This segment of highway runs between Mule Creek, NM and 3-Way in Greenlee County. Westbound on Hwy 78 you will find:
Coal Creek Campground is a popular rest stop for travelers on AZ 78. Enjoyed for picnicking and free overnight camping under the large ponderosa pine and oak trees. Coal Creek flows nearby seasonally, creating year-round hiking opportunities through meadows of wildflower-covered grassy meadows. It features restroom facilities, picnic tables, prepared fire rings with camping sites for tents, trailers, and RV’s up to 16 foot (no RV hookups available). Conveniently located near the Arizona/New Mexico state line on AZ 78.
San Francisco River by way of Martinez Ranch Road (FR 212) northbound off of AZ 78.
Bear Track Camp is a centrally located site for camping near many OHV/4WD roads within Rattlesnake Gap area. Nearby corrals are located just north of campground for those that prefer exploring this area by way of horseback. Tables and prepared fire rings have been placed for visitor’s convenience at this site as well as at Frisco Campground northbound on Martinez Ranch Road (FR 212). This is a “dry” campsite, no water or restroom facilities are available. Frisco Camp is the second site found while traveling Martinez Ranch Road (FR 212) north toward the river. Nestled next to the river, near the Martinez Ranch, this camp offers visitors excellent outdoor adventure opportunities. Explore Martinez Ranch where the Blue River meets the San Francisco River, all located west of this campsite. This is a “dry” campsite, no water or restroom facilities are available.
Black Jack Campground Road (FR 507) is a nice large area for group camping with amenities including a large covered ramada and a pretty view at the south end. Everyone can find something of interest during an overnight or extended stay here. Picnic or camp under the Ponderosa pine and oak trees for a cool summer getaway. Explore Maverick Hill, the rocky bluffs above Black Jack Canyon or the cave and canyon below. Wildlife viewing during your explorations can be enjoyed year-round and antelope are known to frequent this area. Motorcyclists can enjoy the curves of AZ 78 and the Coronado Trail (US 191) highways in conjunction with US 180 in NM for a loop tour of the entire national forest areas scenic views and natural thrills. This campground has amenities including restroom facilities, grills, prepared fire rings and is accessible to trailers. Located about 10 miles west of the Arizona/New Mexico state lines on the east side of AZ 78.
Black Jack Cave Overlook is a pull-off located on the south side of AZ 78 as you descend off the Big Lue Mountains heading toward 3-Way and the US 191/AZ 75 junction. This overlook offers highway travelers a view of the “hideout” cave that outlaws like Black Jack Christian used as they evaded law enforcement. Local tales of this cave having been used more for a holding place for the outlaw’s loot has enticed many “treasure hunters” to search for his leavings. The once small cave was greatly increased in size by way of many excavation measures including explosives, which has removed the signs that people had once lived within this cave. The cave itself is located at the northeast end of Black Jack Canyon and can be accessed by hiking southwest along the highway to a nearby unmarked trail leading into the canyon below or from the southern end of Black Jack Campground located northeast of this overlook. Located near MP 165 of AZ 78.
Black Jack Canyon is named after the notorious outlaw William “Will” Christian (aka: Black Jack, Ed Williams, 202). He was killed within this small canyon in 1897. After authorities learned Black Jack and his “High Fives” gang were back in the area, and after many train and stagecoach robberies occurred in Arizona (including nearby Clifton), a posse was organized. The outlaws that were killed during this shoot-out were hauled back to town atop a lumber wagon and their dead bodies were placed on display.