Queen Mine Tour

Useful Information

Location: In Bisbee, southeast of Tucson. From Tucson I10 east, exit onto Arizona 80 past Benson, to Bisbee. Prior to entering Bisbee take the second exit after the tunnel. Turn right, up the hill.
Open: Queen Mine: All year daily 9, 10:30, 12, 14, 15:30.
Lavender Pit: All year daily 10:30, 12, 14, 15:30.
Fee: Queen Mine: Adults USD 12, Children (4-15) USD 5, Children (0-3) free.
Lavender Pit: Adults USD 10, Children (0-4) free.
Classification: MineCopper Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: T=8 °C.
Guided tours: Queen Mine: D=75 min, St=32, L=100 m (walking), 500 m (train ride), V=50,000/a.
Address: Queen Mine Tour, 118 Arizona St., Bisbee, Tel: +1-520-432-2071, Free: +1-866-432-2071, Fax: +1-520-432-6069. E-mail: contact
Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, No. 5 Copper Queen Plaza, Bisbee.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1875 Hugh Jones discovers copper, but leaves, disappointed that it's not silver.
1877 Army scout Jack Dunn finds ore. Queen Mine opened by George Warren.
1880 Bisbee founded as a mining camp and Queen Mine purchased by DeWitt Bisbee from San Fransisco.
mid–1970s closed when Phelps Dodge discontinued mining operations in Bisbee.
FEB-1976 opened as a show mine.


Queen Mine Tour shows a closed copper mine. The visitors are equipped with helmets and rain coats, then they enter the mine on a mine train. Every visitor has to take a token, and return it when he leaves the mine. So, in case of a mine accident, the rescuers would know how many people are still inside the mine. This system was used when the mine was in operation.

500 m inside the mountain, on a round trip the historic mine and its equippment are shown. Tours are stil conducted by miners who worked in the mine before it closed. If asked, they sometimes tell their own stories and personal experiences. Chuck Eads, Bisbee's mayor in the seventies, established the mine tour to keep miners employed

The underground mine tour is completed by a surface tour by van. The gigantic Lavender Pit strip mine and the Historic District of Bisbee are shown. The history starts when Army scout Jack Dunn found ore in 1877. He was not allowed to leave his post, so he traded his find to George Warren. Warren was obviously someone from a cowboy cowboy movie. He founded Queen mine and started mining, but he lost his claim in a horse race. Soon after the mine was purchased by the investor DeWitt Bisbee from San Fransisco. He founded a miners camp and intensified mining. The camp soon was named after him, although he never personally visited the place.

Bisbee is today a small mining town, but once it was one of the largest cities west of the Mississippi. In a century of mining activities four million tons of copper, 3,000 tons of silver, and 90 tons of gold were mined. Typical are two-storey houses, narrow streets leaving room for only one car, and the word copper in the names of hotels, restaurants, shops, and streets.

Another mining related sight is the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum. It has extensive historical collections like books, documents and photographs. The minerals exhibition is said to be $6 million worth. By coincidence it is located at No. 5 Copper Queen Plaza.