Superior is 63 miles east of Phoenix on U.S. 60 at the junction of state Highway 177. The town, in a mountainous setting at an elevation of 2,882 feet, is surrounded by peaks such as Iron Mountain at 6.056 feet.
In 1900, George Lobb laid out the town and called it Hastings. Mines dotted the hills around the prosperous Pinal County community. Stockholders in one of the successful silver mines lived in Michigan and named their mine Lake Superior and Arizona. This mine fed the area economy and the community changed its name to Superior after this mine. The Magma Copper Company was established in 1910 and ran the Silver Queen Mine which became a great cooper producer after its silver ran out. A smelter was built in 1924 and remained in operation for 47 years. Superior was incorporated in 1976.
The famous Apache Trail is north of Superior. This 98-mile trek on Highway 88 provides more, insight into the character of Arizona than possibly any other section of road in the state. Along the roadway, imposing saguaros, rugged mountains jutting out of the desert, and four lakes created by dams on the Salt River give the traveler a glimpse of Arizona's beauty and diversity.
East of town on U.S. 60 are Queen Creek Bridge and Tunnel. On the eastern side of Queen Creek Canyon is Apache Leap Mountain, towering cliffs streaked with red, where Apaches are supposed to have jumped rather than face the humiliation of surrendering to U.S. Troops. Magma Copper Company Mine, on the edge of the townsite, is the largest underground mine in the state. Visitors can view the mine from the entrance six and one-half miles east of town atop Apache leap.
The Oak Flats campground east of Apache Leap Mountain provides a great setting for campers, hikers, and rock climbers.
Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, a four-minute drive west of town on U.S. 60, is world famous for its collection of more than 10,000 desert cacti, flowers and trees set at the edge of picturesque Picket Post Mountain.
Superior has identified three historic districts containing 11 houses. The Superior Historical Society opened the home of Bob Jones (the sixth governor of Arizona) as a museum.