Gila Bend

Take the time to explore this historic desert rest stop that is full of surprises, from kitschy space-age pop culture to state-of-the-art solar technology to prehistoric ruins. Gear up for some outdoor adventures across fabled trails and pristine desert, too.

Right Now

Pull off the road in Gila Bend (pronounced “hee-lah bend”), one of Arizona’s most colorful small towns. Here, travelers are regaled with a billboard-sized welcome sign from friendly residents and “5 old crabs,” and just down the road a landmark lodge heralds America’s mid-century obsession with space exploration.

Who’d have thought that a popular way station for travelers – from 1870s settlers to Dust Bowl refugees and from Kit Carson to Britain’s Prince Harry – would become the solar capital of Arizona? Gila Bend, Crossroads of the Southwest, is paving a name for itself as a place where cutting-edge technology is gaining global respect. Another surprise: A beam from the World Trade Center commemorates the 9/11 tragedy in a local park.

Gila Bend’s more distant past is on display at Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, where you can see numerous rock art and historic etchings, or arrange a tour to see a historic Hohokam village site at Gatlin Archaeological Park.

Gila Bend is the gateway to the Sonoran Desert National Monument, which includes remnants of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, the Mormon Battalion Trail, and the fabled Butterfield Overland Stage Route. The monument also holds plenty of options for outdoor pursuits, including hiking, backpacking, stargazing, camping, hunting, scenic driving, photography, and horseback riding. 

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Just The Facts

For Visitor information

Gila Bend Chamber of Commerce | Gila Bend, AZ | (928) 420-1964 | www.gilabendazchamber.com

County It all started How High? Head Count
Maricopa 1962 736ft 1,922

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