Wickenburg is 50 miles northwest of Phoenix at an
elevation of 2,100 feet. Nestled in the foothills of the Bradshaw
Mountains, and along the banks of the Hassayampa River,
Wickenburg boasts a rich Western history that is still evident
today. The town is the oldest north of Tucson.
In 1863, Henry Wickenburg discovered the Vulture Mine which
in time became the richest gold producing mine in Arizona's history.
In the early 1900s, as the mine played out, ranching and
tourism took over as economic mainstays in the area.
Wickenburg was incorporated in 1909. Today, Wickenburg
offers a relaxing Western life style with a full range of municipal
and private sector services.
Traditionally, tourism, cattle ranching and agriculture have been
the main economic activities in Wickenburg.
In 1964, Wickenburg began to diversify its economic base by
developing an industrial airpark to encourage manufacturing
firms to locate in the town. Today, nine light industrial users
occupy parts of the park. Hoping to encourage more diversification,
the town has developed and sold Phase II (15 acres) of the
industrial airpark with complete curb-high infrastructure and
town services adjacent to established manufacturers.
Tourism is an important component of Wickenburg's economy.
Currently, 275 firms provide services to tourists. The combined
sectors of service and retail trade employ approximately 75 per-cent
of the total number of workers in the Wickenburg area.
Visitors and residents can find a wide range of activities in the
Wickenburg area. One of the most popular attractions is the
Vulture Mine, where over $30 million in gold has been dug
from the ground. A hiking guide detailing Vulture Park information,
including the grave of the German refugee who found the
Vulture Gold Mine and from whom the town gets its name,
Henry Wickenburg, is available from the Chamber of Commerce.
The Desert Caballeros Western Museum showcases an acclaimed
collection of Western art and artifacts and offers downtown visitors
a landscaped park and rest area with statuary. A walking
tour of historic buildings is also a highlight of the downtown
The Hassayampa River Preserve provides a self-guided nature
trail along spring fed Palm Lake, and the banks of the
Hassayampa River. The preserve is home to over 220 species of
birds. Unique natural features, including the Saguaro Forest,
Joshua Tree Forest and Ocotillo Flat are nearby as is Lake
Pleasant, with swimming, boating and fishing. Other cultural
events such as theater, symphony, professional sports, can be
found in Phoenix 50 miles away.