Tonto Creek Swimming, Gisela, Compre
Gisela Salado Ruins

Pioneers, Miners, Apaches &

Outlaws

Wild Western Frontier

Gisela was named after the heroine in the book "Countess Gisela" by E. Marlitt. The town schoolteacher was reading the book to her students when she was asked by her husband, the postmaster, to help name the little settlement. She asked the school children what names they liked and they voted to name their new town Gisela. The students didn't know how to pronounce the name correctly, so they called it Guy-SEE-la.

The Old West is part of the heritage of America.  Gisela, Arizona, on the banks of Tonto Creek is a small vestige of that part of our Old West.  Although small in area and population, it has made a vital contribution to Gila County and Arizona.  After the end of the Civil War in 1865, settlers came to make a new home for themselves in peaceable existence, but their lives became involved in some of the most reckless and bloody experiences in the annals of Arizona.  The “Planting of the Colonies” program by Mormon Church President Brigham Young sent families into Gila County to look for places that no one else would have so they, too, would be left in peace, but they had to leave their homes and irrigated fields after ten years.  Raids from Apaches and other outlaws left this small Town a historic Ghost Town with lots of stories to tell.

Jayne-Peace Pyle - History of Gisela, Arizona

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Gisela, Arizona Compressed

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Gisela Ruins

Along the banks of the Tonto River resides the remains of a once ancient civilization that worked and lived off the land. There are still many rooms and artifacts in the area. Discover their story.

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Tonto Creek

Tonto Creek is a year-round stream below the Mogollon Rim that passes through Gisela, forming what is called the "Narrows.  This area is an Arizona swimming hole favorite.

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Special Events

Located between Payson, Arizona and Tonto Basin, Gisela is surrounded by many great annual events.  From rodeos to mountain bike races, to fishing competitions to mud runs!

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More Info

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Gisela, Arizona

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GISELA, ARIZONA

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Create Your Adventure In Gisela, AZ

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Explore the Wild - Discover Gila County