Dateland is a tiny settlement in Yuma County, Arizona, most notable for farming Medjool and other types of dates. The town was once a World War II training outpost and the site of a Japanese internment camp. Today, it is a fun little road stop, the best place to pull off the road between Gila Bend and Yuma.
The only real access to Dateland—and in fact, the only reason why Dateland still exists—is Interstate 8.
- 1 Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Rocky Point Rd, ☏ . This archeological site contains hundreds of pre-Columbian petroglyphs and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Picnic tables and vaulted toilets available, primitive camping possible (no water). Most heavily visited from October to April; watch out for rattlesnakes. $2/day use; $8/night (camping).
- 2 Sears Point (19 miles northeast of Dateland). 24 hrs. Hundreds of petroglyphs can be seen on the basalt outcrops overlooking the Gila River; many can be spotted from the parking lot. The site is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Keep your car on the road, and stay on the footpaths (not maintained). Free.
- 3 Aztec ghost town, Exit 73 off I-8 (6 miles east of Dateland). A former station on the Southern Pacific Railroad line between Phoenix and Yuma. Remains include two standing buildings and foundations, visible right off the interstate. Free.
- Fill up on gas if you're down to a quarter-tank or less. Gasoline in this region of Arizona is scarce, and you don't want to get stranded in the desert. Dateland's gas prices are surprisingly reasonable considering the isolated and remote location.
- 1 Dateland Date Gardens, 1737 S Ave 64 E, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. A kitschy gift shop for dates, postcards, drinks, and other merchandise.
Eat and drink
- 1 Dateland Cafe, 1737 S Ave 64 E (in the Dateland Travel Center), ☏ . Daily 24 hrs. The famous "Date Shake" is worth a stop. It's very sweet, but a tasty way to cool off in the desert heat. Larger meals are available, too.
Without an RV, the closest available lodging is in Gila Bend, or west in Wellton.
- 1 Dateland RV Park, 1737 S Ave 64 E, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. The only place to sleep in Dateland. Electric and sewer hookups, and showers and laundry facilities onsite. Registration is at the gift shop (see listing above).
|Routes through Dateland|
|El Centro ← Yuma ←||W E||→ Jct N S → Casa Grande|