Gila River Valley

Last updated
Gila Valley
Yuma arizona map.jpg
The Gila valley in Yuma County
USA Arizona location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Gila Valley
Gila Valley in Arizona
Length 310 mi (500 km)E-W
Width 14 mi (23 km)N-S
Geography
Country United States
State Arizona
Counties
Cities and towns
Coordinates 33°4′47″N111°39′20″W / 33.07972°N 111.65556°W / 33.07972; -111.65556 Coordinates: 33°4′47″N111°39′20″W / 33.07972°N 111.65556°W / 33.07972; -111.65556
River Gila River

The Gila River Valley is a multi-sectioned valley of the Gila River, mostly in Arizona. The Gila River forms in western New Mexico and flows west across southern-eastern, south-central, and southwestern Arizona; it changes directions across the state, and defines specific areas and valleys. The central portion of the river flows on the southern Phoenix valley region-(where Phoenix, in the Salt River Valley joins the Gila River Valley), and the final sections in southwestern Arizona form agricultural, irrigated smaller valleys within the Gila River valley, (for example Dome Valley, Mohawk Valley, and Hyder Valley).

Gila River river in the United States of America

The Gila River is a 649-mile (1,044 km) tributary of the Colorado River flowing through New Mexico and Arizona in the United States. The river drains an arid watershed of nearly 60,000 square miles (160,000 km2) that lies mainly within the U.S. but also extends into northern Sonora, Mexico. Indigenous peoples have lived along the river for at least 2,000 years, establishing complex agricultural societies before European exploration of the region began in the 16th century. However, European Americans did not permanently settle the Gila River watershed until the mid-19th century.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

New Mexico State of the United States of America

New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east-southeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.

Contents

Two mountain ranges are named for the Gila River: the Gila Mountains (Graham County) bordering the Gila River valley, northeast of Safford; the Gila Mountains (Yuma County) border the Gila River valley before the Gila River joins its confluence with the Colorado River; that range is east of Yuma and the Fortuna Foothills.

Gila Mountains (Graham County) mountain range

The Gila Mountains of Graham County are a mountain range in central-east Arizona. It borders the Gila River and Gila Valley on the valley's northeast in north-central Graham County; also the San Carlos Indian Reservation. The mountain range sits on the southern perimeter of the White Mountains and is located in the southeast area of Arizona's transition zone.

Safford, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Safford is a city in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 9,566. The city is the county seat of Graham County.

Gila Mountains (Yuma County)

The Gila Mountains of Yuma County are a 26-mile (42 km) long mountain range in southwestern Arizona in the northwest Sonoran Desert.

Graham County

The Gila Valley begins as a 35-mile (56 km) long valley in central Graham County, Arizona. Thatcher and Safford lie upstream on the Gila River in the southeast beginning of the valley.

Graham County, Arizona County in the United States

Graham County is a county located in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, the population was 37,220, making it the third-least populous county in Arizona. The county seat is Safford.

Thatcher, Arizona Town in Arizona, United States

Thatcher is a town in Graham County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the town is 4,865. It is part of the Safford Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The elevation of the river valley upstream at Safford, is 2,906 feet (886 m).

The Gila Valley region along the river, contains the most populated areas of the Safford micropolitan area.

Yuma County

The Gila Valley of Yuma County, Arizona is a small valley surrounding the Gila River at its confluence with the Colorado River, the Colorado being the border between California and Arizona, and locally southwest of Yuma Baja California, and Sonora states, Mexico.

Yuma County, Arizona County in the United States

Yuma County is a county in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Arizona. As of the 2010 census, its population was 195,751. The county seat is Yuma.

Colorado River major river in the western United States and Mexico

The Colorado River is one of the principal rivers in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The 1,450-mile-long (2,330 km) river drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. Starting in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the mostly dry Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

The valley extends only 10 miles (16 km) from its confluence to the northern end of the Gila Mountains, which abut the east end of the Laguna Mountains, where the Gila River meanders, west, southwest, then due west again.

The Gila Valley is called the North Gila Valley in the northern parts, north of the Gila River, and it is called the South Gila Valley in the south. The communities in the valley are agricultural, especially in the south and southwest, towards Yuma, Arizona.

The South Gila Valley borders the Yuma Mesa on its south, where the Fortuna Foothills are located on the northwest perimeter of the Gila Mountains.

The North Gila Valley contains the Adair Range, a shooting range located on the southern edge of the Laguna Mountains.

Related Research Articles

The Copper Mountains is a minor north-south trending mountain range, only 8 miles long in southwestern Arizona in the southwestern Sonoran Desert.

Tinajas Altas Mountains

The Tinajas Altas Mountains are an extremely arid northwest-southeast trending mountain range in southern Yuma County, Arizona, approximately 35 mi southeast of Yuma, Arizona. The southern end of the range extends approximately one mile into the northwestern Mexican state of Sonora on the northern perimeter of the Gran Desierto de Altar. The range is about 22 mi in length and about 4 mi wide at its widest point. The highpoint of the range is unnamed and is 2,766 feet above sea level and is located at 32°16'26"N, 114°02'48"W. Aside from the portion of the range in Mexico, the entirety of the range lies within the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range. They lie at the heart of the traditional homeland of the Hia C-eḍ O'odham people.

Muggins Mountains

The Muggins Mountains is a mountain range in southwest Arizona east of Yuma, Arizona, northeast of the Gila Mountains, and east of the Laguna Mountains. The Castle Dome Mountains lie to the northeast across the broad Castle Dome Plain. The Muggins Mountains Wilderness occupies the southwest portion of the range.

Muggins Mountain Wilderness

The Muggins Mountain Wilderness is a 7,711-acre (31.21 km2) wilderness area in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is located approximately 38 miles (61 km) east of Yuma, Arizona in the Muggins Mountains and adjacent to the agricultural Dome Valley and Gila River. The wilderness area is made up of the highest peak in the southern section of Muggins Mountains, Klothos Temple at 1,666 feet (508 m). Muggins Peak is adjacent to the peak southeastwards, at 1,424 feet (434 m). Three deeply cut washes drain the southwest border of the wilderness, Twin Tanks Wash, Muggins Wash, and Morgan Wash. Muggins Wash is the access point to the wilderness, by way of County 7th Street.

Mohawk Valley (Arizona)

The Mohawk Valley is a valley in the lower regions of the western Gila River Valley in southwestern Arizona in the western Sonoran Desert.

The San Cristobal Wash is an ephemeral wash and watercourse of the San Cristobal Valley, flowing north into the Gila River Valley of the southwestern desert region of Arizona. Besides Death Valley, the Chihuahuan Desert area, and regions of Baja Peninsula North America, the southeast California deserts along the Lower Colorado River Valley, this drainage region is in the harshest desert regions of North America.

Growler Mountains

The Growler Mountains is a 23-mile, (37-km) long north-south trending mountain range of far western Pima County, Arizona that lies 12 miles (19 km) west of Ajo, Arizona. This desert region of southern Arizona lies in the north and central Sonoran Desert, and is one of the drier desert areas of North America.

Altar Valley valley in southern Arizona

The Altar Valley is a 45-mile (72 km) long north-south valley, trending slightly northeast from Sasabe, Arizona on the Mexico border to the Avra Valley west of the Tucson Mountains. It is delimited by Arizona State Route 86, from east-to-west on the north separating it from the Avra Valley which then trends northwesterly, merging into the plains and drainage of the Santa Cruz River.

Laguna Mountains (Arizona)

The Laguna Mountains are a small, approximately circular mountain range of extreme southwest Arizona northeast of Yuma and east of Winterhaven, California on the Colorado River. The Colorado forms the western perimeter of the mountains; Mittry Lake, on the Colorado is on its northwest.

Childs Valley

The Childs Valley is a valley in the Sonoran Desert of south-central Arizona northwest of Ajo. Upstream sections are located in far western Pima County; downstream it merges into the Gila River Valley in southwestern Maricopa County. Upstream, the valley lies northeast and parallel to the Growler Valley and Growler Mountains.

Granite Wash Mountains

The Granite Wash Mountains are a short, arid, low elevation mountain range of western-central Arizona, in the southeast of La Paz County. The range borders a slightly larger range southeast, the Little Harquahala Mountains; both ranges form a section on the same water divide between two desert washes. The washes flow in opposite directions, one northwest to the Colorado River, the other southeast to the Gila River.

Black Hills (Greenlee County) mountain range in Greenlee County, Arizona

The Black Hills of Greenlee County are a 20 mi (32 km) long mountain range of the extreme northeast Sonoran Desert bordering the south of the White Mountains of eastern Arizona's transition zone.

Course of the Colorado River

The Colorado River is a major river of the western United States and northwest Mexico in North America. Its headwaters are in the Rocky Mountains where La Poudre Pass Lake is its source. Located in north central Colorado it flows southwest through the Colorado Plateau country of western Colorado, southeastern Utah and northwestern Arizona where it flows through the Grand Canyon. It turns south near Las Vegas, Nevada, forming the Arizona–Nevada border in Lake Mead and the Arizona–California border a few miles below Davis Dam between Laughlin, Nevada and Needles, California California before entering Mexico in the Colorado Desert. Most of its waters are diverted into the Imperial Valley of Southern California. In Mexico its course forms the boundary between Sonora and Baja California before entering the Gulf of California. This article describes most of the major features along the river.

Painted Rock Mountains

The Painted Rocks Mountains are a short 15-mile (24 km) long mountain range of the north-central Sonoran Desert southwest of Phoenix, Arizona and in southwest Maricopa County. The Gila River flows through the central-north end of the range.

References