Driving the historic Black Hills Scenic Byway in AZ
Black Hills Scenic Byway is a scenic unpaved road located on the boundary between Greenlee and Graham counties, in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona.
How long is the Black Hills Scenic Byway?
The drive is 33.95km (21.1 miles) long, running northeast to southwest. Both ends of the byway are accessed from U.S. Highway 191. Do not attempt the byway if you have a travel trailer or any vehicle more than 20 feet long. Motor homes and trailers can be left at parking areas provided near kiosks at each end.
Is the Black Hills Scenic Byway unpaved?
The road is totally unpaved. It’s a very scenic byway winding through the forest for high clearance vehicles during dry weather. But, if it's wet, sometimes no amount of 4WD helps. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is necessary if you plan to explore one of the numerous side roads along the way.
When was the Black Hills Scenic Byway built?
The road was built by prison laborers between 1914 and 1920. It’s also known as Black Hills Back Country Byway.
How long does it take to drive the Black Hills Scenic Byway?
Located between Safford and Clifton, there usually isn't much for traffic. Plan 45 minutes without any stop. The road, through desert emptiness, is filled with wonderful destination for visitors to explore.
Is the Black Hills Scenic Byway dangerous?
Running through the northern end of the Peloncillo Mountains, the road features steep sections and tops out at 1.688m (5,538ft) above the sea level. The weather on this zone is harsh and highly unpredictable. Arizona weather can change quickly. Be prepared. Dress in layers, wear a hat, and pack sunscreen. Always carry plenty of water. Please take extra care to drive defensively on this route. Portions of the byway have narrow drop-offs or are confined by steep cliffs. Always expect a vehicle around the next bend and remember: mountain courtesy gives uphill traffic the right of way. Sections of the route are curvy and winding, and drop-offs on one side with cliffs on the other are the norm.