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When the first Europeans arrived at what became known as the Yuma Crossing in 1540 they found native peoples who had been living at this important place for centuries. By the 1700's the Spanish were calling these people the Yumas. Today, while the term Yuma survives as the name of a place, a city, and a county, the descendents of these early peoples are known as the Quechan.
The Spaniards founded two missions in 1779 at Yuma Crossing. The original settlement was decimated by the last uprising of the Yuma Indians. In 1864, the US Army established a military base here.
The Yuma Crossing of the Colorado River was recognized by early explorers as an important gateway to California. As such this location includes several historical attractions and museums.
Yuma has bright sunny warm weather year-round and is very popular in the winter months as a place to escape the cold weather.
National Heritage Area
180 W. First Street, Yuma AZ 85364;
928-373-5198; Park Website;
Ongoing city project that will transform the Yuma Riverfront including development of a festival park, wetlands restoration, and preservation of downtown historical sites.
Century House Museum and Gardens
Arizona Historical Society
240 So Madison Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364;
928-782-1841; Museum Website;
Hours: 10-4 Tues- Sat / Free Admission
Late 19th-century home of pioneer merchant E.F. Sanguinetti. Contains many period furnishings, decor, gardens, aviaries. Special exhibits on early Yuma history.
Yuma Quartermaster Depot
State Historical Park
201 N. 4th Ave., Yuma, AZ 85364;
928-329-0471; Park Website;
Hours: Thu-Mon 9AM-5PM / Closed Tue&Wed;
10 acre sites includes several restored buildings of former U.S. Army Quartermaster Depot (1864-1883). This facility distributed supplies to military outposts of the Southwest. It is located within the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area.
Yuma Territorial Prison
State Historic Park
1 Prison Hill Road, Yuma, AZ 85364;
928-783-4771; Park Website;
Hours: Thu-Mon 9AM-5PM / Closed Tue&Wed;
Late 19th century prison located on bluff above the Colorado River held up to 3,000 prisoners from 1876-1909. Visitors can see the cellblocks and museum made with thich adobe bricks.
Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 77217, Yuma, AZ 85364;
928-783-3371; Refuge Website;
Open Daily Dawn-Dusk / Free Admission
protects wildlife habitat along 30 miles of the lower Colorado River in Arizona and California, including the last unchannelized section before the river enters Mexico. Home to Canadian Geese, ducks, egrets and eagles. The Arizona section is reached 40 miles north of Yuma by taking the Martinez Lake Road turnoff from US-95. Other area can only be reached by boat. Hunting season opens on Labor Day. This area is popular for hunting, hiking, fishing and boating.
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
356 W. 1st Street, Yuma, Arizona 85364;
928-783-7861; Refuge Website;
Two mountain ranges dominate the landscape--the Kofa Mountains and the Castle Dome Mountains. Although these ranges are not especially high, they are extremely rugged and rise sharply from the surrounding desert plains, providing ideal bighorn sheep country. Regulated hunting is permitted for quail, bighorn sheep, deer, cottontail, rabbit, coyote, and fox. All other wildlife is protected.
Yuma Panthers - Minor League Baseball
Sonic Drive-In Yuma - 3120 So Pacific Ave, Yuma AZ
Brewers Restaurant & Sports Bar - 2331 So Avenue B, Yuma AZ
Brownie's Restaurant - 1145 So 4th St, Yuma
Famous Dave's BBQ - 1501 So Yuma Palms Pkwy
Julianna's Patio Cafe - Seafood - 1951 W 25th St, Yuma
Yuma Lettuce Days [MAR] - culinary festival incorporates Yuma produce, gourmet chefs, restaurants, cooking demonstrations and more. Quartermaster Depot SHP.
Yuma County Fair [APR] - annual community event since 1953. Children and young adults learn life lessons, respect and knowledge of animals, foods, arts and crafts, quilts, clothing, photography, horticulture and open divisions.
Yuma Birding and Adventure Festival [APR]
Yuma Film Festival [APR] - Showcase for Independant Art, Music and Film.
Yuma Crossing Hot Air Balloon Festival [NOV] - Colorado River - Caballeros de Yuma - Attracts some of the most colorful and unique balloons from the West.
I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don't. - W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), The Painted Veil, 1925
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