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Create Your Adventure In Winkelman, AZ
The Mining Life
Winkelman celebrated its centennial in 2014, unveiling a unique monument celebrating the region’s copper heritage: a mining ore cart overflowing with oversized one-cent pieces, inviting viewers to share ‘a Penny for your thoughts.
Though a small town, Winkelman has a spacious riverfront park popular with RV weekenders and tent-camp-overnighters; a park shaded by massive cottonwood and palm trees – and situated below towering cliffs of rock described in the book ‘Roadside Geology of Arizona’. The Gila River flows downstream from San Carlos Lake – carving through ancient ‘tilted bed’ formations of limestone and sedimentary layers exposed now to amateur geologists, photographers and students – easily seen at Hwy 77 roadside pullouts just north of town. Pack binoculars along with your camera, and watch for common Blackhawk, Great Blue Heron and Belted Kingfisher among dozens of bird species making their home in tamarisk thickets along the Gila.
The San Pedro River is the last undammed river in the American Southwest, starting 143 miles south in Mexico and meeting with the Gila River here in Winkelman.
At low elevation (1965 feet) and the southernmost gateway to Gila County, Winkelman was named for a local cattleman – and is drivers’ last place to gas-up before continuing on Hwy 77 enroute to the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Preserve – popular with hikers, birders and nature-lovers.
Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management