(Last Updated On: September 19, 2022)

One of the buildings at Colorado River State Historic Park

Located in the heart of Yuma and along the historic Colorado River lies this important day-use park, the Colorado River State Historic Park. Important because it was once an Army depot that played a significant role in the development of early Arizona and its surrounding territories.

Today visitors are able to get a glimpse at this area’s diverse history through exhibits, artifacts and restored buildings dedicated to its preservation. The park’s beautifully maintained grounds overlooking the Colorado River offers guests a chance to relax, have a picnic and learn more about Arizona history.

Activities

Stop in at this Arizona state park for a couple of hours, visit the exhibits and enjoy a picnic lunch on one of the tables scattered throughout the park. Colorado River State Historical Park is also close to downtown Yuma and shops, restaurants, trails and other activities.

During your visit to the area stop in and tour the different buildings, check out the visitor center and gift shop and take a journey back in time.

Here are some more activities that you can do during your visit to Colorado River State Historical Park:

Museum at Colorado River State Historic Park

Colorado River State Historic Park houses several buildings that contain exhibits, artifacts, historic photographs and period furniture. These buildings include a Storehouse, the 1870s Office of the Depot Quartermaster, the Commanding Officers Quarters and a Visitor Center/Gift Shop.

Some of the exhibits you’ll see here include a Model T car, steamboats, antique farm wagons, a telegraph office and a fully furnished historic 1870s house.

This site was used as an Army depot from 1864 to 1883. During that time supplies for all of the Arizona Territory forts (and several forts outside of this territory) were stored here. After this site was abandoned by the military, a couple of federal government agencies – Bureau of Reclamation, US Weather Service and US Customs – moved in.

Today five of the original buildings remain with four containing exhibits highlighting military history, irrigation and other important features of Yuma circa 1900.

Research Library at Colorado River State Historic Park

Also on site at Colorado River State Historic Park is an important research library. This reference only (materials may not be checked out) library contains books, magazines and dvds on the history, nature and culture of the Colorado River community. Some of the topics that you will find here include steamboat travel, exploration, ecology and native tribes that lived along the river.

The Colorado River has long been a crucial part of life in Yuma and its surrounding areas. Recently it has become threatened by over-allocation and is considered the most endangered river in the country. If you’re interested in learning more, call Park Curator Tammy Snook (928-247-6391) and set up an appointment to visit the library.

Wildlife Viewing at Colorado River State Historic Park

There are three national wildlife refuges in the Yuma area and near Colorado River State Historic Park. These three – Cibola, Imperial and Kofa – are an important part of the US’s largest protected habitat and contain forest, grasslands, wetlands and desert.

During your visit to this area you may see lizards, snakes, iguanas, rabbits, bighorn sheep, deer, turtles, squirrels, coyotes, wild horses and many more native species.

This area is also ideal for birdwatchers. Many native and migrating birds may be seen throughout Yuma including great blue herons, roadrunners, geese, snowy egrets, quails, eagles and many songbirds.

Become a Junior Ranger at Colorado River State Historical Park

Junior Ranger Pledge: ‘As an Arizona State Parks Junior Ranger, I pledge to help the park rangers protect and preserve habitat, wildlife, and help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.’

Encourage younger generations to do their part and help preserve the beauty of the parks for future visitors. If your child is between the ages of 6-12 they can become a Junior Ranger at Colorado River State Historical Park.

All they need to do is download and complete the Junior Ranger Activity Sheet and then request a Junior Ranger booklet at the park’s visitor center once you’ve arrived at the park. Complete each of the activities during your stay.

When all of the activities have been completed report back to a Park Ranger who will swear your Junior Ranger in and award them with a Junior Ranger Button. Kids can become a Junior Ranger at most Arizona State Parks and earn each park’s unique Junior Ranger Button. Check out the For Kids section on each park’s website.

Pets at Colorado River State Historic Park

Unfortunately, pets are not allowed at Colorado River State Historic Park. You will need to plan ahead if traveling with your pets.

Lodging Near Colorado River State Historic Park

Colorado River State Historic Park is a day use area only and doesn’t have any overnight accommodations, but there are many choices for places to stay overnight nearby. Decide whether you want to camp, stay in your RV, a hotel or B&B and check out the following nearby options.

Historic Coronado Motor Hotel 233 S 4th Ave
Historic Spanish style hotel with comfortable rooms, complimentary breakfast and a pool.

Riverfront RV Park 2300 W Water St
Older RV park along the Colorado River and close to shopping and restaurants.

Desert Paradise RV Resort 10537 S Ave 9 E
RV park for older adults (55+) that features a pool, hot tub and lots of activities.

La Fuente Inn & Suites 1513 E 16th St
Comfy rooms, free breakfast and large outside pool.

Attractions Near Colorado River State Historic Park

Historic Old Town Yuma
Historic buildings and new shops and restaurants to check out nearby.

Yuma West Wetlands 282 N 12th Ave
Family park with multi-use trails, a native vegetation area, a hummingbird garden and a children’s play area.

Algodones, BC, Mexico
Mexican town that is a popular tourist destination only 8 miles from Colorado River State Historical Park. A passport is required before crossing the border.

Tumco Ghost Town & Gold Mine
Abandoned town and old gold mine dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. All that remains is a cemetery, old cyanide tanks and building foundations. Twenty-five miles west of Colorado River State Historic Park.

Park & Facility Hours

Tuesday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm for exhibits
[Closed Monday]

Park Entrance Fees

– Adult (14+): $6.00
– Youth (7–13): $3.00
– Child (0–6): FREE

Park Location

Colorado River State Historic Park
201 N 4th Ave
Yuma, AZ 85364
Phone: 928.329.0471

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Colorado River State Historic Park: