Winkelman, at an elevation of 1,947 feet, is at the southern end of Gila County at the confluence of the San Pedro and Gila Rivers. The history of Winkelman dates back to 1877 and 1878 when a large number of farmers migrated to the region. With

the coming of the railroad, the post office was established in 1903

near the ranch of Peter Winkelman, stockman. Winkelman incorporated

in 1914.

 

Most of Winkelman economic activity is related to copper. The

community serves primarily as a service center and residential area

for families of employees associated with the mining and processing

activities. The principal employer within the town is the School

District.

Gila County's economy is related to copper mining, smelting, refining

and rod production. However, the economic base is diversifying as

an influx of retirees is increasing the need for services.

 

The rugged topography around Winkelman provides many, varied

scenic attractions. In addition to being economic mainstays of the

area, the local copper mines and processing facilities are interesting

attractions. Both open-pit and underground mines can be seen in

the area, and tours through the reduction plant in Hayden, showing

the processing of copper from ore to molten metal, are available.

State Highways 77 and 177 provide dramatic mountain and canyon

scenery. Nearby mountains, including the Dripping Spring

Mountains to the north and the Tortilla Mountains to the south,

have numerous recreation areas with camping and picnicking facilities.

The primitive beauty of the desert can be experienced in the

Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness area southeast of Winkelman.

 

About 20 miles northeast of the Gila River, Coolidge Dam forms

10,000-acre San Carlos Lake which has facilities for boating and

fishing. The San Pedro River is also nearby. Hunting for javalina,

deer, quail and other game is popular in the area.

At the gateway to Winkelman stands a roadside park featuring a

115-foot-long adobe wall that tells the history of the town by

using bits of ranching and mining implements, as well as local geological

samples.

 

Last, but not least, is the eight-mile “Winkelman segment” of the

Gila River for safe and exciting Class 2 whitewater rapids, which

drop an impressive 23 feet per mile. Visitors can enjoy guided rafts

or be captains of specially designed river rafts with professional

guides offering instruction, leadership and direction. Riding stables

and trail rides are available.