Download GPX file for this article
32.69-114.62Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Downtown Yuma

Yuma is the largest city and county seat of Yuma County, Arizona. It is in the southwest corner of the state, across the Colorado River from California and near two Mexican states of Baja California and Sonora.

Understand[edit]

Yuma bills itself as the "Sunniest City on Earth", with weather (and weather records) to match: of any populated place in the contiguous United States, Yuma is the driest, the sunniest, and the least humid, has the lowest frequency of precipitation, and has the highest number of days per year – 175 – with a daily high temperature of 90 °F (32 °C) or above. Within the U.S., perhaps only Death Valley rivals it for extreme weather. Mix in tropical storm (Hurricane Nora, 1997), rare dusting of snow (Dec 1932, Jan 1937, Dec 1967) and along a fault zone (the Algodones fault zone in the Yuma Desert; record magnitude 7.1 in 1915), and it's not much of a stretch to claim that Yuma is a place of extremes.

The weather makes it a draw for out-of-state visitors and temporary winter residents (called "snow birds") and a year-round agricultural center. The Yuma area grows over 175 types of crops, ranging from citrus, alfalfa, cotton, wheat and other grains, dates - and the largest of which is lettuce. Yuma County grows 90% of all leafy vegetables in the U.S.

Aside from agriculture and tourism, there also is a large military presence, rounding out the top three industries for Yuma.

A number of movies have been shot in the area, most utilizing the desert landscapes.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

By plane[edit]

The nearest full service airports are in:

By train[edit]

Yuma is served by Amtrak via its triweekly Sunset Limited route between New Orleans and Los Angeles. Additionally, the Texas Eagle provides services to and from Chicago. Westbound trains arrive around 3AM, while eastbound ones arrives late evening around 11:30PM. Delays are quite common. 2 Yuma station, at 281 Gila Street, is an unmanned platform with no shelters or restrooms. It is a block from downtown.

By bus[edit]

  • 3 Greyhound, (bus stop) 1245 S Castle Dome Ave (Next Target Parking Lot along S Castle Dome Ave), +1 928-783-4403, toll-free: +1 800-231-2222. As this just a pick-up and drop-off point, tickets should be purchased beforehand online or over the phone. Tickets can also be purchased from the YCAT office at 2715 E 14th St. They also have an additional downtown stop at the YCAT transit center on E 3rd & S Gila. Check your tickets to confirm pick-up location.
  • YCAT 'Turquoise Rt #10', (bus stop) E 3rd & S Gila (YCAT bus stop at E 3rd St & Gila). M W F 8:30AM & 2:30PM; check schedules. Operates buses to El Centro, California via Fort Yuma and Winterhaven

Get around[edit]

  • 1 Yuma County Area Transit (YCAT), (Central Bus stop) E 3rd & S Gila St (across S Gila St from Amtrak station at corner of 3rd & Gila next to a boarded up hotel building; Greyhound & Imperial Valley Transit also have a stop here). The public bus network in Yuma county, local services usually operate M-F 5:50AM-7:30PM, and Sa 9AM-6:30PM. Buses serve border crossings at both Andrade and San Luis. There is limited evening service to local colleges and universities until 11PM on weeknights. Also, an inter-city service linking Yuma with El Centro, California, is available three times a week. A good system map can be found on YCAT's website.

See[edit]

Guard tower at Yuma Territorial Prison Park
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park
  • 1 Yuma Territorial Prison Park, 1 Prison Hill Rd, +1 928-783-4771. Th-M 9AM-5PM; closed August. This park keeps intact much of the history of Arizona's first prison. From 1876 to 1909, this was the primary detaining facility for many of Arizona's convicted. Due to state budget constraints, the park was scheduled to close in 2010. Private donations totaling more than $70,000 were raised and the park is now open and leased to a local agency. New exhibits have since been added, and work has begun on deferred maintenance. One memorable feature of the park is the set of Old West-style inhumane prison cells in a dark spooky cave. $6 adult 14+, $3 youth 7-13, free child 0-6. Yuma Territorial Prison (Q1128074) on Wikidata Yuma Territorial Prison on Wikipedia
  • 2 Colorado River State Historic Park (Yuma Quartermaster Depot), 201 N 4th Ave, +1 928-783-0071. Tu-Su 9AM-4:30PM. Also known as the Yuma Crossing Historic Park, these grounds were the primary storing and distribution center for Army supplies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Depot distributed goods to all Army posts in Arizona, Southern California, New Mexico, Utah, and Western Texas. There are five original buildings still standing with many exhibits inside detailing the life of the early supply post. The site is also home to the Yuma Visitors' Information Center. $4 (adult 14+), $3 (youth 7-13), free (child 0-6). Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park (Q8061042) on Wikidata Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park on Wikipedia
  • 3 Sanguinetti House Museum and Gardens, 240 S Madison Ave, +1 928-782-1841, . Tu-Sa 10AM-3PM. This historic adobe house dates from the 1870s, and has exhibits chronicling the history of the lower Colorado River region from the 1540s to the present. Adult $7-8, senior 65+ $1 discount, youth 7-13 $3, children 0-12 free.
  • Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Center, Main Post, Yuma Proving Ground, +1 928-328-3394. A small museum with exhibits relating to the history of the post. Visitors will have to go through security at the main gate, and show ID and proof of auto insurance.
  • 4 Castle Dome Mine Museum, 27550 E County 15th Street North Sr4 (NE of Yuma on Hwy 95), +1 928-920-3062, . Oct 1 - Apr 15: daily 10AM-5PM; Apr 16 - Sep: Th-Tu 10AM-5PM, closed W. A collection of original and reproduced old west buildings. $10 (adults), $5 (children 7-11), free (children under 7).

Do[edit]

The Sonoran Desert near Yuma

Events[edit]

  • 2 Silver Spur Rodeo, 2520 E 32nd St (Yuma County Fairgrounds), +1 928-344-5451. A three-day event held annually in early February.
  • 3 Yuma Crossing Day & Redondo Fiesta, 200 block of Madison Ave, +1 928-782-1841. Third weekend of February. An annual reenactment of the historic Yuma Crossing, accompanied with a fiesta featuring folklorico dancing, mariachi music, food, and other entertainment.
  • 4 Quechan Indian Day, Quechan Dr to Indian Hill (Fort Yuma), +1 760-572-0213. September/October. An annual parade with Quechan dancers and musicians from the nearby Fort Yuma Indian Reservation. Free.
  • 5 Midnight at the Oasis, 1280 W Desert Hills Dr (Ray Kroc Baseball Complex), +1 928-343-1715, . A three-day event held annually in March, this is one of the southwest's largest classic car shows. Features live music and food.
  • 6 Tina's Cocina, 645 S 2nd Ave (St Paul's Cultural Center), +1 928-210-3328, . Regional heritage cooking classes hosted by chef Tina Clark in a restored 1909 Gothic church.

Outdoor activities[edit]

  • 7 Telegraph Pass Trail, N Frontage R (trailhead) (off of I-8 exit Foothills Blvd). A 4.3-mile hike with rewarding views at the top. The best times of year are fall through spring; plan on spending about 3 hr. Free.
  • 8 Desert Hills Municipal Golf Course, 1245 W Desert Hills Dr, +1 928-373-5220, fax: +1 520-726-6546.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Yuma is a good place to get Mexican food if not accustomed to the region.

Budget[edit]

Mid-range and splurge[edit]

Drink[edit]

  • 1 The Alement, 179 E 1st St, +1 928-782-6200.
  • 2 The Dunes Bar, 711 E 32nd St (connected to the Quality Inn Airport Hotel), +1 928-726-4721. 4PM-2AM. This restaurant/bar has live entertainment throughout the week. Monday is Military appreciation, Wednesday Reggae band, Thursday Hip Hop band, Friday ladies night, Sunday Fun Day (drag shows, etc.)
  • 3 Jimmie Dee's, 38 W 2nd St, +1 928-783-5647. Daily 1PM-2AM. A dance club/bar that is for a little older crowd. Normally they have both a DJ and a live band playing on weekends. During the day (happy hour) it doubles as a hang out for businessmen/women.
  • 4 Platinum Cabaret, 822 E 21st St, +1 928-783-5000. Daily 6PM-2AM. A strip bar that provides adequate entertainment. Most fights are on big screens. Also, W nights are coin nights. Should be good for all the businessmen that are in town during the week.
  • 5 Yuma Landing Company, 233 S 4th Ave, +1 928-782-7427, toll-free: +1 877-234-5567. A historic bar and grill.

Sleep[edit]

Lodging[edit]

Camping[edit]

  • Fortuna Pond (12 miles NE of Yuma). A popular camping and fishing destination managed by the Bureau of Land Management, with a 14-day limit. A license is required for fishing; contact the AZ Game and Fish Dept ( +1 928-342-0091). Free.
  • 8 Mittry Lake Wildlife Area. Managed by the BLM, with vault toilets, no drinking water, 10-day limit. Free.

Stay safe[edit]

See also: Arid region safety, Flash floods, Hot weather

Yuma is the last freight train stop before California and the Colorado River. This results in a lot of transients in this small, relatively conservative town. The police, in line with other places in Arizona, are quick to arrest 'loiterers'. If you are traveling with a backpack and don't look like a college student, be prepared to be rousted and harassed.

      For more information, see: Arizona: Stay Safe > Arizona / Mexico border

Go next[edit]

Yuma is next to the Mexican border, but getting to Mexico is not quite as easy as it seems due to the Colorado River. There is no access bridge from any part of the city. Due to a geographic oddity, Mexico is both to the west (closer) and south (further). The shortest way is to go into California on I-8, then south on Algodones Road (Exit 166/California State Route 186), and cross the border into metro Mexicali. (The first town is called Los Algodones.) You can also go south on US-95 from Yuma for just over 20 miles, and cross the border into San Luis Rio Colorado.

North – Western Arizona and Northern Arizona — for more of "Old West" Arizona, cooler temperatures, Route 66, Las Vegas or the Grand Canyon:

South – Western Arizona, Northern Mexico and Baja California — for more of the Sonoran Desert, stretching to the sea in Rocky Point:

East – Western Arizona, Greater Phoenix and South Central Arizona:

  • Dateland and Gila Bend, Arizona – more history of southern Arizona.
  • Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona – if you're done with the desert or want night light more than just the stars overhead.

West – California Desert:

  • Algodones Dunes and Old Plank Road, California – for a different type of desert, with dunes you can play on.
  • El Centro, California – another agricultural desert community.
  • San Diego, California – the beach: sun, sand and surf.
Routes through Yuma
Los AngelesPalm Springs  W Amtrak Sunset Limited icon.png E  TucsonSan AntonioNew Orleans
Los AngelesPalm Springs  W Amtrak Texas Eagle icon.png E  TucsonSan AntonioDallasSt LouisChicago
San DiegoEl Centro  W I-8.svg E  DatelandCasa Grande → END Jct W I-10.svg E
KingmanQuartzsite  N US 95.svg S  San LuisAiga immigration.svg → becomes Carretera estatal 40 (Sonora).svgSan Luis Rio Colorado



This city travel guide to Yuma is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.