Update: January 23, 2013 — see Pinal City Cemetery Preservation for an update on the preservations efforts and upcoming dedication of the cemetery.
If you’ve read our story about visiting the Pinal City Cemetery, you might be wondering how to get there.
I recommend a high clearance vehicle for this trip. You won’t need 4-wheel drive but it’s an old Forest Road so be careful. It’s been a while and nothing is clearly marked so bear with me. Head east on Hwy 60 towards Globe.
You will pass the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on your right. About two miles later you will see a big blue and white factory on the left (north side) of the road, slow down. You want to turn left across from the Superior Airport towards large gravel piles. It is a Forest Service road so don’t worry about access, it’s public.
If you reach the small town of Superior you have gone too far (although you might want to try Los Hermanos for lunch).
You will have large gravel piles on your left, pass the gravel piles and follow the road around to the left. You will reach a fork in the road by a power transfer station (you can’t miss the station, lots of huge transformers behind a chain link fence). Veer left at the fork. Here’s where it gets hard, you are now heading west, paralleling Hwy 60 roughly.
The next turn you need is a left BUT it is not marked other than a plastic bag tied in a mesquite tree on the right-hand side of the road. It is easy to mistake it for a piece of garbage, but it is actually marking your turn. I do know that it is not the first left turn that you come across. From the “marker” it is about 100′ south. There is a nice grave marker and a poem for Mattie.
After visiting the site a couple times myself I did a bit more poking around and research. There is a rumor, unsubstantiated, that although Mattie Earp’s marker is there in the old Pinal City cemetery (slowly eroding away) she is actually not buried there. Apparently people were afraid her grave would be pilfered so she is secretly buried somewhere nearby.
Again, I can’t confirm that. I do know she died in Pinal City as the result of an overdose of laudanum and alcohol and that she was buried nearby.
As a last resort you can try the Chamber of Commerce in Superior but I didn’t find their info that helpful. Best of luck and have fun out there.
Update: I have cobbled together some more detailed information that might be helpful: Set your trip odometer to 0 as you turn north onto Silver King Mine Road. Drive past the Harborlite Corp’s gravel piles and stay to the left at the fork. You will now be on Happy Camp Road (though it is unmarked). Do not drive toward the electric power substation. You will drive through an arroyo. After climbing out of the ravine you will be heading west. Slow down as your odometer reaches 1.1 miles. There should be a Qwest fiber optic cable marker on the right. Continue another 75 feet or so. Follow the dirt track to the south. There are several unmarked routes in that area so stick to the one most heavily used. At about 1.8 miles you should drive under large power lines and the cemetery will be directly ahead.