Yuma Travel Guide

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Yuma Overview

Official Tourism Site: https://www.visityuma.com/

First incorporated as Arizona City in 1871, Yuma (population 93,000) was renamed in 1873 and is now the largest city in Arizona outside the metro areas of Phoenix and Tucson.

Yuma is the county seat and largest city of Yuma County, one of Arizona's original eight counties.

With the arrival of sun-seeking snowbirds, the population nearly doubles during the peak travel months of January, February and March.

The area's first settlers were Native American Tribes, whose descendants occupy the Cocopah and Quechan reservations near the city. In 1540, expeditions under Hernando de Alarcon and Melchior Diaz visited here and immediately saw the natural crossing of the Colorado River was an ideal spot for a city.

From the 1850s through the 1870s, the Yuma Crossing was known for its steamboat crossing, and spot for them to stop on the way up and down the river. The steamboats transported passengers and equipment for the various mines and military outposts. Yuma served as the gateway to the new western territory of California, as it was one of the few natural spots to cross the very wide Colorado River. The Southern Pacific Railroad bridged the river in 1870 and helped continue Yuma as a major hub in the desert southwest.

During the summer, temperatures can reach upwards of 120 degrees. The heat index has been known to travel above 140 degrees due to the area's high humidity because of all the farmland that exists. The winters are mild, with daytime highs reaching into the 70s.

The main thoroughfares through Yuma are Interstate 8, which runs east and west from south Phoenix to San Diego, and U.S. 95, which runs north and south from Canada to Mexico.