A famous former prison, a ghost town full of mines and a bridge to nowhere convey the intriguing story of Dust Bowl pioneers.
Discover Yuma’s fascinating history when you explore the city’s museums and monuments. Sharing a national frontier with Mexico and a state border with California, the Arizona city is a historic hub amid the dunes of the Dust Bowl.
Find Yuma’s Visitor Information Center within the sprawling Yuma Quartermaster Depot, a relic of the Southwest’s former military posts. For a sense of Yuma’s captivating history, spend some time exploring the historic downtown area nearby the shores of the Colorado River.
Visit the Castle Dome Mine Museum to walk around the eerie ghost town that once housed thousands of prospectors seeking gold, silver and lead. Study artifacts from various eras from the region’s history.
See another example of the region’s impressive vastness at the Bridge to Nowhere. A few miles from the ghost town, this bridge crosses desert plains after the waterway it once spanned was diverted.
Experience the dark side of the area’s history at the Yuma Territorial Prison Museum. Investigate the remains of the 19th-century jail where thousands of criminals were locked up. It has been referenced in many movies, such as 3:10 to Yuma and For a Few Extra Dollars.
Take your kids to Roxaboxen Park to make designs with the park’s mineral-flecked rocks. Escape the sun at the Z Fun Factory, a local indoor arcade.
During your trip, you may want to experiment with local food specialties, such as saguaro cactus syrup, burritos and tortillas. Yuma has one of the sunniest and driest regions in the entire country. The summer months of May to September are extremely hot and it remains mild the rest of the year.
The city is around 180 miles (289.7 kilometers) west of Phoenix and the same distance east of San Diego. Yuma International Airport is near the city center. You will emerge from your trip to Yuma with a greater sense of the struggles of the early pioneers in the Dust Bowl’s vast, arid landscape.