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Pima Air & Space Museum (Tucson) by John Sounders


Near the border of New Mexico, the hills, cliffs, and box canyons of Duncan are a treasure-hunter’s paradise, rich with natural specimens. The land holds clues to a layered history of pioneers and varied fortune seekers, too.

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What’s that glinting in the sunlight? There’s a good chance they’re geodes. 

At the juncture of the Gila River and the southeast border of New Mexico sits the small farming community of Duncan. Located on US Highway 70, also known as the Old West Highway, it has a storied past. Apaches, Spanish conquistadors, immigrants, and mountain men are among the characters that have called Duncan home. Today its residents are mainly miners and ranchers; it is also the birthplace of former US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Surrounded by cotton and chile fields, the quaint, historic Simpson Hotel is a great base from which to explore Duncan. In addition to rocks, sharped-eye visitors to this copper country may find artifacts of prehistoric cultures, including arrowheads, American Indian pottery, and remnants from former military posts. Want some guidance? Rock-a-Buy Rock Shop can arrange an expedition. 

The fertile valley of the Upper Gila River is also along the annual flight path of wintering sandhill cranes. A quiet stroll along the banks of the Gila River at sunset, flanked by the distant mountains that embrace this scenic southeastern Arizona town, captures the spirit of this largely undiscovered destination.

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Just The Facts

For Visitor information

The Country Chic Visitor Center | 205 US Highway 70 | Duncan, AZ | (928) 359-1955 |

County It all started How High? Head Count
Greenlee 1938 3,655ft 696

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