The County Seat of Gila County, Arizona, Globe was founded as a mining camp in the 1870s. Initially, the inhabitants mined for silver but that ceased before the end of the 19th century, to be replaced by more profitable copper mining.
Its population of 7,500 is still involved in mining but increasingly in tourism as well, with farming also making a significant contribution to the local economy. Globe has attracted a number of retirees who have selected this part of Arizona as the climate is ideal for their later years.
Located in the middle of the Tonto Forest Region, Globe is surrounded by some spectacular scenery. As a result, it has become an increasingly popular place for those wanting to enjoy the outdoor life and the activities it affords. It is found at an elevation of 3,500 feet and is100 miles due east of Phoenix.
It seemingly got its name from a large piece of silver found nearby, although it is now long gone.
Read on for 15 things to do in Globe, Arizona.
1. Salt River Canyon Scenic Drive
A good way to get your bearings on some of the environmental highlights close to Globe is to take a drive. One of the best is certainly the scenic drive that reveals Salt River Canyon, which was created thousands of years ago.
You are certain to want to look more closely at some of the places on the route but that is for another day. On this drive, just stop at the Canyon Viewpoint where you can park up at the head of the canyon and look down the gorge. If you decide to go for a hike there later, you will need a permit from the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
2. Besh Ba Gowah Park
The village in this Park was once home to the Salado, hunters, gathers and farmers who lived here for many generations. The pueblo has 200 rooms on two storeys, indicating that there was a sizeable population.
Estimates say that problems began in the 14th century when food and water became scarcer. The result was that they left their settlement, which became a ghost town and has been ever since.
The Museum has interesting artifacts and further information on life as it was in those days. Stone tools, houseware, pottery, jewelry and some textiles are on display and a typical Salado Room has been recreated.
3. Seneca Lake
If you are looking for good fishing, one place to consider is Seneca Lake, just to the north of Globe. It is in the San Carlos Reservation, so you will need a permit to enter and fish.
You will notice abandoned buildings close by. They date back to the 70s when the Apaches aimed to open a resort with a restaurant, bar, trading post, cabins for rent and a large motel. There was even talk of a golf course. They defaulted on repayments so anything of value was repossessed and the project has never been reinstated.
4. Old Dominion Historic Mine Park
Copper’s contribution to Globe’s economy cannot be underestimated and the metal taken from this mine between 1880 and around 1930 was vitally important to Globe’s prosperity. It was a local initiative to create this park as part of the city’s heritage and it has proved a wise decision. The Gila County Historical Society and the City ensure that visitors can imagine what it was like when the mine was still in production.
Most visitors just walk the trails, but cycles and wheelchairs are permitted because the various trails are wide enough.
5. Round Mountain Park
If you are looking for some hiking ideas, the loop trails in this park are worth considering. Whether you are just a casual walker or an experienced hiker, there are five alternatives that might be suitable for you.
The most impressive is the trail that goes up to the flag; it is known as the West Trail. From the summit you will have a great view over Globe and across to mountain ranges in the distance.
The longest of the walks is just over 3 miles long but because they interlink, you can walk portions of different hikes on one day out.
6. Historic District of Globe
The citizens of Globe are very proud of its history and there are some historical walks where it seems as though little has changed for many decades. Walk along Broad Street and you will soon get the idea.
The Holy Angels Catholic Church, which was opened in 1918, is located in the Historic District. It took its place on the Register of Historic Places two decades after it was opened. You can go in when there is no service and will find it an interesting place, inside as well as out. There are little side streets and a clock that proudly announces the age of Globe.
7. Gila County Historical Museum
Gila County uses the old Mine Rescue Service Station for its museum. The building dates back almost a century and inside you will find one of the most impressive libraries that you will have ever come across, concentrating on local history.
Volunteers are on hand if you want information on any particular subject, be it relatives or mining from its very beginnings.
Amongst the sections you are certain to enjoy is the Native American Room with exhibits dating back many centuries, including pottery, textiles, basketwork and bead creations.
8. Historic Gila County Sheriff’s Office and Jail
Globe is known for its ghosts (more of that elsewhere). The Old County Sherriff’s Office and Jail has seen a great deal over the years and many visitors leave convinced that spirits are still living there.
One of the stories you will hear is of Kingsley Olds, who was said to have drowned two young girls in the Salt River in 1911. He was shot in jail and died, but not before he said he had seen the ghosts of the girls motioning to him. Some say that the girls still wander through the building on a regular basis. You can take a look and make up your own mind.
9. Cobre Valley Center for the Arts
Since this center opened in 1984, its members have undertaken a number of projects as well as providing an outlet for local talent.
You will be impressed by the venue. It’s the Old Gila County Courthouse, which has been restored by locals so that exhibitions and performances can take place.
One permanent exhibition honors a local heroine, Rose Mofford, who rose to become the first female Governor of the State of Arizona. Her career actually began in the Courthouse the building was then. and these days, she is one of the retired inhabitants of Globe.
10. The Serenity Room
If you are spending time exploring Globe and its immediate hinterland, you may be having a busy time. When the weather is hot it can be tiring.
One way to refresh yourself after a hard day of exploring is to head here to pick from a range of treatments that are on offer. Treat yourself to a facial after having a massage. You can select from a range of skin treatments and a body scrub, with advice on how better to look after your skin as an added bonus.
You’ll certainly look your best for dinner after a session at the Serenity Room.
11. Gila County Batting Range
Kids can get the chance to show off their skills with a session at the Batting Range.
The three cages have equipment that will deliver the ball at different speeds, so you can have fun even if you are a complete novice. Softball speeds are around 50 mph, with the top speed an impressive 70mph. Guests are welcome to use their own equipment if they wish.
The recreation areas, picnic facilities and concessions all add to the fun a family can have here.
12. Haunted Historians
Mention has already been made of haunted places in Globe. The jail is just one of them. If you go to the Old Dominion Commercial Company Building, which used to be the general store, see if you can hear footsteps on the second floor. They are said to belong to a bookkeeper who died at work.
Others have claimed to have heard voices and creaking floorboards at Globe High School, while it is said that a spirit lives on the third floor of Bullion Plaza Historic Museum in nearby Miami.
Theodore Roosevelt Lake is half an hour away, and its creation flooded some old ghost towns. It is also claimed that there is a flooded Native American burial ground here. All in all, visitors often get an uneasy feeling while there.
13. Pickle Barrel Trading Post
When it comes to shopping for souvenirs, you should head to this trading post, which was the Old Dominion Commercial Co. Warehouse over a century ago, holding supplies and equipment.
Former owners decided to transform it to an art and antique store with living accommodation. Its presence could not be missed from the highway because of a large illuminated sign. It then took the name it has today even though it never had anything to do with pickles.
Even if you don’t buy anything, you will surely admire the 8-foot x 10-foot original pencil drawing of Geronimo that hangs there, drawn by a local artist. The trading post houses many Native American crafts and artworks, which are worth looking at if you want presents and mementos.
15. San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation & Golf Resort Casino
Much of the land that you can explore surrounding Globe belongs to the Apache and you need to have a permit to enjoy some of the walks.
There is plenty of entertainment available 24 hours a day. It includes a casino with a range of games, the Stronghold Golf course with large range, putting green, refreshments and a pro shop. You can book accommodation.
Fishing in one of its four lakes, camping and hunting permits can be bought in the Office located here.