Gila Bend Arizona
A sharp bend in the Gila (hee-la) River is Gila Bend’s namesake. The town is located near this river bend on a desert plain surrounded by a low mountain range. The town of Gila Bend is located west out of Phoenix on Interstate 10 and then heading south on State Highway 85 to the intersection of Interstate 8. It is situated at the intersection of State Highway 85 and Interstate 8. Gila Bend is in Maricopa County Maricopa County and is the far southwest edge of the West Valley.
The town is in a unique spot and serves as a connector of major routes from both Phoenix and Tucson traveling west to the Pacific. Many travelers going to Rocky Point or San Diego from Phoenix also pass through town. Gila Bend is a perfect place to stop and take a breather.
These heavily used roadways make the town an ideal overnight stop. There are many facilities, including hotels, restaurant, and shops to meet the needs of those traveling through. For the past three centuries, this area has been a resting spot for weary travelers. The town of Gila Bend plans to continue the tradition.
Gila Bend Properties
Gila Bend still has farming and ranching. However, the recent growth in the West Valley has caused Gila Bend to become a great place many people have decided to move. Single family new homes both new home and resale are found in town. Larger new homes with multiple acres and horse privileges are available. There are many choices in living options in Gila Bend.
Gila Bend is a small agricultural town that continues to show its love of the land. Residents enjoy the low mountains and beautiful Sonoran desert vistas that edge the town providing amazing views. Those who chose to live in Gila Bend have discovered the area’s blend of Native American history, agriculture, warm climate, and spectacular desert landscapes.
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Gila Bend History
Long before Gila Bend became a town, the Hohokam Indians planted crops. These ancient inhabitants diverted water from the Gila River to help plants grow. In 1774, the Spanish Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Francisco Tomas Garces passed through and learned of this method of sustaining the crops in the desert landscape. Soon, the area became a popular place to stop when traveling in the area.
Throughout history, Gila Bend has been a resting area for tired travelers. Beginning in 1858, Gila Bend became a stage stop along the overland stage route. This route was a major thoroughfare in Arizona. Then, in 1879 it was a depot for the railroad.
However, agriculture has always been the community’s mainstay. Cotton, alfalfa, and grain are the most common crops grown. Today, both agriculture and traveling tourists make Gila Bend a busy town.
Gila Bend Entertainment
The small town feeling is felt all year round in Gila Bend. There are numerous events which bring the community together. Annual rodeos, roping competitions, parades, sporting events, and community fairs are just some of the special events sponsored by the town. A local museum, community center, swimming pool, and parks give residents more opportunities to share the new hometown feel that made the town what is today.
The Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field and the Barry Goldwater Gunnery Range encompass 2.8 million acres and are located south of town. Today, the field is used for ongoing military aircraft and personnel training. Jump training (parachute jumping) is conducted at Gila Bend Air Force Auxiliary Field. It is also an emergency landing facility for nearby Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona.
Serving Gila Bend and the surround area is the Gila Bend Municipal Airport. The airport offers a paved runway extending over 5,000 feet. Light passenger aircrafts use the airport, which is located about two miles from town.
Gila Bend Outdoor Recreation
There are many unique outdoor spots located close to town. The Painted Rock Petroglyph Site is south of Gila Bend. Visitors to the one acre site will wind their way along a trail to see hundreds of symbolic and artistic etchings on rock. These petroglyphs where made centuries ago by Native Americans.
In addition, there are other rock inscriptions made by individuals passing through the area marking the early history of the state of Arizona. Currently, the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site is under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. Camping and picnic areas are found nearby.
The Gatlin Site is on the National Registry of Historic Locations. The site is east of town revealing traces of the Hohokam Indian village that once occupied the area in 800 A.D.. Remains of a canal system and a ceremonial platform can still be seen today. The rich Native American history surrounds the town of Gila Bend, giving residents a look back in time.
Gila Bend is in Central Arizona . It is in Maricopa County Maricopa County. The town is near a sharp bend in the Gila River on a desert plain surrounded by a low mountain range. Gila (hee-la) Bend is located at the intersection of State Highway 85 and Interstate 8 southwest of Phoenix. You can get to Gila Bend from Phoenix by taking Interstate 10 west out of town until you reach State Highway 85. Then take State Highway 85 south down to Gila Bend. Gila Bend is in the West Valley.
Gila Bend is the perfect stop over city when traveling between Phoenix and Rocky Point, Mexican or between Phoenix and San Diego. It is a small agricultural town that continues to show its love of the land. Today Gila Bend’s population is 2,000. It sits at an elevation of 735 feet. The sunny desert climate has a summer high Temperature of 107 degrees and a winter low Temperature of 36 degrees. Gila Bend is a town of farming and ranching that is still growing today.
One terrific attraction you won’t want to miss is the Gila Ben Museum. The Gila Bend Museum is a great place to learn about the town’s past. The museum includes artifacts found from earlier civilizations that once lived along the Gila River.
The Hohokam Indians discovered the fertile banks along the Gila River where ideal for growing crops. The Indian village lived here centuries before Father Francisco Eusebio Kino rode through. Father Kino visited in 1699 and helped establish the first farm.
Then in 1774, Spanish Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Francisco Tomas Garces passed by and discovered the rancheria. The rancheria was using the water from the Gila River to sustain the crops. The two travelers named the place Pueblo de los Santos San Simon y Judas. It soon became a popular place for those passing through.
In 1858, Gila Bend became a stop along the overland stage route. During the 18th century, the Gila Trail became the major thoroughfare in Arizona . Many famous individuals passed through town such as Kit Carson, General Stephen W. Kearny and Captain Philip St. George Crooke.
However, agriculture was always the town’s mainstay. Cotton, alfalfa and grain are the most common crops grown. The town was incorporated in 1962. Today, both agriculture and traveling tourists make Gila Bend a busy town. Many travelers heading to Rocky Point or San Diego from Phoenix use Gila Bend as the place to take a breather.