State Route 177

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Arizona 177 begins at US 60 and Superior, and travels past the mining towns of Kearny and Hayden to end at Arizona 77 in Winkleman.

Arizona 177 was added to the state highway system in 1953, to serve mines along the corridor. Prior to this, the road was a dirt road. The highway was fully paved by 1959.

Arizona 177 was designated the "Copper Country Scenic Route" in 2008.

Arizona 177 east
Arizona 177 begins at the top of the off-ramp from US 60. Photo taken 06/17/07.

This is the first shield along eastbound Arizona 177. In the background, a distance sign can be seen for the two control cities, Kearny and Winkleman. Photo taken 06/17/07.

Arizona 177 winds around the western edge of Apache Leap, so named because when a expedition was sent to round up Apaches in the 1870s, the Apaches decided to leap to their deaths rather than be arrested. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Arizona 177 was realigned in 1972 to take it further away from Apache Leap, and level the road out significantly. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Arizona 177 begins by travelling near Arnett Creek. Photo taken 06/17/07.
The first major descent along Arizona 177 is a doozy, dropping from the headwaters of Arnett Creek down into Walnut Canyon. This is an advance warning of the upcoming 10% grade. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Trucks and vehicles hauling trailers are advised to stop and check brakes before descending on the first 10% grade down. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Nothing like cresting a hill! This is a roadcut between Arnett Creek and Walnut Canyon, with Lime Point to the right (southwest) of us. Photo taken 06/17/07.
It's a wild ride down to the bottom of Walnut Canyon. Photo taken 06/17/07.
It's a very scenic and challenging drive down into Walnut Canyon. Photo taken 06/17/07.
This curve, at the bottom of Walnut Canyon, passes Walnut Spring. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Distance sign to Kearny (11 miles) and Winkleman (21 miles). In the background are the first signs of the open-pit Ray mine. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Mining operations at the Ray site began in 1884. The mine moved in fits and ebbs until 1953, when a massive expansion program led to open-pit mining and the discontinuation of underground mining. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Arizona 177 passes next to Corral Creek enroute to Kearny. Photo taken 06/17/07.
The scale of the Asarco Ray mine is quite impressive as one drives by the edge of it. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Arizona 177 (before pavement) used to pass through the towns of Sonora and Ray, which catered to mining operations. As part of the expansion of the Asarco Ray mine, both towns were swallowed up by the mine, and a new town of Kearny was established (see next photo). Photo taken 06/17/07.
Arizona 177 enters the town of Kearny here. Kearny is a small mining town, established in 1958 with the expansion of the Asarco (Kennecott) mine. There is a small commercial strip to serve the local residents. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Kearny is a company town, built by Kennecott to serve miners and their families. The majority of the residents of the town still work for Asarco, who now operates the Ray mining complex. Arizona 177 never passed through downtown Kearny, but the main street is located paralell to Arizona 177. Tilbury Drive is the main street through Kearny, leading into the residential streets. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Now past Kearny, Arizona 177 sticks close to the Gila River and the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Across the Gila River are the Tortilla Mountains. Photo taken 06/17/07.
This is the final reassurance marker along Arizona 177. Notice that none of the shield have cardinal direction signs attached to them. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Arizona 177 enters the town of Hayden here. Hayden is a mining town, named for one of the senior members of the company who founded the town. Today, the mine is owned by Asarco and operated in conjunction with the Ray mine. Photo taken 06/17/07.
The pipeline above Arizona 177 connects the smelter and the railway line. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Advance signage for Arizona 77, 1/2 mile. Photo taken 06/17/07.
The last town Arizona 177 enters is Winkleman. Winkleman is a town at the junction of the Gila and San Pedro Rivers, named for an early settler. Photo taken 06/17/07.
Arizona 177 ends in the town of Winkleman at Arizona 77. Travellers heading to Tucson turn right on Arizona 77, while travellers heading to Globe can turn left on Arizona 77. Photo taken 06/17/07.



Photo Credits:

06/17/07 by Kevin Trinkle

Connect with:
U.S. 60
State Route 77

Page Updated 06-18-2007.