The town of Bisbee, with an estimated population of 6,500, is crowded into a few narrow, confluent ravines near the heart of the Mule Mountains. So, the town stretches on the distance of about 4 miles along Arizona State Highway 80 called Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway. The town (map here) consists of:
1. residential district called the Old Besbee (in Tombstone Canyon, about 2 miles long, map here) along Route 60 in western part (Historic District is at its eastern edge)
2. numerous suburbs (mostly ghost towns now) estwards along Route 80 (to Douglas) and southwards along Route 92 (to Naco and Mexico), map here.
Historic District is compact and walkable but keep in mind that you will be forced to go a bit up and down. If you have more time and energy and want to enjoy views over the town you may take a longer hike around town following itinerary of annual event: Bisbee 1000 and climbing in total 1,000 stairs (map not to scale here). Don't forget to take drinking water with you. Well, I have seen bus stops in Bisbee but public buses run in summer only.
For detailed information on driving and parking in Bisbee switch to my Bisbee Warnings Or Dangers tips, please.
To get to Lavender Pit (picture 4) drive Arizona State Highway 80 East (picture 3), over 1 mile from Historic District. The large parking lot on the right (picture 1-2) was almost empty when I got there on business day in April.
Then continue Arizona State Highway 80 futher east a few hundreds feet till you reach the traffic circle interchange between Arizona 80, Arizona 92, and Bisbee Road ((look here). This suburb of Bisbee is called Lowell (picture 5). If you want to see ghost towns of Bakersville and Warren choose Bisbee Road and then u-turn and come back to the roundabout. If you want to go to Naco and Mexico choose Arizona State Highway 92. If you want to drive directly to Douglas choose Arizona State Highway 80 East.
You must have a car to get to Bisbee which is located at Mule Mountains in southeastern corner of Arizona, 11 miles (18 km) north of Mexican border at Naco, 24 miles (39 km) southeast of Tombstone and 96 miles (154 km) southeast of Tucson. I drove Route 82 East from Nogales via Patagonia and took Arizona State Highway 80 (Benson - Douglas) East via Tombstone and futher down to Bisbee and Douglas.
1. In the USA highways which go in south-north direction are maked by odd numbers while those which run east-west are signed by even numbers. But Arizona State Highway 80 despite its even number runs from Bension via Tombstone southwards to Bisbee where it turns eastwards to Douglas. So, do not look for signs 80 SOUTH, there are none, drive 80 EAST.
2. There is something wrong on direction signs to Bisbee. I've seen signs where Bisbee Rd has been put instead of the name of Bisbee - follow it to get to Bisbee. Actually Bisbee Road is the end part of the old route leading to Bisbee's eastern suburb of Warren, mostly ghost town now.
At that sunny Thursday late afternoon the traffic was light, so driving was comfortable and fast. Cruise control was very useful for me.
Enlarge my maps (picture 2-4) to see my itinerary through the Southwest and southeastern Arizona. Legend:
8 - Tucson
9 - Tubac
10 - Nogales
11 - Patagonia
12 - Tombstone
13 - Bisbee
14 - Douglas
15 - state line Arizona-New Mexico
For good transportation around the town of Bisbee you can take the trolley car or bus that is traveling around the town on the weekends and during the week in the summer months.
This is a very good way to see some of the homes in the area as there are many hills in this town.