Arizona’s Wild West is Alive and Kicking
Wickenburg - Chasing gold since 1863, and channeling the old west into the modern generation. Cowboys, rodeos, kicking up dust on horseback - the gold rush might be over but if you’re ready to trade your sneakers in for Spurs, this town’s got a saddle with your name all over it. Less than an hour from the Valley of the Sun, near the banks of the Hassayampa River, few places let you explore authentic mining remnants by day, and watch a world-class dance performance by night. Open spaces with room to roam, downtown streets straight from a John Wayne movie set, welcome to the “Dude Ranch Capital of the World.”
A glimpse into Arizona’s prosperous mining past, Vulture City, and abandoned Vulture Mine, is a glimpse into Wickenburg’s boom-town history. Tucked amidst the spectacular Sonoran Desert landscape, the spirit of the American West comes alive as you wander through the restored cabin of Henry Wickenburg, and Assay House - once a thriving business hub. From shopping along Frontier Street, and historic walking tours, to the Del Webb Center for the Performing Arts rolling out an exciting schedule of events, Wickenburg is anything but a tumbleweed scattered ghost town. The city’s economy flourished when the Santa Fe Railroad came to town, and visitors can learn more about Wickenburg’s rough and tumble glory days at the Old Santa Fe Rail Depot- turned visitor center.
From off-roading, camping, fishing, and bird watching, Wickenburg doesn’t lack in natural beauty or sunshine (more than 300 days to be exact!). The Hassayampa River Preserve is a desert utopia spanning 660 acres - a playground for nature lovers as a section of the 100-mile river flows underground, and five miles of crystal clear water runs through the preserve itself. Wildlife surrounds you as you hike along tree-shaded trails including the Mesquite Meander Trail while being serenaded by an avian chorus with the sun glimmering through a dense umbrella of foliage.
You don’t normally see a dude ranch, and a five-star resort in the same room together, but at Rancho De Los Caballeros, that’s exactly what you’ll find. For the best swing you’ll ever have at 2,100 feet, the Los Caballeros Golf Club will challenge your game, and inspire your senses. With sweeping views of the Bradshaw Mountains and Vulture Peak, along with an on-site restaurant, pro-shop, as well as offering golf lessons, par five never looked this good. After a day on the green, or saddling up for a leisurely horseback ride, feel the pressures of life melt away with an indulgent massage, a soothing facial or maybe even a desert bath. Wickenburg is made for city slickers, ranchers, and everyone in between, but if you’re looking for a quiet getaway - watch out, it still gets a little wild around here.