The Desert Caballeros Western Museum must be your first stop when you arrive in Wickenburg. This museum is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history and art of Arizona and the West. The museum gives you an opportunity to look at all the cultures that played a part in creating the Western culture. Every visitor, young and old alike will find something that will pique their interest.
The history of Wickenburg is retold through miniature dioramas. These amazing dioramas recreate the various stages the town went through. You will be surprised at the attention to detail shown in the dioramas. This section of the museum is popular with youngsters.
The art collection in the museum features work from the late 19th century and the 20th century. Visitors will see art pieces by Russell, Remington, Bierstadt and other members of the Cowboy Artists of America Association. The museum has one of the state’s best collections of western bronzes.
You will discover artifacts of the Anasazi, Hopi and the Navajo Indians. Visitors will love looking at the Navajo weavings, Hopi kachinas and Apache baskets. These Native Americans made Arizona their home and their art and artifacts are creatively displayed.
The black light exhibit is lots of fun for kids. The exhibit shows of gems and minerals in an eerie glow, through the use of a black light. The Mineral and Gem Gallery has more than 200 specimens from around the world. Visitors will also see examples of gold, silver and turquoise, which were important to Arizona’s mining history.
The lower level of the museum has been sectioned off representing different rooms from the past. These period rooms allow visitors an opportunity to walk through the museum’s Hall of History. There is a general store, saloon, post office and livery stable to name just some of the intriguing turn of the century settings recreated in the museum. Vintage clothing and decorative furnishings also reflect the western frontier.
The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 to 5:00 and Sundays 12:00 to 4:00. The cost of admission is $4.00, individuals over 55 are $3.50, children 6 to 16 are $1.00 and children under 6 years of age are free. Visitors should plan on staying at the museum for at least one hour to take in all the exhibits.
The museum has a gift shop that has a variety of Western jewelry, crafts and books. There is a Museum Park located on the corner of Tegner and Wickenburg Way. The park has garden beds filled with native plants. There is a handsome bronze sculpture called “Thanks for the Rain” standing in the park.
The Desert Caballeros Western Museum is located at 21 North Frontier Street. . If you are coming from Phoenix or Tucson take Interstate 17 north out of town. Once you have come to State Highway 74, just outside of Phoenix take it west. When State Highway 74 runs into State Highway 93, take it north into Wickenburg. You will proceed through town to the corner of Tegner and Wickenburg Way where you will find the sign for the museum. If you are coming from Flagstaff and would like to take a scenic route to Wickenburg, you will take Highway 89A south out of town. You will pass through Sedona, Cottonwood and into Prescott. Once in Prescott take Highway 89 southwest out of town passing through Peeples Valley. When Highway 89 meets State Highway 93 take it south to Wickenburg. You will proceed through town to the corner of Tegner and Wickenburg Way, where you will find the sign for the museum. If you would like more information, you may call 520-684-2272.
I think you will agree with me that after making a visit to the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, you will say it is one of the best museums in the Southwest.