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Desert Tours

Desert Road Trip Tours

Go off the grid!  Join us for one, two, or all three of the upcoming Desert Road Trip Tours to historic sites in the desert surrounding Yuma, Arizona.

Four-wheel drive vehicles are recommended for all tours.  Desert Road Trip Tours are sponsored by the Arizona Historical Society and the Yuma County Historical Society.

Gas-up your vehicle and ride along with us!


 

Tour #1.
Three Destinations in 1-Day Tour: Redondo Ruins, Laguna Dam, and McPhaul Bridge

Saturday, February 17, 2018
9am-1pm
$20 per person
Tickets: Purchase tickets online or call 928-782-1841

  • Check-In: 8:30am
    Chevron Station at 6868 E. Highway 95, Yuma, AZ 85365 (Hwy 95 and 7E)
  • Group Departure: 9:00am
  • End of Tour: 1:00pm

Three historical destination sites are included in this tour: Redondo Ruins, Laguna Dam, McPhaul Bridge.

Redondo Ruins: The Redondo site is the home of Jose Maria Redondo, the first non-native to irrigate farmland in the state of Arizona. At its peak, his farm contained over 27 miles of ditches, irrigating wheat, fruit trees, and sugar cane. Telling the story of the Redondo Hacienda site and the San Isidro Ranch will be Jose Maria Redondo’s grandson.

Laguna Dam: The second stop will be at the Laguna Dam, the first dam on the Colorado River that gave Yuma the senior water rights on the lower Colorado River. Discussion topics will include: politics in play, citizens involved in the vision and execution of the dam, construction of the century-old Siphon beneath the Colorado River that still delivers water to the Yuma Valley Farmers today, and more!

McPhaul Bridge: Our third stop will be at McPhaul Bridge with a historical presentation by the great-granddaughter of Mr. McPhaul, Donna Johnson.  Designed by the same man who designed the Golden Gate Bridge, this bridge was still standing after the Gila River rising in 1994. The “new and modern” Highway 95 bridge collapsed within a few days. 

Lunch will be available to purchase at From the Farm, fresh farm taco grill and antique emporium.

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Tour #2.
Kings Valley Wildlife Management Tour
 

Saturday, March 17, 2018
9am-1pm
$30 per person (includes lunch)
Tickets: Purchase tickets online or call 928-782-1841

  • Check-In: 8:30 am in the parking lot of the Chevron station located at 6868 E. Highway 95, Yuma, AZ 85365 (Hwy 95 and 7E)
  • Group Departure: 9:00 am
  • End of Tour: 1:00 pm

We will be traveling to Kings Valley along a dirt road where high clearance is recommended. John Hervert of the Arizona Game and Fish Department will discuss the history of the KOFA Game Reserve, wildlife projects, water catchments created, and animals that have prospered in the region. Specifically discussed will be why the was refuge was created, politics involved in the process, and the colorful history of previous preserve managers. Stores of the local wildlife will be shared, including Big Horn Sheep, Mule Deer, the newly added Sonoran Pronghorn Antelope as well as mountain lions, kit foxes, and quail.

Lunch will be cooked and served by members of the Yuma County Historical Society.  Soft drinks and bottled water will be supplied. Tables will be provided.  Please bring your own chairs.

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Tour #3.
Fortuna Mine Tour

Saturday, March 24, 2018
9am-1pm
$30 per person (includes lunch)
Tickets: Purchase tickets online or call 928-782-1841

Special Note:  A Barry Goldwater range pass is required for this tour.  Passes are free and are available at the Marine Corps Air Station’s Pass and Registration Building, located at the Main Gate of the MCAS base, off of Avenue 3E in Yuma. 

Tour departs from the Foothills Branch Library parking lot at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 24, 2018.
The Foothills Branch Library is located at 
13226 S. Frontage Road in Yuma, AZ 85367.

Together, we will proceed in caravan south to the Fortuna Mine. This is approximately a 7-8 mile travel over dirt roads and high clearance is recommended.  At the site, local historians will present the history of the Fortuna Mine and Yuma’s mining history. From 1894 through1904 the mine yielded 129,234 ounces of gold.

Lunch will be cooked and served by members of the Yuma County Historical Society.  Soft drinks and bottled water will be supplied. Tables will be provided.  Please bring your own chairs.

  • Check-In: 8:30am in the parking lot of the Foothills Library located at 13226 S. Frontage Road, Yuma, Arizona 85367
  • Group Departure: 9:00am
  • End of Tour: 1:00pm

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