Yuma has a fascinating history relating to the early pioneers in the Dust Bowl region. City museums, including a former prison and a ghost town, tell Yuma’s intriguing story. The Arizona city shares a national frontier with Mexico and a state border with California.
For a sense of Yuma’s captivating history, visit the Castle Dome Mine Museum, northeast of the city. Miners once flocked here to extract gold, silver, lead and other minerals. Walk around the eerie ghost town that once housed thousands of residents. 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, a few miles north of the city center. 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.
The most intriguing of the city’s parks is Roxaboxen Park, which is based on a book about children making a town out of rocks. Take your kids to the park to make their castles with nothing more than the rocks and their imagination.
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.