Straddling the border, Greenlee County, Arizona, and Hidalgo County, New Mexico, are blessed with some of the wildest and most ruggedly beautiful land in the Southwest. The twin counties are traversed by the Gila River, the Southwest’s longest river and the reason why this area was the site of extensive settlement by the Hohokam and Mogollon peoples.
In the mid-1540s Francisco Vasquez de Coronado may have crossed the area in search of the Seven Cities of Cibola. The Butterfield stage line passed through in the mid-1800s, touching off a quarter century of conflict with the Apache Indians.
Lordsburg (population 2500) was founded in 1880 when the Southern Pacific reached the area on its way east in a quest to complete the second transcontinental railroad. Duncan (population 600) dodged certain death at least twice: in the 1970s, when Interstate 10 was opened about 30 miles to the south, and in 1978, when the Gila River burst its dikes and hit the town with a nine-foot wave of water.
Today Duncan and Lordsburg remain true Western towns, primarily dependent on ranching and mining and remarkably free of the runaway development that plagues so much of the Southwest. Here real adventure is still possible, following lightly-traveled mountain roads and trails to important natural, cultural and historic sites unknown to all but a handful of visitors.
Explore one of the most biologically diverse "underbirded" areas in the Southwest.MORE
Hike, bike or bushwhack your way to an unforgettable outdoor adventure.MORE
Rockhound in an area famous for fire agates. Guided trips available.MORE
Simpson Hotel— Travel back in time to this lovingly restored 1914 classic small town hotel. Great atmosphere, the largest collection of original art in any Arizona hotel, good beds and superb breakfasts along with a variety of gardens to sit in, a library with lots of local history, and no TV. Book the Sweetheart Room and take a relaxing soak in an extra-long clawfoot tub. The Simpson books up far in advance for The Javelina Chase, but you can plan a fun ride on your own at a different time and use the hotel as your base.
Chaparral Mini-Mart and Motel— Enjoy down-home comfort at the Chaparral Mini Mart, a store, gas station and motel on the Old West Highway in Duncan, Arizona. The Chaparral also books up for The Javelina Chase way in advance.
There is free dry overnight camping and RV parking for Javelina Chase participants at the Greenlee County Fairgrounds. Additional camping will be available at the old cotton gin on the Virden Road.
The Ranch House — An excellent grill with a freshly renovated dining room filled with original paintings and other art. The Ranch House is open 7 am to 9 pm seven days a week. It's known for its steaks and burgers and ribs, homemade french fries, seafood options, salad bar and more. It’s the only eatery in town with a bar. On Monday evenings The Ranch House hosts “Taco Night,” a social institution of the town for the last couple of decades. There are other specials Tuesday through Thursday nights. 928-359-2643.
Hilda's Kitchen — serves its delicious American/Mexican fare in a spacious, brightly-colored restaurant adjacent to their market. You can pick up good Mexican chocolate, all sorts of hot sauces, sliced meats and cheeses and other groceries while you’re there. We think their mahi-mahi tacos with fresh cabbage are top-notch. Hilda's is open Monday through Saturday 7 am to 8 pm, and Sunday 7 am to 4 pm. 928-359-1771
Humble Pie — on Main Street, across from the Simpson Hotel, offers pizza, calzones, lasagna and salads at very reasonable prices. There are regular customers who drive 90 miles from Silver City because the food is really that good. Be sure to try their smoky-flavored sliced sausage added to a "vegetarian." The lasagna is superb too, and a single serving is enough for two light eaters. Dinners only. 928-359-9866.