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About Yuma

Yuma is located in southwest, Arizona and is a great spot for a fun and adventurous camping trip in a hot desert climate that sees day and nighttime variability. This means that campers can look forward to plenty of sunny days for outdoor fun and exploration, and cool nights for comfortable stargazing and sunset viewing. Plus, the city is a hub for great attractions, events, activities and foods, so plan for Yuma the next time you go camping!

 

Attractions 

Located near the convergence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers in the southwest corner of Arizona, Yuma was once an oasis for travelers, explorers and adventurers. Today’s Yuma is a modern city that recognizes its rich history with a number of museums, parks, and heritage areas, and is also a fun place to visit with its lively riverfront, many parks and recreation areas. Between the huge desert just outside of the city with dunes that reach 300 feet, and its nearness to the mighty Colorado River, reclaimed wetlands, and historic ghost mining towns, this gorgeous city has something for everyone.

 

Landmarks

What was once a thriving mining town larger than Yuma, is today the Castle Dome Mines Museum & Ghost Town, a ghost town and a museum showcasing the way of life of a mining town. Located in the Castle Dome Mountains, this historic site recognizes the pioneers who came to make their fortune from silver and copper and everything looks almost frozen in time. There are about 50 buildings at the site, and visitors can see original structures such as the mills, an original boiler, the stamp mill, an elevator, the boardwalks, the church and the five saloon.

There's also the Cocopah Museum is home to a number of historical tribal exhibits that showcase Cocopah family structures, as well as the way of life, traditional clothing, everyday objects, musical instruments, veteran and warrior displays, beadwork, and even tribal tattoos. The museum also serves as a meeting place with a great onsite gift shop with traditional Cocopah crafts.

 

The Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area is 300 feet tall and stretches for 40 miles to the horizon, and is one of the most popular film locations for movies involving sandy settings. This huge sand box is located only 20 miles west of Yuma, which serves as a gateway for all off-road driving enthusiasts and is near several camping areas including Buttercup, Grays Well, Gecko, and Roadrunner.

About ten miles outside Yuma is a lush oasis in the desert, and home to 8,000 thriving date palms swaying in the wind. An oasis dug out of rough desert land by the hands of Nels and Martha Rogers in 1990, it is the largest date farms in the area, with a 3,000-square-foot store surrounded by 130 acres of Medjool date palms.

Located on the outskirts of Yuma, the Saihati Camel Farm is a working farm and a petting zoo that specializes in breeding one-humped camels and taking care of almost 200 other exotic animals from about 40 species. Living in fenced pens, animals have a lot of space to move around and visitors can get up close and personal with them. Kids will love meeting the funny looking camels, huge ostriches, miniature donkeys, a zeedonk – a cross of zebra and donkey, a llama, sheep, a giant tortoise, kinkajou, coatimundi, emu, Patagonian cavy, water buffalo, hedgehog and wallaroo.

The Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center was established to pay tribute to the United States military history of Yuma Proving Ground, and showcases events ranging from 1942 to present day. Exhibitions showcase the Desert Training Center, the Yuma Test Branch, Camp Seeley, the Yuma Test Station, and the Proving Ground and there's also an exhibit on Tests of the 50's and 60's, and a tribute to the victims of 9/11. The last room of the Museum is dedicated to the commemoration and recognition of Vietnam Veterans.

And of course, many locals and visitors alike head to the National Heritage Area of the Yuma Crossing which is home to two state historic parks, the Yuma Crossing National Historic Landmark, two beautiful new riverfront parks with trails and paths, an interpretive plaza with signs that tell the story of the Yuma Crossing, and 350 acres of restored wetlands.

 

Events

A homey, hospitable town with plenty of creativity, art and international influences, Yuma's events follow this trend, so you can look forward to the annual World Adventurers Film Series, Anderson’s Americana Indian Art & Jewelry Show, Yuma Territorial Promotions Antique Show and the Outdoor Living Expo. There's also fun happenings like the AEA Car Show, Salsa Queen Contest, Tunes & Tacos Festival, Rio de Cerveza Brew Fest, Colorado River Crossing Balloon Glow and the CASA Tribute to Elvis Concert.

And no great vacation destination is complete without a vibrant nightlife; Yuma is no different. On any given night, campers can expect great live music, DJs, dancing and excellent mixed drinks at local favorites like The Kress Ultra Lounge, Whiskey Road Saloon, Sage & Sands Cocktail Lounge and The Alement. Other frequented spots include: Crazy Earl's Cocktails & Pool, Friendly Tavern, Yuma Landing Bar & Grill and Red's Bird Cage.

 

Outdoor Fun

For an fun and rugged outdoor adventure, Yuma's the perfect jumping-off spot to hundreds of square miles of wilderness in the Imperial, Kofa and Cibola national wildlife refuges, and the gateway to the Imperial Sand Dunes (which is famous as a popular movie location from the days of Rudolph Valentino to Star Wars.) And just steps from downtown, you can wander through the Yuma East Wetlands, where nearly 500 acres of what was once a trash-strewn jungle of non-native vegetation has been transformed into a beautiful wetlands area. With the Colorado River at its doorstep, Yuma offers both year-round sunshine and water fun, so get ready for great waterskiing, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, river tubing and even from stellar fishing. 

For scenic viewing, there's a ton of great locations like the Imperial Sand Dunes National Recreation Area, Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Herb Guenther Overlook, Picacho State (California) Recreation Area and the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. Not only can you catch beautiful sights at these locations, but also wildlife and sunset viewing under those gorgeous, clear skies. Plus, the city is home to opportunities for ATV driving, fishing and even shooting at the Adair Shooting Range. 

Yuma is also perfect for group fun and family-friendly activities at the city's plethora of public parks and events. Look forward to 34 public parks, 27 playgrounds, 4 swimming pools, 2 golf courses, 4 indoor basketball courts, 4 outdoor basketball courts, 9 lit tennis courts and four sand volleyball courts. There's also more than 11 miles of walking and biking trails and numerous baseball, softball, football and soccer fields, adding up to more than 600 acres available for public use and for various activities and sports. 

Other great spots for outdoor fun include: Betty's Kitchen National Recreation Trail, Robert J. Moody Demonstration Garden, Cibola National Wildlife Refuge, Mittry Lake Wildlife Area and Imperial National Wildlife Refuge. Apart from the great water sports, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing and exploring many travelers take advantage of at these great local spots, you can also enjoy a very particular and Arizona-famous outdoor event: rockhounding. Since the state is home to the world's largest gathering of gem and mineral dealers and a huge outdoor "rock swap" (Quartzsite, January), Yuma's best rockhounding is probably done with a wallet instead of a shovel. If you prefer to find those rocks and gems yourself, you can collect small amounts of minerals, rocks and gems on most public BLM properties. 

 

Food 

With Spanish, Native American and Mexican cultural influences, Yuma's food culture benefits from a rich blend of flavors, plenty of creativity and tons of opportunities to sample insanely talented chefs. Look forward to small town eateries along with fine dining options, and of course, a number of small breweries and pubs to sample local brews. Resident favorites include: Penny's Diner, Prison Hill Brewing Company, Da Boyz Pizza & Pasta and the Mariscos Mar Azul. There's also great spots like the Das Bratwurst Haus, Dog Haus Yuma, Brownie's Restaurant, The Chile Pepper and Las Herraduras Mexican Restaurant. No matter your personal dining preference, you're sure to find excellent eats that you'll want to visit every day during your trip!

 

Campgrounds

For some world-class camping, Yuma is the perfect spot. Since the town boasts a warm day-time climate, RVers can look forward to comfortable and distraction-free amenities at luxury and even basic campgrounds. The Capri RV Resort is one of the area's most popular parks, so look forward to: pool access, a pet area, horseshoes, private mailbox, WIFI, billiards/game room, hot tub/spa, recreation room, library, fitness center, laundry facilities, restrooms and showers. You can also look forward to other great campgrounds like Mesa Verde RV Resort, Suni Sands RV Resort, Blue Sky Ranch R V Park and the Araby Acres RV Resort. Plus, there's a ton of great public parks to explore and enjoy dry camping at.

 

With so much history to soak in, great food, a gorgeous outdoor setting and excellent events, it's no wonder thousands of campers head there each year. Hope to see you soon!