Posts From The Road: Wickenburg, Arizona

Wickenburg: A mural on the wall of a downtown business depicts Wickenburg’s western roots and how settlers arrived in the area on foot, by horse, by wagon, or later by train. The Wickenburg community embraces its western heritage. Photo by Gary Warren/

Thanks: This sculpture entitled ‘Thanks For the Rain’ by Joe Beeler sits in a park area adjacent to the Desert Caballero Western Museum in Wickenburg, Ariz. The historic downtown area of the city is filled with sculptures, murals and other artwork depicting Wickenburg’s history. Photo by Gary Warren/

Formerly of Los Alamos

Wickenburg, Ariz. sits in the shadows of the Phoenix area as well as the foothills of Arizona’s mountain country and is one of the oldest towns in the state. This small community of about 7,500 residents today was founded during the mining days of the American west.

Wickenburg was founded by prospector Henry Wickenburg who came to the area in search of gold. What he found was an abundance of gold and silver when he discovered the nearby Vulture Mine and the town of Wickenburg was established in1863.

Along with mining, farmers and ranchers discovered the fertile area of the Hassayampa River and also began settling in the area. The Hassayampa River runs underground but when it does rise to the surface it creates an oasis in the desert. One such area is the Hassayampa River Preserve where cottonwood trees and other foliage create a haven for birding or just relaxing in the shade.

Western lifestyle runs deep in the Wickenburg area and rodeo and roping are a prominent scene in the area. Wickenburg is host to a number of equestrian events and is known as the Team Roping Capital of the World.

The arts are prominent in Wickenburg as visitors can spot sculptures, wall murals and other arts that depict the Wickenburg lifestyle with a world class museum, the Desert Caballero Western Museum, as well as the Del Webb Center for Performing Arts. The western museum contains work of some of the top western artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and others as well as a great collection of western artifacts from across the region and the American West.

While Wickenburg has experienced a number of ups and downs, the city has embraced its history and is a thriving western community today. The mining, ranching and cowboy lifestyles are evident as you drive down the streets of Wickenburg or visit their various shops, restaurants, motels, and dude ranches.

The spirit of the American West is alive and well in this high desert town just a short drive from Phoenix. If you are visiting the city and want to get away for a day or more, Wickenburg is your destination. You can embrace the openness, clean air, and setting of this beautiful town and you will not be disappointed. We have visited Wickenburg several times and we will be back during our next visit to Arizona.

Editor’s note: Longtime Los Alamos photographer Gary Warren and his wife Marilyn are traveling around the country, and he shares his photographs, which appear in the “Posts from the Road” series published in the Sunday edition of the Los Alamos Daily Post.

Western Museum: The Desert Caballero Western Museum in Wickenburg is home to some of the finest western art that you will find anywhere. In addition, the museum houses thousands of historical artifacts of the American West. Photo by Gary Warren/

Train Station: The railroad played a big part in Wickenburg’s growth when it arrived in the town in the 1890s. The train station is now owned by the city of Wickenburg and it houses the Chamber of Commerce and the Wickenburg Visitors Center. A historic train engine and caboose are displayed on the tracks near the station. Photo by Gary Warren/

Miner: ‘Miner Leading His Donkey’ is one of several life sized sculptures located around downtown Wickenburg. The sculpture illustrates the early mining days in Wickenburg with the discovery of the nearby Vulture Mine. Photo by Gary Warren/

Custom Hats: Custom cowboy hats can be made by hat makers at Double H Custom Hat Co. in downtown Wickenburg, Ariz. This is one of multiple western wear shops in the downtown area. Photo by Gary Warren/

Saguaro: The Saguaro Theater in Wickenburg offers current running films as well as western films from the past. The theater has been a fixture in Wickenburg since the 1940s. Photo by Gary Warren/

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