Community Profile | Town of Quartzsite
Quartzsite is west of Phoenix at the junction of Interstate 10 and U.S. 95, near the Colorado River. The community has a Mohave Desert setting. The nearby Kofa, New Water, and Plomosa Mountains provide topographic relief while the Colorado River lies only 17 miles to the west.
In 1867, Quartzsite was established on the former old Fort Tyson, a privately built structure constructed in 1856 by Charles Tyson for protection against raids. Named Quartzite because quartz was occasionally found in the area, the name evolved to Quartzsite through an error in spelling.
Tourism is the major contributor to Quartzsite's economy. The retail trade and service sectors benefit from the visitors who reside at the numerous mobile home and trailer parks in the vicinity between October and March. Several major gems and mineral shows and multiple general swap meets are popular tourist attractions, drawing approximately 1.5 million people annually.
A rock hunter's paradise surrounds Quartzsite with agates, limonite cubes, gold, and quartz being just a few. In town, the Hi Jolly Monument honors the Arab camel driver, Hadji Ali, who took part in an unsuccessful 1850s U.S. War Department attempt to use camels as beasts of burden in the desert.
To the south of Quartzsite rise the Kofa Mountains. Historic and scenic areas include the Spanish Wall, Crystal Hill, Tyson Tanks, and Tyson Wells Museum. South in the Kofa Mountains is Palm Canyon, a tight gorge and home to Arizona's only native palms, reached by a steep but rewarding climb. Farther south is Castle Dome Peak. There are many interesting points, including historical sites, day trips, and many off-road ATV trails.
Quartzsite offers a broad range of community facilities, including an 80-acre town park. Celia's Rainbow Gardens, a senior citizens' hall, recreation centers, a public library, a historical museum, and one nine-hole and one 18-hole primitive desert golf course are located in Quartzsite. The Quartzsite sewer and water system are upgraded on an on-going basis.
Town of QuartzsiteJim Ferguson,
La Paz County Economic Development CorporationSkip Becker,
Local First ArizonaKimber Lanning,
Arizona Commerce Authority100 N. 7th Ave., Suite 400
Last Updated by University of Arizona - Yuma (CAST): 04/21/2021