U.S. 89-Pinal Pioneer Parkway The parkway begins southwest of Oracle heading towards the town of Florence through 42 miles of high Sonoran Desert. This is part of the old highway between Phoenix and Tucson. The parkway was established in 1961 by the Arizona Highway Department as a scenic drive through a relatively untouched expanse of desert. It seems likely that this parkway provided part of the spark that led to the creation of the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive in 1963. Residents who were involved in the creation of the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive spoke and wrote about the Pinal Pioneer Parkway. In the case of the Pinal Pioneer Parkway the Arizona Highway Department acquired 1,000 foot wide scenic easements on the federal and state lands along the parkway to create a highway nature preserve. There are roadside rest areas along the road. One has a statue of Tom Mix and his horse. Mix was killed near the spot in 1940 when his car swerved off the highway and crashed into what is now known as Tom Mix Wash. This drive provides a pleasant, slow-paced alternative to I10 and features saguaro forests, picnic areas, nature studies and Tom Mix Monument.
Come visit us in Oracle, Arizona