Seniors Seek Out Historic Safford


My wife and I have traveled around Arizona quite a bit, but not to the eastern border of the state.  That’s where senior travelers will find Safford. Safford, with a population of 10,000, is named after Arizona Territorial Governor Anson P. K. Safford and was incorporated in 1901. It was established by pioneers from Gila Bend, Arizona, way back in 1874.


Recently, Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold opened two mining facilities just north of the city that make up the largest new mining operation in North America.  Agriculture is considered to be a main economic product with cotton fields and a gin located in the city.

A billboard along US Highway 70 announces “Safford …. Copper, Cattle & Cotton”. The motto for Arizona reads “Copper, Cattle, Cotton, Citrus and Climate.” So they are close.

Observatory, Springs and Conservation Area Draw Seniors

Senior visitors stop in Safford to take in the Black Hills Rockhound Area, Discovery Park and the Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area. The Mt. Graham Golf Course is nearby as well, so pack your clubs and play a round or two. The area celebrates the Harvest Festival and the Graham County Fair every October.


Safford offers plenty for senior visitors to see and do.  My wife and I would head for the famed Kachina Mineral Springs Spa to soak for awhile. The Mount Graham International Observatory also looks like a “must see”. Access to Mt Graham is off AZ Hwy 366, 7 miles south of Safford.

Roper Lake State Park is a popular camping destination with RV hookups and cabins plus a lake with a beach and hiking trails. So bring a swimming suit and hiking boots along. The Gila River runs just outside of Safford and adds to its scenic beauty and Bonita Creek is to the north.

 Seniors Discover Discovery Park


Affiliated with Eastern Arizona College, Discovery Park offers senior visitors the opportunity to explore 200 acres of scientific, cultural and historical exhibits. The park houses the Governor Aker Observatory and offers a narrow-gauge train ride to the Circle D Ranch, which features an 1880′s era ranch house. It is located in the southwestern corner of Safford.

As you are cruising along west on I-10 heading for Tucson, turn north on Hwy 191 and it will take you to Safford.  The city is not all that far from the New Mexico border. So set your GPS for Stafford and experience why the locals says that “it is a great place, to work, live and visit.”  Enjoy your stay. -jeb

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