Photo by Richard Daley
Encircled by mountain ranges, you’ll feel right at home in Arivaca, which affords visitors big-time outdoor opportunities, and some vibrant seasonal events, too.
The early history of Arivaca includes American Indians and silver prospectors, but it was the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 that put Arivaca in Arizona. That’s a good thing, too: this is some of the most stunning scenery in the state. Today, Arivaca is home to a diverse population, including many descendants of early pioneer families.
Start by turning your eyes upward: Arivaca is a birding hotspot; Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and Arivaca Lake are both good viewing venues. Eva Wilbur-Cruce wrote about growing up in the Arizona territory in A Beautiful Cruel Country; you can hike Mustang Trail and understand the appeal.
The ghost town of Ruby – once the largest mining camp in southwest Arizona – is open to the public. Abandoned since 1940, there’s a certain poignancy to the dilapidated buildings and equipment that remain, making for evocative photos, especially under a moody monsoon sky. The oldest schoolhouse in Arizona, the one-room Arivaca Schoolhouse, is in the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the local art scene, Day of the Dead, a Chili Cookoff, and Cinco de Mayo are all featured prominently during the year. The town may be tight-knit, but that’s not at the expense of newcomers. Don’t be surprised when a cowboy driving a dusty truck raises his hand from the steering wheel in greeting; that’s how folks roll in Arivaca. Signal back and you’ll fit right in.Visit City Site
City of Arivaca | PO Box 635 | Arivaca, AZ www.arivaca.net
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