Wickenburg, AZ. A great escape from Phoenix, Wickenburg offers quite a bit to tourists looking to get out and do something. In this trip, we got the whole family together and went up to Wickenburg and Congress.
Only about an hour from the valley, Wickenburg offers slightly cooler temps and more recreational opportunities. Our first stop was at the Hassayampa River Preserve, however, it was closed. The summer hours are 7-11 am, Fridays-Sundays. Anyway, we continued on into town where we decided to stop for lunch. We wanted to try something different, something not considered fast food. The Country Kitchen gave us just that. The Country Kitchen offers great ‘home style’ meals and good service. After this, we headed towards Congress. Congress is reached by taking Highway 93 north out of Wickenburg and then taking the 89 towards Yarnell. We turned left onto S.R. 71 where we briefly drove. After this we turned right onto Ghost Town Rd. This road leads to the old Congress mine, which gave the city a boost in 1884 and sparked the creation of the railroad through Congress Junction. About halfway to the mine, the road turns into a maintained dirt road. About two thirds of the way there we stopped because a few of our passengers were a bit shaken up. Some of us decided to walk up the road to see what we could see. We saw a turnoff to the Pioneer Cemetery which looks like an interesting place to check out, and we saw the Congress Mine (from a distance). We are not sure whether or not you can tour the mine; it may be on private property. At least we got to see what started the boomtown of Congress Junction.
After this adventure, we headed back to Wickenburg where we checked out the Desert Caballeros Museum. Once again, I was fascinated by the museum and the first-comers to the museum also enjoyed themselves. After looking around there for an hour (had to leave because they close at 5pm), we headed out to the Jail Tree which used to hold people that didn’t obey the law. The old Ironwood tree sits at Center and Tegner St. and cannot be missed. It was used to hold people with chains until they either sobered up or had served their time. After this we decided to head back towards home. We took a small side trip on Gates Rd. to show some of our family where we occasionally go riding.
This trip, while it seems like it did not take long, actually took up the majority of the day. We all had a fun time on this nice get-away from Phoenix.