Clifton and Morenci were established during the late 1800s as mining towns. They are in eastern Arizona, near the New Mexico border. Clifton, incorporated in 1909, is the seat of Greenlee County and the birthplace of the famous Apache warrior chief Geronimo. Morenci boasts the largest open pit copper mine in the United States. Elevations range from 3,464 feet in Clifton to 4,838 feet in Morenci.

Principal Economic Activities

Mining and mineral processing dominate the economic picture in the Clifton-Morenci area, employing upwards of two-thirds of the workforce. The government and education sectors are also major employers with approximately 200 employees. Clifton and Morenci are trade centers for tourists driving the popular Coronado Trail or touring the historic Chase Creek business district. There are a number of retail and service firms.

Scenic Attractions

At the heart of the Clifton Townsite Historic District is Chase Creek with some of the best-preserved examples of Arizona Territory architecture. In its heyday, Chase Creek’s numerous saloons and gambling halls gave Clifton a reputation as the “town tougher than Tombstone.”

The spirit of those days remains, but with modern amenities. A museum and walking tour enhance the experience. The Coronado Trail cuts a path north through the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest which rises to 9,000 feet at the Mogollon Rim. The San Francisco River flows through Clifton while the Gila River runs south through the grass-covered meadows of the Gila and Duncan valleys. Eagle Creek and the Blue and Black Rivers form local recreation sites. Popular activities are hunting, fishing and rockhounding.

Community Facilities

The community offers a broad range of facilities. There are a variety of dining establishments, two libraries, one historical museum, two swimming pools, a splash pad, more than a dozen parks, a bowling alley, several tennis courts and numerous community centers.

Basic Information

Founded (n/a) Incorporated 1909
Elevation 3,502 ft. Location Greenlee County
Distance to major cities:
Phoenix 207 miles San Diego 576 miles
Tucson 159 miles Los Angeles 580 miles
Las Vegas 580 miles  


2000 2010 2023 (est.)
Clifton-Morenci 4,475 3,314 3,909
Greenlee County 8,547 8,440 9,593
State of Arizona 5,130,632 6,401,569 7,285,370

Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation


Clifton 3.00%
Greenlee County 0.50%
State 5.60%

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation

Labor Force

2000 2010 2022
Civilian Labor Force 1,155 1,350 1,804
Unemployed 72 170 28
Unemployment Rate 6.2% 12.6% 1.6%

Office of Economic Opportunity

Workforce Education Attainment

Count Share
Less than high school 345 16.1%
High school or equivalent, no college 648 30.3%
Some college or Associate degree 714 33.4%
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 430 20.1%

American Community Survey

Industry (ranked by employment)

  Count Share
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 612 35.7%
Education, health care & social assistance 332 19.4%
Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 179 10.4%
Retail trade 152 8.9%
Finance, insurance & real estate 122 7.1%
Professional, scientific, & administrative services 117 6.8%
Construction 83 4.8%
Public administration 61 3.6%
Other services, except public administration 24 1.4%
Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 19 1.1%
Manufacturing 14 0.8%
Information 0 0.0%
Wholesale trade 0 0.0%

American Community Survey

This profile was prepared by the Arizona Commerce Authority in cooperation with local sources. For further information, please contact:

Town of Clifton
Erica Gonzalez
510 N Coronado Blvd
P.O. Box 1415
Clifton, AZ 85533
Phone: 928-215-6091
Email: [email protected]
Greenlee County Economic Development
Erica Gonzalez
Phone: 928-215-6091
Email: [email protected]

Local First Arizona
407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602-956-0909
Email: [email protected]
Arizona Commerce Authority
Statewide Economic Development Group
100 N. 7th Ave., Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-845-1200
Email: [email protected]

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