Things to See & Do in Wickenburg Arizona
When was the last time you were someplace where you wanted to be outside all the time? That’s what a visit to Wickenburg is all about. Surrounded by scenic high Sonoran desert and mountains, it pulls us out into the beauty and the solitude of the Hassayampa Valley.
We hike trails lined with wildflowers, ride horses and then hop in a Jeep to experience natural trails and historic places. We can fish nearby lakes, participate or watch team roping at local arenas, ride a mountain bike, take a stroll around our historic downtown or sit and wait for the sunset, just as long as we can stay outdoors a little longer. We disconnect from the grid and reconnect with each other and have since 1863. www.outwickenburgway.com
DESERT CABALLEROS WESTERN MUSEUM
No visit to Wickenburg would be complete without a tour of “Arizona’s Most Western Museum.” Home to more than 400 works of Western art, including sculptures by famous artists Frederick Remington and Charles Russell. This 50-year-old museum is also known as one of Arizona’s finest. Visitors call it a jewel and invariably say they are amazed to find it so full of unexpected treasures.
Stop by and discover a room that tells history in miniature, along with an entire turn-of-the-century Wickenburg Street complete with a saloon and a general store. There’s an “Out on the Ranch” exhibit created for children of all ages. Adjacent to the museum, a lovely park is dedicated to the volunteers who keep the museum running. Be sure to take a look at the cowboy and his horse on the corner. “Thanks for the Rain” – by the late founder of the Cowboy Artists of America, Joe Beeler – is one of the most recognizable life-size bronze statues in Arizona. The Cultural Crossroads Learning Center adjacent to the museum has additional exhibits to enjoy. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.; and closed Mondays, Memorial Day through Labor Day.
This historic city offers a glimpse of what life was like mining for gold 150 years ago. We are delighted to say that many of the remaining buildings of Vulture City have been faithfully restored to their original design and artifacts have been organized.
The site is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission (cash only) is $15 for adults, $7 youth; children 6 and under are free. Guided tours are available Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. sharp from late October through April.
At the intersection of Highway 60/93 in Wickenburg, travel west on Highway 60/Wickenburg Way for 2.5 miles to Vulture Mine Road, then travel south 12 miles to the mine entrance, which is half a mile after milepost 15. Check the website for updated information:
www.vultureminetours.com or call (877) 425-9229
From Highway 60, head west to Vulture Mine Road and turn south; drive 6.4 miles to the signed trailhead turnoffs and turn left; drive 0.4 mile to the trailhead. A Chamber-produced hiking guide details parking and trail information for Vulture Peak and other hiking destinations. The Chamber gives a certificate upon completion of the hike.
YARNELL SHRINE OF ST. JOSEPH
Located in the little town of Yarnell, the shrine contains statues and plaques following the Stations of the Cross. Once in downtown Yarnell, watch for signs off of Highway 89.
HISTORICAL WALKING TOUR
The Chamber has developed a self-guided, four-color brochure pairing historic town buildings with a map of their locations. Listen to a narrated history on Wickenburg while walking around to view six character bronze sculptures, see colorful murals, and other bronze sculptures located throughout downtown. The guide is also available to download on smartphones.
JOSHUA FOREST PARKWAY
One of the largest remaining Joshua tree stands is found 30 miles northwest of Wickenburg on Highway 93. Springtime provides visitors with a breathtaking sight when the trees are in bloom.
An Apache word, Hassayampa roughly translates as “river that runs upside down,” a name attributed to the fact that its waters run underground.
A BIRD WATCHER’S PARADISE
Wickenburg is home to the Hassayampa River Preserve, first created by the Nature Conservancy and now managed by Maricopa County Parks, which stretches for five miles along the Hassayampa River. The upper Hassayampa River is known as the northern riparian or Box Canyon. Both locations are excellent for birding, experts have recorded more than 290 species. Sought-after species include red-shouldered hawks and vermilion flycatchers.
Wickenburg also boasts likely the largest concentration of migrating turkey vultures in the state each fall and spring, with hundreds roosting in tall trees around town, such as near the Hassayampa River Walk pedestrian bridge where you can also witness thousands of Mexican free-tailed bats emerging at sunset each evening in late summer and early fall. A wide variety of bird species can be observed year-round along the river corridor, so be sure to bring some binoculars and enjoy birding Out Wickenburg Way.
Buildings dating back to the early 1900s line this historic street, including the restored 1895 Santa Fe Depot, where the Chamber offices and official Arizona Visitor Information Center is located. Adjacent is the restored Drover Caboose and #761 A.T.&S.F. Locomotive, open on Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., October through Mother’s Day and closed during the summer. Nearby, the Wickenburg Veterans Memorial, built by American Legion Post 12, is a place for reflection and honoring area veterans.
The marble and stone memorial is located on the American Legion’s property facing the Chamber building and Frontier Street.
Located just off Howard Court, this is the gravesite of town founder Henry Wickenburg who died in 1905. Visitors can park near the Chamber on Frontier Street and walk to the memorial about four blocks away. The memorial is adjacent to the Wickenburg-Boetto House on south Washington Street, open by appointment only.
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
The Del E. Webb Center for the Performing Arts schedules a wide variety of performances in the intimate, 600-seat venue from November to April every year. World-class artists bring fresh new shows to the stage for locals and visitors alike.
The Webb Center features diverse genres, including dance productions; theatrical performances; as well as bluegrass, country, classical, jazz and folk music. Patrons of the Webb Center can look forward to performances in the 2019-20 Season by Carlene Carter, Canadian Brass, Zoppé Italian Family Circus, Sons of the Pioneers, The Texas Tenors and Glenn Miller Orchestra to name a few.
The Webb Center also produces a one-of-a-kind summer arts camp, Camp Imagination, for first through twelfth grade students each June.
For a complete schedule of performances and events visit dewpac.org or call the box office at (928) 684-6624. The box office is at 2001 W. Wickenburg Way; the theater is at 1090 S. Vulture Mine Rd.
LIBRARY, COMMUNITY CENTER & MORE
The Wickenburg Public Library & Learning Center, Stone Park and the Wickenburg Community Center are west of the river on Apache Street. Coffinger Park and Ramada, the municipal swimming pool, tennis courts and a skate park are north of Sols Wash Bridge off Tegner and Swilling streets.
HASSAYAMPA RIVER WALK AT WISHING WELL PARK – Legend of the Hassayampa
In the late 1800s, Wickenburg, Arizona, was a Wild West boomtown reveling in silver, copper and gold glory holes. Its residents, perhaps in excess enthusiasm, exaggerated the potential of wealth in the area to the point that it became common in the West to call any teller of tall tales a Hassayamper, in honor of the Hassayampa River which flows through the area – that is when it flows, as it is usually bone dry.
The humor of the connection between the unique dry river and the tall tales told by those who resided near its banks inspired visitor Andrew Downing to write his famous “Legend of the Hassayampa.”
As Downing wrote, “There is a legend centuries old, by the early Spaniards told, of a sparkling stream that ‘lies’ under Arizona skies. Hassayampa is its name, and the title to its fame, is a wondrous quality known today from sea to sea. Those who drink its waters bright, red man, white man, boor or knight, girls or women, boys or men, never tell the truth again.”
The powers of the river have gone unchallenged for more than 155 years, and the spirit of old Downing has been served well by the residents of Wickenburg. In keeping with his sense of humor, and in an effort to maintain the legend, the town has erected “No Fishing From Bridge” signs on the pedestrian bridge that spans the dry river.
When you visit Wickenburg, stop at the Wishing Well near the river, drink of the Hassayampa, and you too will become a Hassayamper. The Hassayampa River Walk pedestrian bridge is located next to the Highway 93 Western entrance sign and is another location for many annual activities and events.
GARCIA LITTLE RED SCHOOLHOUSE
Located three blocks north of Wickenburg Way on Tegner Street, the historic 1905 Little Red Schoolhouse was the first brick schoolhouse in town. Hispanic pioneer businessman Yngacio Garcia donated the land for to the school district. Call The Chamber to learn more about days and time the schoolhouse is open.
HOTSHOTS MEMORIAL PARK
From the trailhead, this 2.85-mile path through the Weaver Mountains leads you up to the observation deck. Based on their rank and tool order, 19 granite plaques set into rocks share a photo and a story of each fallen Hotshot with a message from the family. Additional interpretive signs provide information about wildland firefighting and benches allow you to rest and appreciate the beauty of the area. The park is 30 minutes north of Wickenburg; take Highway 89 to Yarnell, turn right at the park entrance. www.AZSTATEPARKS/com/hotshots
More than 200 years old, this mesquite tree at Tegner Street and Wickenburg Way once served as the town jail. A bronze sculpture sits next to the tree, where you’ll hear narration by pushing a button. A pedestrian-friendly walkway takes visitors through the next block into the town’s historic district. The mesquite tree has been recognized as one of the Arizona Centennial Witness Trees, and in 2016, it was designated as one of Arizona’s Magnificent Trees by the State of Arizona, State Forestry Department.
NOW PLAYING – ANOTHER REASON TO VISIT
Enjoy a long drive at three local courses, just a short drive from Phoenix.
LOS CABALLEROS GOLF CLUB
This course is ranked in the top five in Arizona by Golf Digest, as well as one of the top 75 resort courses in the entire U.S. Serene but potentially lethal is one description of the 18-hole championship course at Rancho de los Caballeros. Call the pro shop at (928) 684-2704 for tee times. Enjoy lunch or cocktails after your round at Los Caballeros Grill.
WICKENBURG GOLF CLUB
This 18-hole course is open to the public. Commonly referred to as a “Thinker’s” course, it will challenge golfers of all abilities while providing beautiful views of the surrounding Sonoran desert and Bradshaw Mountains. After your round, continue to soak in the desert vistas on the patio at the Hitching Post restaurant. Tee times may be made by calling the golf shop at (928) 684-2011.
WICKENBURG RANCH GOLF & SOCIAL CLUB
Big Wick – Play from just under 4,500 yards at the forward tees to more than 7,000 yards from the championship tees. The artfully crafted collection of six par-3, five par-5 and seven par-4 holes traverse through arroyos, which offer views of Vulture Peak and the Bradshaw Mountains. Each hole is a chapter in a larger story, with varying distances, compass directions and skill requirements woven into the experience. Li’l Wick, The 9-hole, par-3 course, plays 663 yards from the forward tees to 1,240 yards from the back tees.
Golfers of all skill levels from beginners to tour players will love the relaxed vibe, emphasized by music streamed around the course, relaxed dress code and no tee times. At the heart of the action sits the Watering Hole, complete with nine TVs and daily food and drink specials. Tee times may be made by calling the sport shop at (928) 668-5534. www.wickenburgranch.com
A POPULAR MEETING PLACE SINCE 1863
Wickenburg is rich in history and Western hospitality. The earliest inhabitants were the Apache Indians, followed by hunters, trappers, prospectors and ranchers. Seven generations have lived and worked in this town built along the legendary Hassayampa River. Hospitality and friendliness here are as genuine as the Arizona sunshine. The Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau is available to answer questions and provide literature about meeting locations. www.wickenburgchamber.com
Alamo Lake State Park
Located 75 miles northwest of Wickenburg, Alamo Lake is one of the best places to fish for bass in Arizona. The lake is situated in the Bill Williams River Valley where the Big Sandy River and Santa Maria River come together. It was created with the completion of Alamo Dam in 1968. The park has good wildlife viewing opportunities, and you may spot a bald or golden eagle. (928) 669-2088, AZSTATEPARKS.com
Set on 23,362 acres, Lake Pleasant Regional Park offers 148 sites for RV and tent camping. Each developed site has water and electricity, a dump station, covered ramada, picnic table, barbecue grill and fire rings. Each semi-developed site and tent site has a covered ramada, picnic table, barbecue grill and fire ring. Restroom and shower facilities are offered to both types of campsites.
Set in the Northwest Valley, 30 miles east of Wickenburg, Lake Pleasant Regional Park offers activities, such as boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking and wildlife viewing — plus visits to the Discovery Center. Lake water levels can fluctuate throughout the year, typically reaching its highest level in the spring (March and April) and its lowest in the fall (October and November). 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd., (928) 501-1710 www.Maricopacountyparks.net