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 javelina, deer, and quail as a 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
Mammoth Arizona, in the broad San Pedro River Valley, is in
southeastern Pinal County. The town is approximately 140 miles
southeast of Phoenix and 40 miles northeast of Tucson at an elevation
of 2,353 feet. Two other communities, Oracle and San Manuel,
are located within a 10-mile radius of Mammoth and make up the
In 1883, the first mine in the Mammoth district was located by Frank
Schultz. It was not possible to work the ores at the mine site, so a
stamp mill for this purpose was built on the San Pedro River. The
place was called Mammoth. In 1895, the Mammoth Mine changed
hands, and work stopped while a new system of milling was introduced.
This was the beginning of the last gold mining revival in
Arizona, except for a brief period during the Depression when individuals
mined for gold. Mammoth enjoyed renewed importance in
1936 when molybdenum production began. The post office in
Mammoth was established in 1887, and the town incorporated in
Metal production is the most significant economic activity in Pinal
County and is a major influence in Mammoth. Magma Copper
The company operates an underground copper mine, concentrator,
smelter, refinery and rod manufacturing plant at San Manuel, six
miles south. The refinery, the largest such facility in Arizona, was
completed in 1971 and has an annual capacity of 300,000 tons. The
smelter processes 1,200,000 tons of copper concentrates per year,
25% of the entire U.S. copper smelting capacity. Much of the production
is continuous cast copper re-draw road, while the remainder is
in the form of cathode copper. An important by-product is a sulfuric acid, which is produced at a rate of approximately 3,000 tons per
day. These facilities, in addition to the administrative offices, employ
3,500 persons. Several smaller mines and quarries and approximately
12 working cattle ranches are located in the area and provide additional
employment and income to Mammoth.
The community of Mammoth enjoys a mountainous setting near
the many scenic attractions of the Sonoran Desert of Southern
Arizona. One of the more popular areas is Mount Lemmon in the
Coronado National Forest just south of Mammoth. The spectacular
Galiuro and Catalina Mountains and rolling desert have attracted
various TV and movie companies to film on location in the
Mammoth area. In September, Mammoth celebrates Mexico’s
Independence Day with a traditional fiesta and in October, there is
a chili/salsa cook-off.
Scenic drives in the area include Pinal Pioneer Parkway, which
extends northwest to Florence, traversing a unique natural garden.
Virtually all kinds of desert flora are displayed along the main route
and easily accessible side roads. Mining and ranching activities in
the area also provide diversions for visitors. The region is a classic
example of the range-and-basin ecological system and is noted for
its geological features.