Yarnell and Peeples Valley are on U.S. Highway 89, approximately
80 miles northwest of Phoenix. Yarnell, the hill and the community, were named for Harrison Yarnell, who discovered and worked the Yarnell Mine in the 1890s.
Abraham Peeples, who had a ranch in the valley that bears his
name, came to the area in 1865. Yarnell and Peeples Valley are at
altitudes of 4,782 and 4,700 feet respectively. The post office in
Yarnell was established in 1892. Both communities are unincorporated.
Cattle ranching and mining in the Yarnell/Peeples Valley area pro-vide
the major source of economic activity for the two communities.
The Hays Cattle Company, located in Peeples Valley, is one of
Arizona's most historic ranches. Their Bar-Muleshoe-Bar brand dates
back to 1876.
A growing arts, crafts and antique business has resulted in a notice-able
increase in tourism. These visitors are discovering the clean air,
water and mild climate of the area.
Yarnell is an attractive retirement area because of the low cost of
living and mild climate. Many summer visitors come to escape the
desert heat. A small commercial and service sector exists to serve
these residents and the surrounding rural area.
The Shrine of St. Joseph of the Mountains is located in the Weaver
Mountains one-half mile west of Yarnell. This hillside shrine consists
of a chapel, the Way of the Cross, and replicas of the Garden of
Gethsemane and the Last Supper–all the work of Felix Lucero. A
lookout point off the highway provides a panorama of the desert
Congress, nine miles southwest of Yarnell, was the site of a mine
said to have been owned by Diamond Jim Reynolds. The old gold mining
ghost towns of Stanton, Octave and Weaver, the latter
named for famed scout Pauline Weaver, are not far from Yarnell.
Octave, operational until 1942, was laid out as a placer camp in
1863, at which time it was claimed by eight men (thus the name).
Stanton, the earliest gold strike of the three, was named for the
infamous scoundrel Charles P. Stanton.
The 1.5-million-acre Prescott National Forest is north and east of
town. The forest offers numerous recreational opportunities, such
as camping, hiking and water sports in one of the many recreation