! mining ↘ dwindle ↗ flourish ~ ghost town !
A short, easy hike from the historic ghost town of Fairbank to the San Pedro River.
Dogs must be kept on a leash. Black bears are present in the area.
Located roughly 10 miles west of Tombstone, AZ, on Route 82 sits the ghost town of Fairbank. Settled in the late 1870’s, Fairbank was originally called Junction City and functioned as a stagecoach stop. It was then re-named Kendall until settling on the name Fairbank, after Chicago investor, Nathaniel Fairbank, in 1883. Mr. Fairbank helped to finance the railroad and was one of the major contributors to the Central Mining Company in Tombstone.
In May of 1883 a post office was erected in Fairbank in a building that also housed a general store and, what all good southwestern towns require, a saloon. After gaining two additional railroad lines and more depots, the town shortly thereafter grew to include five saloons, three restaurants, four stores, a school, and (presumably to manage the aftermath of the saloons) a jail.
When the mining in Tombstone dwindled in the late 1800’s, the town of Fairbank began to fade away. However, the social life continued to flourish and a new school was built on 1920. The school operated until 1944 and has since been rebuilt by the BLM, in 1987, and now serves as the visitor center, museum, and gift shop for the ghost town.
From the schoolhouse, head east with Route 82 on your left to the signed path. You’ll shortly leave the grounds of the ghost town along a wide, wooded path to towards the river. After 0.3 miles you’ll come to a viewing bench and two signs describing the fauna and importance of the riparian area around the San Pedro River. Continue along the path and for another 0.2 miles down to the river. Meander north and/or south as you please. This short hike would be pleasant any time of year as it offers good shade in the summer, sunlight in the winter, bright green cottonwoods and flowers in the spring, and fall colors in autumn.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.