Juniper Flats is a highly sought-after attraction in Bisbee, Arizona. The 4.75-mile round-trip off-road drive starts at the top of the Mule Pass Tunnel and goes up to the microwave communication tower and granite cliffs, at an elevation of 7005 ft. The area is known for its coatimundi population, a tough and strong omnivore that can be difficult to kill.
Coatimundi feed on a range of prey including ground litter, fruit, desert tarantulas, lizards, rodents, and bird eggs. They have predators such as pumas, foxes, ocelots, black bears, rattlesnakes, bobcats, and large raptors like hawks, falcons, and owls. The temperature at Juniper Flats is about 10 degrees cooler than downtown Bisbee, Arizona, and parts of the road facing the northern hemisphere retain ground snow until the start of May every summer.
The area is also home to the century plant, which is a type of Agave plant that only lives between 10 - 30 years. At the end of its life cycle, the plant sends up a tall brown stem that blooms with yellow flowers before dying. The century plant's fibers are used to make nets, ropes, bags, sacks, clothing, and embroider leather in a technique called #piteado. From the top of Juniper Flats, the mountaintop visibility across southern Cochise County, Arizona, and multiple Mexican mountain ranges may be several hundred miles away.
The microwave transmission towers on top of the Juniper Flats granite cliffs provides a vantage point to view the cities of Agua Prieta in Sonora, Mexico, and Douglas in Arizona, as well as the Bisbee mines, Dump 7, and Phelps Dodge leaching copper ponds on top of Dump #7.
Green Mohave rattlesnakes are a common resident of Juniper Flats. The green Mohave rattlesnake has the most potent venom called neurotoxic-hemotoxic venom that attacks the nervous system/brain and skin/tissue. Although they rarely exceed three feet in length, they are gray/olive in color with less defined black and white tails. The Mojave green rattlesnakes prefer to hang out under mesquite trees, Pinon Pine bushes, the Manzanita plant, or on the pink granite rock to warm up.
Juniper Flats is a great attraction for off-road enthusiasts and nature lovers who want to explore the rugged terrain and wildlife of the area. It is also an excellent spot for those interested in historical sites, with views of Mexico and the Bisbee mines.