Yuma is located in the southwest corner of Arizona on the banks of the Colorado River near the Mexican and Californian borders. It is the largest city in Arizona outside the metro areas of Phoenix and Tucson. Although summers are hot, the town experiences a wonderfully temperate winter climate with average temperatures in the low 70's, making it a popular destination for northern "snowbirds."
Activities in and around Yuma are plenty and varied. There are at least six golf courses, several museums and historic parks, three casinos, and tours that range from fishing, tubing, and boating on the Colorado River, to exploring local history or farms, or experiencing a hot air balloon flight. The old downtown area includes an historic theatre with shows and performances throughout the year, several art galleries, boutique shops, and locally owned restaurants, bars, and clubs. Festivals and events are held throughout the year, such as the Spirit of Yuma fest in January, the Yuma River Daze in February, and a seasonal Farmer’s Market held weekly from December to March.
During the summer, visitors come to enjoy water recreation on the Colorado River north of town up to Martinez Lake. The nearby desert sand dunes draw many off-road enthusiasts and campers. Hiking trails can be enjoyed in town or in the surrounding desert wilderness, or at one of the national wildlife refuges nearby. Visitors can also participate in water sports, hunting, fishing, and camping year round. Two sites near Yuma allow visitors to observe petroglyphs, and others areas display messages from more recent travelers such as pioneers or Spanish explorers.
Yuma played a significant role in Arizona’s old west history, and visitors can enjoy two historic parks in town. The Yuma Territorial Prison is known in popular culture through films like “3:10 to Yuma,” but it was a very real place for prisoners up until 1909. Much of the jail, built from quarried granite nearby, still stands and features exhibits in the prison museum. The 10-acre Yuma Quartermaster Depot is another historic park dating back to 1864, when the military used it for 20years as a warehouse to store supplies of ammunition, clothing, food, and other items. 900 mules surrounded the area, ready to support teamsters on their treks to supply military forts in other states. The visitor’s center at the park is a good place to start exploring the historic buildings and grounds.
These are just a few options available to Yuma visitors, but there is plenty more to do and see in the area. Yuma has a plethora of lodging, dining, and shopping options. The city is located about 185 miles southwest of Phoenix and 240 miles northwest of Tucson near the California and Mexico borders. To learn more about Yuma, select a topic of interest from the list to the left.