What to do in Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

Yuma Territorial Prison is living proof that there really was a wild west. Over 120 years ago, prison experts considered Yuma Territorial Prison one of the most modern prisons in the United States. It was the first prison in the Arizona Territory. More than 3,000 culprits, women as well as men, convicted of crimes ranging from polygamy to murder, lived in rock and abode cells during the prisons 33 year life. Still standing are the cells, main gate, and guard tower that give visitors a glimpse of convict life a century ago.

A fascinating museum details that prison's development and tells stories of the desperado's, including 29 women, who did time there. Visitors may view a selection of videos highlighting prison life, walk through the actual strap iron cells and the "dark hole" punishment cell. Picnic tables are provided for tourists to enjoy a relaxing meal. The restrooms are handicapped accessible. Nearby, Yuma Crossing State Historic Park is one of the Southwest's richest historical sites.

Recreational opportunities offered by this 7 acre site relate to the historical building, museum and surrounding landscape. Additionally a picnic area has been provided.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park is located in the southwest corner of Arizona in the town of Yuma. The park can be found off I-8 and Giss Parkway.

Yuma has a low elevation of 140 feet and experiences a hot desert climate. During the summer months visitors can expect very hot temperatures with afternoon thunderstorms possible especially in July and August. Daytime high temperatures can exceed 115 degrees. Winter brings moderate temperatures, with warm days and cool to cold nights. Winter is a good time to experience this normally snow free area. Fall and spring are transitional periods and can also be nice times to visit these desert regions. Be prepared for cool temperatures at higher elevations and dress in layers for your travels in this state of varying climates.

P.O. Box 10792
Yuma, AZ 85364

Phone: 520-783-4771

Fax: 520-738-7442

Email: yuma@pr.state.az.us
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