One of the fastest growing areas in the United States, Yuma Arizona and the Desert Southwest offer a bounty of opportunities to enjoy life to it’s fullest. Yuma Arizona lures in many visitors and new residents with the promise of blue sky’s, green fields, & warm weather. The Lower Colorado River, Imperial/Algodones sand dunes, and the surrounding Sonora Desert offer a vast variety of scenery and recreational opportunities.
The City of Yuma incorporates 110 square miles with a population of 93,064 full time residents. The City of Yuma is found on the western side of Yuma County (pop. 195,751). Yuma’s Latitude & Longitude is 32.70 by -114.60 (at the intersection of Interstate 8 and Highway 95 aka 16th Street).
Yuma County is located in the southwestern corner of the State of Arizona (pop. (6,392,017). Nearby communities in the county include Wellton, Fortuna Foothills, Martinez Lake, Gadsden, Somerton, San Luis, & Tacna. Andrade CA, Winterhaven CA, Felicity CA, Bard CA, Algodones (B.C. Mexico), & San Luis Río Colorado (Sonora Mexico) are all just minutes away.
Fort Yuma was founded in 1840 serving as a steamboat destination for the army goods ultimately destined for points east of the river. The old Quartermasters Depot, which was responsible for distributing these supplies, closed in 1883. The importance of the depot languished after the completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad river crossing in 1877.
First known as Colorado City, and later Arizona City, in 1873 Yuma was named for the Yumas, a group of Indian tribes (Quechans, Cocopahs, and the Mohaves) that spoke the language dialects known as “Yuman”. These tribes are now best known for several popular Casinos, Museums, Golf Courses, and RV Parks in the area.
In 1876 the Yuma Territorial Prison opened to house Arizona’s most dangerous criminals. Over 3000 prisoners were kept within the prison walls during the next 33 years of operation. Later Yuma High School was located at the prison grounds. In a tribute to past times the school’s sport teams are still known as the “Criminals”.
Yuma’s location on the Lower Colorado River near the conjunction with the Gila River was the reason for its popularity as a major steamship port and jumping off point for those destined to Arizona’s vast lands. Attractions in the area such as The Fort Yuma Quartermasters Depot, Historic Downtown Yuma, and the Yuma Territorial Prison serve as reminders of Yuma’s colorful past.
With the standard weather forecast being “clear sky’s and warm” Yuma is today one of the fastest growing areas in Arizona and the United States. Yuma and the nearby valleys are major source of agricultural products. The Yuma area produces the majority of the winter lettuce crop available in the United States. The mild winter climate in Yuma results in flocks of winter visitors commonly known as “Snow Birds”. Off Road recreation in the “Dunes”, the mountains, and the surrounding Sonoran desert make the cooler seasons especially popular for visitors as well.
Although the summers can become extremely warm (read “hotter than Hades”), the nearby Colorado River, Martinez Lake, Ferguson Lake, and other popular aquatic recreational areas bring a steady stream of high season guests to Yuma, and nearby Imperial , & La Paz Counties. Year round residents find many ways to beat the heat including rising early in the morning to take advantage of the night coolness.
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