The town guide info alludes to this, but just to emphasize a
Copper mining is currently booming in the Safford and
Morenci areas. Safford has a new mine opening north of town,
while Morenci is mining presumably at capacity. The upshot
for hikers is that motel rooms in Safford, Morenci, and
Clifton are sometimes unavailable without prior
reservations, or perhaps an early check-in on the day of
An arrival date in Morenci/Clifton would be easier to
pinpoint than for Safford, at least when heading eastbound.
Yet although Klondyke doesn’t have a pay phone or cell
reception, the Pinaleno Mountains sometimes offer the
latter, especially atop Webb Peak. Eastbounders would reach
Webb Peak a day or two before arriving in Safford.
The lack of motel space in Safford is something of a crisis,
I’d imagine for the local C of C as well. However, by
supporting the new mine development for the sake of economic
growth the powers-that-be have brought this crisis entirely
upon themselves. Rumor has it that once the initial
construction phase is complete, the journeyman contractors
will leave, and things will get back to normal.
I’ve seen normal – back in spring and fall of 2005 – and
normal was good.