DescriptionNineteen miles southwest of Wickenburg is the Vulture Gold Mine, which yielded more than $20 million in gold during the hectic period following its discovery by Henry Wickenburg in 1863. Allegedly Wickenburg found the gold in one of the rocks he was hurling at his escaping mule.
The gold rush that ensued reached such proportions that by 1866 Wickenburg was the third largest city in Arizona and missed becoming the territorial capital by only two votes. Still standing in the center of town is the old mesquite jail tree to which lawmen chained their prisoners during the early boom years; no one wanted to take time from mining to build a proper jail.
The Hassayampa River, running through town, was called “the river which flows upside down” by Native Americans because it flows 20 feet below ground for most of its length. Along its banks is one of the last and greatest natural riparian areas in the state. The Nature Conservancy's Hassayampa River Preserve protects a portion of this endangered habitat.
Wickenburg, known for its Old West atmosphere and many dude ranches, brings the past to life in February during Gold Rush Days , when the Desert Caballeros ride into the Bradshaw Mountains to spend several days under the stars; the whole town gathers to bid the horsemen farewell as they ride off into the mountains.
Visitor InfoWickenburg Chamber of Commerce 216 N. Frontier St. WICKENBURG, AZ 85390. Phone:(928)684-5479 or (800)942-5242
Things to SeeDesert Caballeros Western Museum