Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park & Yuma Visitors Bureau Visitor Information Center
“Thanks for a wonderful weekend. You hit a homerun with my family. My boys are still talking about the mountain biking and archery.” –Parent from Fall 2013 Session
Spring & Summer 2014 Arizona Family Campout Program is designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We hope to introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family and inspire you to continue to explore the great outdoors! Take a one weekend introductory adventure at one of 9 Arizona State Parks. Learn more about the program and register.
Step into the past and learn more about the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.
As you walk the grounds of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, imagine the once-bustling grounds teeming with military life, preparing to travel to all parts west. The Yuma Quartermaster Depot was used by the U.S. Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, and some in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. Five of the original depot buildings remain on the park grounds, and four of these buildings contain exhibits which cover both the military history of the site and the history of the Bureau of Reclamation’s construction of major irrigation works in the Yuma area during the early 1900s.
The Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park is located within the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, an area that seeks to conserve, enhance, and interpret the natural and cultural resources of the community. The park offers a visitor center, exhibits, gift shop, picnic areas, group use areas, and restrooms.
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park, site of the Yuma Quartermaster Depot, was used by the US Army to store and distribute supplies for all the military posts in Arizona, as well as posts in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas. A six-month supply of clothing, food, ammunition, and other goods was kept at the depot at all times. The supplies were brought from California by ocean vessels traveling around the Baja Peninsula to Port Isabel near the mouth of the Colorado River. There, cargos were transferred to river steamers and brought upstream to Yuma. The supplies were unloaded near the stone reservoir just west of the commanding officer's quarters and hauled up on a track running from the river dock through the center of the storehouse. They were shipped north on river steamers and overland by mule-drawn freight wagons. The depot quartered up to 900 mules and a crew of teamsters to handle them.
The Southern Pacific Railroad reached Yuma in 1877 and heralded the end of the Quartermaster Depot and Fort Yuma. Trains could ship supplies much faster and cheaper than the Army could by water and freight wagons, and the depot was no longer needed in Yuma. When the railroad reached Tucson, the depot's functions were moved to Fort Lowell (in Tucson) and the depot officially closed in 1883.
In the early 1870s, the Signal Corps had moved into a portion of the quartermaster's office and established a telegraph and weather station. After the supply depot was terminated by the Army in 1883, the Signal Corps remained on site until 1891. In that year, the Weather Bureau became a separate agency from the Signal Corps. Civilian employees of the Weather Bureau then lived in the quartermaster's office until 1949.
In 1902, the commanding officer's quarters were acquired by the U.S. Customs Service. The Bureau of Reclamation, the Boundary Commission, the Yuma County Water Users Association, and the Assistance League of Yuma have also utilized portions of the old depot during the twentieth century.
- Alamo Lake
- Buckskin Mountain
- Cattail Cove
- Lake Havasu
- River Island
- Yuma Quartermaster Depot
- Yuma Territorial Prison
- Dead Horse Ranch
- Fort Verde
- Red Rock
- Riordan Mansion
- Slide Rock
- Verde River Greenway
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum
- Fool Hollow Lake
- Lost Dutchman
- Lyman Lake
- Tonto Natural Bridge