Horses, History, and Hospitality in Wickenburg, Arizona


© Photo Jacob Roddy

Come See Us ‘Out Wickenburg Way’

Since 1863, the people of Wickenburg have chosen this community—not just as a place to live but as a way of life. When was the last time you were someplace where you wanted to be outside all the time? That’s what a visit to Wickenburg is all about. Surrounded by scenic high Sonoran Desert and mountains, it pulls us out into the Hassayampa Valley’s beauty and solitude.

There are trails lined with wildflowers and cacti, perfect for exploring on horseback or a hike. Jeep trails abound to experience the natural beauty and historical places. Wickenburg owes its perfect setting to the generous and bountiful Mother Nature. The abundant sunshine, aided by gentle warm winds, makes the days delightfully temperate during the winter season.

The nights are crisp and so clear that the stars, moon, and planets stand out against a blue-black sky. During the summer, mountain breezes from the north generously reduce the daytime temperatures and make the nights cool. The 2,100-foot altitude and clean, dry air are beneficial to those with health problems. More outdoor adventure awaits at the Hassayampa River Preserve. Visitors can explore the timeless landscape via riverside trails in the hopes of spotting local wildlife, or take an opportunity to hike trails nearby, including the iconic Vulture Peak.

The historic West waits to be explored, with all the charming features of a typical Western community. Known as the Dude Ranch Capital and Team Roping Capitals of the World, cowboy life is unmistakable in Wickenburg. Visitors can also stay at local guest ranches, including Rancho de Los Caballeros, Kay El Bar Ranch, and Flying E Ranch. In the ghost town, Vulture City, an abandoned mining community recently restored just 12 miles from Wickenburg. Vulture City is a testament to the gold-hungry hopefuls who built the West over 157 years ago.

Those just as hungry for historic sites are captivated by Wickenburg’s history. Wickenburg’s Official Visitor Center is the starting point of a self-guided walking tour. Located inside a restored 1895 A.T.S.F. Railroad Depot. Tour brochures provide aid as visitors mosey past historic buildings and sites. One-stop is the 200-year-old Jail Tree, where those arrested were chained before the area had a jailhouse. From museums like Desert Caballeros Western Museum to the chance to ride in a horse-drawn wagon, history flows through all of Wickenburg.

© Pexels/Min An

Beyond this everyday cowpoke fun, Wickenburg bursts with annual events and performances that bring visitors back, again and again. In February, Gold Rush Days overrun the town with gunfights, a carnival, a classic car show, and an
old-fashioned melodrama. April brings the annual Cowgirl Up female artist art exhibit and P.R.C.A. Rodeo Legends of the West! Each September, Hispanic heritage is honoured in the Fiesta de Septiembre. November brings in the annual Bluegrass Festival and December, a Cowboy Poetry Gathering and the Christmas Parade of Lights. The Del E Webb Performing Arts Theatre provides performances throughout the fall-winter-spring months to entertain a variety of attendees.

Western hospitality is no catchpenny phrase here. As befits this truly welcoming town, hospitality and friendliness are a charming part of the town’s personality, as genuine and as real as the surrounding hills.

Disconnecting from the grid and reconnecting with each other, Wickenburg is a town where visitors are warmly welcomed whether the stay is an hour, month or season. It doesn’t matter where a person is from or who they are—the important thing is that they’re here.


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Wickenburg is the oldest town north of Tucson and the 5th oldest in the state (established in 1863). In its heyday, Wickenburg was the third largest town in Arizona. In 1866 it missed becoming the territorial capital by two votes.


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