This rough 21-mile road between Clifton and Safford begins just south of Clifton and passes over the Old Safford Bridge. The road was once a wagon trail and it travels through spectacular scenery and sweeping views. As you travel the Black Hills Back Country Byway, try to imagine the first travelers on this road...rugged pioneers who lived close to the land. Today, we can embrace the romance of the Old West as we travel this same route. Let the Black Hills Back Country Byway take you on a journey back in time to learn the lessons of these people and the riches from the earth they loved.
The Black Hills Back Country Byway is unpaved, but is accessible to high-clearance vehicles during dry weather. Portions of the byway have narrow drop-offs or are confined by steep cliffs. Do not attempt the byway if you have a travel trailer or any vehicle more than 20 feet long. Motorhomes and trailers can be left at parking areas provided near kiosks at each end. Please take extra care to drive defensively on this route. Always expect a vehicle around the next bend and remember: mountain courtesy gives uphill traffic the right of way.
Allow at least two hours driving time one way to travel the byway, not including stops. If you plan to stop and enjoy the scenery or explore some of the side routes, your travel time can be extended. Have enough gas, water, and other provisions for your trip since no services are provided along the byway.
The Black Hills represent the northern end of the Peloncillo Mountains, a volcanic mountain range with sand and gravel deposits on its flanks. The byway provides a good cross section of this relationship. Sands and gravels occur along the southern two miles and northern six miles of the byway, and volcanic rocks occur in the high country in between.
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