Top-of-the-World, Arizona

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Top-of-the-World is a census-designated place (CDP) in Gila and Pinal counties in the U.S. state of Arizona. The population was 330 at the 2000 census.



Top-of-the-World is located at 33°20′49″N 110°59′43″W / 33.34694°N 110.99528°W / 33.34694; -110.99528 (33.346856, -110.995172).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 6.0 square miles (15.6 km²), all of it land.


Eight miles west of Miami is a divide between Miami and Superior at the 4600 foot level. This area is known as the Pinal Ranch or sometimes it is called the Top-of-the-World. It derives its Indian name from the Pinal Apaches or "pine groves in the mountains."

The site was abandoned in 1871 by the army one month after being named Camp Pinal. The troops started their mule trail at "Infantry Camp" at the foot of Picket Post and then extended it into Picket Post Creek (later called Queen Creek). The trail then crossed Devil's Canyon (named by the troops) and halted at a post they intended to build in what was then called "Mason's Valley" (later, Camp Pinal). By April 1871 the mule trail and post were both completed and General Stoneman planned on making Camp Pinal his headquarters, but the project was abandoned after General George Crook replaced General Stoneman because of the Camp Grant Massacre of April 1871. By August of that year General Crook abandoned the post, and only the mule trail was left to indicate the intended ambitious presence of U.S. soldiers.

The old Craig Ranch was built at the site of Camp Pinal. The ranch was begun about 1874 by a Mr. Irion and the Craig family, even before the town of Globe was settled. Over the years the ranch house was improved upon, and it remained in the Craig family until the about the 1970s. The ranch house is still in good condition, in spite of its 100+ years.

The Top-of-the-World was a dance hall started in the 1920s along the old highway east of the Pinal Ranch. This area was settled by Robert A. Irion in 1878. His stepson Dudly Craig continued the ranching tradition in the area after Irion's death.


As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 330 people, 130 households, and 82 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 54.6 people per square mile (21.1/km²). There were 184 housing units at an average density of 30.5/sq mi (11.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.79% White, 1.52% Black or African American, 3.03% Native American, 4.24% from other races, and 2.42% from two or more races. 19.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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