The Great Stair Climb…

Bisbee, Arizona

Earlier this month, my husband and I traveled to Bisbee, Arizona.

Bisbee, Arizona

For those of you who have never visited, Bisbee is a fun, quirky place that marches to the beat of its own drummer.  I had a great time!

Bisbee, Arizona

Bisbee, Arizona is an old, mining town built on a side of a mountain.  As a result, there are different stairways scattered throughout the historical district.  An annual event is held each year called, “The Great Stair Climb” where participants climb the stairways for a total of 1,000 steps.


Tourist are welcome to climb one or all of the stairways at any time of the year.

The Great Stair

Each stairway is marked with the number of steps that it has.  Some are rather long while others are less so.

The Great Stair

This stairway that led up to the city park was 127 steps.

longest stairways

While walking through the historical district, my husband dared me to climb one of the longest stairways.

I don’t think that my husband expected me to climb those stairs – he knows that I am not the athletic type.  BUT after 28 years of marriage, I decided to prove to him that I am still full of surprises, so I started up the stairway.

The Great Stair

I’m not sure why I took my purse with me.

The Great Stair

For those of you who may be scoffing at my labors at this point, I’d like to point out that this photo shot is zoomed in and doesn’t accurately show how many steps I had already climbed.

Bisbee, Arizona

It was getting pretty difficult at this point and I realized that we were at a high altitude of 5,500 feet, so I was beginning to huff quite a bit.

But, I wouldn’t quit unless I fainted.

Bisbee, Arizona

I am happy to say that I made it climbing 188 steps!

Can you see my arms raised in victory at the top?

Bisbee, Arizona

Here is a close-up.

Now I just had to walk down 188 steps.

I must admit that my legs felt shaky when I had climbed down, but I was happy that I had done it and surprised my husband at the same time.

After the climb, we walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch.

Bisbee, Arizona

Along the way, we passed another stairway and my husband challenged me to climb that one.

Needless to say, I said “NO”.

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
3 replies
  1. dryheatblog
    dryheatblog says:

    I've never stopped in Bisbee, just driven through a few times…through the main part, and the south part (an ocotillo forest!). Must go, since I'm so close now.

    Steps – no problem, and I'm also not athletic, but all the mountain biking and hiking must be paying off!

    My favorite – your 4th pic, esp. the pots and high desert signature, Italian Cypress! I remember those dotting Bisbee's hills just like the mountain edges of El Paso and Albq. Great graphic!

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