Wickenburg is picturesque southwestern gem 60 miles northwest of Phoenix. Named for Henry Wickenburg, whose quest for gold lured him to the area, where he discovered the Vulture Mine; it was first in habited by a robust Yavapai community who grew corn, beans, squash and tobacco. They flourished along the lush banks of the Hassayampa... Show all »
Wickenburg is picturesque southwestern gem 60 miles northwest of Phoenix. Named for Henry Wickenburg, whose quest for gold lured him to the area, where he discovered the Vulture Mine; it was first in habited by a robust Yavapai community who grew corn, beans, squash and tobacco. They flourished along the lush banks of the Hassayampa River flood plain and traded with Hispanics primarily from Sonora, Mexico. As miners and prospectors moved into the area in 1862, followed by ranchers and farmers, they soon replaced the Yavapai, as they were forced onto reservations after suffering defeat in the Indian Wars of Arizona.
Wickenburg has a true southwestern pedigree, and after being home to a thriving native culture for hundreds of years, it developed into an American town, with a unique distinction of being the northern edge of the Hispanic ranching frontier and an American gold rush frontier simultaneously. The area surrounding Wickenburg is a rich depository of the artifacts from all the past activities that contributed to the history of town, known as one of the top ten western towns in the world.
Today its robust history is ever present in Wickenburg’s character. The DC Riders and the Gold Rush Days and Rodeo keep its proud western culture alive. That preservation of western history actually brought it to prominence in more modern times as the “Dude Ranch Capital of the World”. In fact the original train depot built in 1895, was the site of the very first Dude Ranch, today it is the Chamber of Commerce.
Rancho de los Caballeros, another of the early dude ranches, embodies the Sonoran influence of the “caballeros” Spanish gentlemen riders, is now a world class golf resort, with the intimate feel of a bed and breakfast. It is a place that welcomes children and offers free western activities just for them. The Remuda Ranch, yet another past dude ranch, is the world's largest facility for treating eating disorders.
Wickenburg, more than any other Arizona western town, has managed to integrate many of the original buildings into modern use as a drive down Frontier Street will further illustrate. It is often said by visitors, who take a stroll down the street to shop and have a bite to eat, that it is as if they have stepped back to a time when life moved at a slower place; a time when America’s main streets were a collection of small individually owned businesses serving the needs of their community and it’s visitors.
Wickenburg’s nostalgic air is not lost in the neighborhoods that make it up. Neighborhoods with older brick hacienda style homes, reminiscent of its Spanish roots, on an acre or two accentuated by beautiful desert landscaping are nice choice for families who enjoy the extended living space offered by their interior courtyards. Others prefer the easy maintenance of one of Wickenburg’s condo communities, such as the Santa Fe style condos of Northridge Villas, or the location of the condos at Frontier Village in the heart of Wickenburg.
If your preference is a new home, with authentic western ranch architecture, a great neighborhood choice is Monte Vista Ranch, a 300 acre master-planned community that features captivating views of the Bradshaw Mountain Range and the city lights from the community lodge that provides residents resort style activities. Monte Vista has recreated the feel of a bygone era in Wickenburg history with the modern conveniences of today.
Fear not, if a truly rural home is what you are looking for you, just take a scenic drive around the outskirts of Wickenburg, and see spread out before you, green pastures dotted with horses and cows abloom with brightly colored yellow wild flowers in the shadow of the surrounding foothills, under a clear blue sky above, and you will find just what you were looking for. « Show less
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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 6:08 AM