes created by dams on the

Salt River give the traveler a glimpse of Arizona's beauty and

diversity.

 

East of town on U.S. 60 are Queen Creek Bridge and Tunnel.

On the eastern side of Queen Creek Canyon is Apache Leap

Mountain, towering cliffs streaked with red, where Apaches are

supposed to have jumped rather than face the humiliation of

surrendering to U.S. troops. Magma Copper Company Mine, on

the edge of the town site, is the largest underground mine in the

state. Visitors can view the mine from the entrance six and one-half

miles east of town atop Apache Leap.

 

The Oak Flats campground east of Apache Leap Mountain pro-vides

a great setting for campers, hikers, and rock climbers.

Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, a four-minute drive

west of town on U.S. 60, is world-famous for its collection of

more than 10,000 desert cacti, flowers and trees set at the edge

of picturesque Picket Post Mountain.

Superior has identified three historic districts containing 11

houses. The Superior Historical Society opened the home of Bob

Jones (the sixth governor of Arizona) as a museum.