Arizona’s Best Kept Secret

Rock Murals in Chloride Painted By Roy Purcell

Chloride is a tiny town off the side of the highway in Arizona that you would totally drive past if you weren’t looking for it. Despite what you may read, Chloride isn’t a ghost town! They do have a small area of the town designed to look like an old western ghost town (you can read more about that in my other post, here) and on certain days they even have gun fight reenactments! Chloride is actually thought to the the oldest continuously inhabited mining town in Arizona and is now “famous” for murals painted up in the hillside by artist Roy Purcell.

The view on the drive up to the murals, gorgeous!

The murals were originally painted in 1966 when Roy was taking a break from his masters degree and visited his hometown. They’ve surprisingly stood the test of time and it wasn’t until 2006 that Roy returned to repaint the murals. I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to get to the murals in my tiny little compact rental car. All the reviews I had read online said that the road isn’t for the faint of heart and many recommended a truck or a jeep…but I was determined to see the murals and was so exhausted from the rest of my trip felt I deserved to drive to them, damnit!

You can see the road isn’t too bad, but I think if it rains you might have a harder time.

So, I set out slowly and carefully navigated my way around a few small rocks and dips in the road following the painted arrows on the rocks. I’d say I managed to get 3/4 of the way in my car before calling it and walking the remaining 10 minutes. There was a bigger rock in the middle of the road and I had visions of myself getting stuck and the locals taunting me because I didn’t listen to the warnings about the road….I’m stubborn and determined, but I’d like to think not to a fault (all the time) haha!

There were a few arrows like this painted along the side of the road so you know you’re on the right track.
If you look ahead you can see the bump in the middle of the road, I didn’t feel like bottoming out my tiny little rental car…so I walked the rest of the way!

Have you ever seen rock murals or anything like this? Definitely add Roy Purcell’s murals in Chloride, Arizona to your bucket list for the Southwest!img_2451img_2424img_2427img_2449img_2464img_2465


One thought on “Arizona’s Best Kept Secret

  1. I’d like to add that Roy has a gallery in Tubac Arizona. For anyone interested in knowing more, he’s published a book about the murals. His canvases are beautiful (I own two!) and he’s a lovely man. Check out Purcell Gallery Tubac Arziona.


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