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U.S. 60 East - Florence Junction to Show Low

Perspective from Eastbound U.S. 60
Just east of Arizona 79, US 60 reverts to a two lane, undivided highway, and will stay that way until reaching Superior. This section of road is being reconstructed. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Distance sign to Superior and Globe. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Turn left here to reach Queen Valley Road and Whitlow Dam. Whitlow Dam is a flood control dam on Queen Creek, which US 60 paralells. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 has many curves along Queen Creek. This section of road was first constructed in 1929, and rebuilt between 1948 and 1952. Photo taken 11/11/06.
This is a typical view of two-lane US 60 west of Superior. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 snakes alongside Queen Creek Canyon. A passing lane is just ahead, one that has been added after original construction. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Even with a passing lane, US 60 snakes along the canyon wall, limiting the utility of the passing lane. US 60 is climbing eastbound as it approaches Superior. Photo taken 11/11/06.

Just west of Superior is a rest area. Superior is an old siver mining town, which switched to copper with the opening of the Magma Copper mine. Mining activity has all but ceased in recent years. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 meets Arizona 177. Arizona 177 travels south to Kearny and Winkleman, and was added to the state highway system in 1953. Photo taken 11/11/06.
The interchange between Arizona 177 and US 60 is a grade-separated interchange. Photo taken 11/11/06.
The grade separated interchange was constructed in 1955, shortly after Arizona 177 became a state highway. Photo taken 11/11/06.


The original "winding ladder" road was constructed in 1921. This road was bypassed between 1949 and 1952 with construction of the Queen Creek Bridge and Queen Creek Tunnel. The approximately one mile abandoned stretch of road has been evaluated for inclusion in the National Register of historic roads. Photos taken November 11, 2006.
The reconstructed US 60 passes through numerous road cuts, cut from the sheer rock faces above Queen Creek. Photo taken 11/11/06.
The Queen Creek Bridge was completed in 1953. This 651 foot long steel arch bridge is typical of many in Arizona completed during the 1940s and 1950s. Photos taken 11/11/06.
In 1952, the Queen Creek Tunnel was completed. This 1280 foot long tunnel was designed for four traffic lanes, but is currently striped for three. The maximum clearance in the tunnel is 14 feet. This tunnel replaced the shorter 1921 Claypool Tunnel. Photos taken 11/11/06.
US 60 passes under sheer road cuts just to the north of the road. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 is the Gila-Pinal Scenic Road between Miles 214.5 and 240.5. The road is signed with the Arizona standard scenic road marker, as seen here. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Turn right here for the Oak Flat Campground. The campground is part of the Tonto National Forest. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 meets Magma Mine Road here. US 60 passes the Magma Copper Mine, which closed in 1987. There are talks about reopening the mine, but the plans are controversial as they would require loss of some recreational areas, such as Oak Flat. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 follows the lay of the land as it continues north and east to Miami. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Directional markers are rare along US 60 between Superior and Miami. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Distance sign to Miami and Globe. US 60 is traveling through Gila County at this point. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 has alternating passing lanes along the road, as seen here facing eastbound (with the passing lanes on the westbound side). Photo taken 11/11/06.

This map shows the original 1922 alignment of U.S. 60, and the 1949 reroute of the road. Notice the amount of twists and turns that were eliminated during the reroute. This 1949 route is being investigated for possible replacement as it does not meet current ADOT Highway Standards.

US 60 crosses Pinto Wash here. The Pinto Wash arch bridge was completed in 1949, bypassing the original road which was significantly more windy and longer than the present alignment. The Pinto Wash bridge was voted the most beautiful steel bridge of 1949, as seen by the plaque on the bridge. Photos taken 11/11/06.
US 60 follows Bloody Tanks Wash to Miami. Bloody Tanks wash is named for the nearby Bloody Tanks, which are named after a battle between white men and the Apaches in 1864. Photo taken 11/11/06.
The canyon that holds Bloody Tanks Wash gets very deep as it nears Miami. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 enters Miami here. Miami is a town that grew up around the copper mines near town, with the town founded to serve the needs of the miners. Tailings from the Freeport McMoran (Phelps-Dodge) mine surround the hills north of town. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 passes under the stack of the Miami copper smelter. Photo taken 11/11/06.
East of Miami, US 60 enters Globe. Globe is the county seat of Gila county, and was supposedly named for a silver sphere found that was approximately 9" of diameter, that resembled a globe. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 meets Arizona 188 at this intersection. Use Arizona 188 to reach Roosevelt Dam and Tonto National Monument. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Globe is the home of former Governor Rose Mofford, Arizona's first female governor. Photo taken 11/11/06.
This is a typical US 60 reassurance marker as seen in Globe. Photo taken 11/11/06.
The next road junction US 60 meets is US 70 and Arizona 77, in 1/2 mile. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Interestingly, through traffic on US 60 must turn to stay on US 60, while the main road becomes US 70. This is a legacy of the original construction of US 60 between 1929 and 1934, when US 70 was the only through route at this point. US 70 was co-signed with US 60 until 1969 on this road. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Arizona 77 continues east on US 70, then branches south to reach Oracle and Tucson. Traffic on US 60 and Arizona 77 north should use the left lane. Photo taken 11/11/06.
U.S. 60 east & Arizona 77 north
Now north of Globe, US 60 and Arizona 77 climb away from the city quite rapidly. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Distance sign to Show Low and Springerville. US 60 will cross some rugged terrain between Globe and Springerville. Photo taken 11/11/06.
North of Globe, US 60 passes through additional road cuts as it climbs in elevation. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 north of Globe is much less heavily trafficked then it was between Phoenix and Globe. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Scrubby hills are common around Globe. This type of brush cover is common in the high desert mountains. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Advance signage for Jones Water Campground. Jones Water Campground is part of the Tonto National Forest, and is a small, primitive campground (no water available). Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 has various stretches of passing lanes through the mountains. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 and Arizona 77 remain co-signed north of Globe, as seen on this sign assembly. Photo taken 11/11/06.
"Don't Drink and Drive" signs are commonly placed on rural highways in Arizona. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Distance sign to Show Low and Springerville. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Advance signage for a Safety Pullout. Arizona places Safety Pullouts before long downhill grades. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 meets the ghost town of Seneca here. Seneca was a town established to support the nearby mines, but it has all but been abandoned. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Distance sign to the aforementioned safety pullout, 1/2 mile. Photo taken 11/11/06.
This advisory sign advises trucks and vehicles pulling trailers to check their brakes before heading down into the Salt River Canyon. Photo taken 11/11/06.
After the pullout, this sign advises motorists to use lower gears if they are a truck or pulling a trailer. It's a wild ride ahead, and a long way down to the bottom. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 enters the Salt River Canyon here. Photo taken 11/11/06.
This photo is rather deceptive, as US 60 will have a 6% grade for the next five miles. However, all motorists see right now are mountains on the horizon, not knowing about the canyon between here and the other side. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 travels through a number of roadcuts ahead, as warned by this sign (advising to watch for rocks). Photo taken 11/11/06.
In the 1990s, a runaway truck ramp was added. This sign advises motorists of the runaway truck ramp ahead. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Unfortunately, if stuck behind a truck, it will make your ride a lot longer to the canyon bottom. The two trucks seen here were traveling approximately 20 MPH. Photo taken 11/11/06.
These photos were taken from an abandoned rest area on an old alignment of US 60, and have an excellent view of the grade and the twin Salt River bridges at the bottom of the canyon. Photos taken 11/11/06.
These photos were taken of the runaway truck ramp, as approaching it northbound. Photos taken 11/11/06.
The descent into the Salt River Canyon is a wild ride, and photos do not do it justice. Photos taken 11/11/06.
The Salt River Bridge was built in 1933-34, with the parallel replacement bridge (red) built in 1994. These photos were taken from the rest area at the bottom of the canyon. Photos taken 11/11/06.
After crossing the new bridge, US 60 turns to follow the base of a small (relatively speaking) cliff. The old gas station and mini-mart located here is now closed. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Distance sign to Show Low and Springerville, the next two cities along US 60. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 gains a climbing lane as it climbs along the north side of the Salt River Canyon. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 climbs quickly along the north canyon wall, as seen here. Photos taken 11/11/06.
Climbing up toward Becker Lookout, the road pulls back and passes through some road cuts, similar to this one. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Becker Lookout was named for Walter Becker, described as the father of US 60. Becker was one of the pioneers who lived in this area in the 1920s, and his work led to the designation of US 60 as a transcontinental highway. His work communicating road surfaces and traffic counts led to the establishment of US 60, and this lookout is dedicated to his memory, along with that of his son. Photos taken 11/11/06.
At the top of the canyon, the scenery changes dramatically. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 continues to twist and turn as it makes the final climb out of the Salt River Canyon, into high mountainous terrain. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 remains co-signed with Arizona 77 as it reaches the top of the Mogollon Rim. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Distance sign to Show Low and Springerville. Photo taken 11/11/06.
US 60 continues through the scrub-covered lands of northeastern Arizona. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Advance signage for Arizona 73. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Arizona 73 is the original road up through the Fort Apache Indian Nation, with the majority replaced by US 60. The present-day road begins here and travels through Fort Apache, Hon Dah and White River to Arizona 260. Photo taken 11/11/06.
Arizona 73 departs here from US 60. Arizona 77 and US 60 continue north to Show Low from this point. Photo taken 11/11/06.



Photo Credits:
2006-11-11 by Kevin Trinkle

Connect with:
Arizona 77

Page Updated 06-30-2008.

 
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