The following links are provided as a convenience only; they are not a recommendation of any product, service, or organization. Arizona State Parks maintains this list at its own discretion. Links will open in a new window and leave the Arizona State Parks website.
See a double execution chair and actual nooses used in hangings at the Pinal County Historical Museum.
Pinal County Historical Museum
This is a good first stop to orient visitors before visiting Florence’s historic district. An 1870s silver mining boomtown, Florence’s true wild west heritage of stage coach robberies, shootouts and even a former Civil War spy, comes alive at this museum alongside Florence’s rodeo and prison legacy.
Popular items in the museum are 1890s cactus furniture, an 1884 square grand piano, Apache playing cards and a large collection of barbed wire. Rodeo exhibits highlight Florence’s connection to the Madison Square Garden rodeos and Gene Autry. Memorabilia and information about Western film star Tom Mix who visited Florence often and was killed nearby, is on view. A large gun display includes rifles from the Civil War and Apache Wars. Florence helped inspire Gus Arriola to create the comic strip Gordo and an exhibit is included giving a taste of Florence’s rich Hispanic heritage. Military displays highlight the POW Camp Florence and local WWII heroes.
Of particular interest is our archive on the Arizona State Prison in Florence and the 28 actual nooses used for hangings at the prison. The double execution chair used for the first gas chamber execution in Arizona can be seen, along with items relating to Winnie Ruth Judd, the trunk murderess of the 1930s.
A non-circulating library and archives keeps rare and out of print books, documents, letters and photographs about the area as well as Arizona Highways Magazines dating back to 1937. To do extensive researching, call for an appointment.
Museum is open September 1–July 15: Tuesday–Saturday 11 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sunday noon–4 p.m. Additional parking is available in the rear. Escorted tours are available. Call ahead for large groups. To arrange a tour or for more information contact (520) 868-4382. 715 S. Main St. Florence, AZ.
Tonto National Forest
The Tonto National Forest embraces almost 3 million acres of rugged and spectacularly beautiful country, ranging from Saguaro cactus-studded desert to pine-forested mountains beneath the Mogollon Rim. This variety in vegetation and range in altitude (from 1,300 to 7,900 feet) offers outstanding recreational opportunities throughout the year, whether it's lake beaches or cool pine forest.
Apache Trail Historic Road
Located in the Tonto National Forest, this historic road covers some of the most rugged terrain in Arizona. The land surrounding the road rises steeply to the north to form the Four Peaks Wilderness Area and to the south to form the Superstition Wilderness Area. Steep-sided canyons, rock outcroppings and magnificent geologic formations are all along the road. Takes about 5 hours to drive.
Superstition Wilderness Area
This Wilderness was designated in 1939, and was expanded to its present size in 1984. It now contains approximately 160,200 acres. There is a well-developed trail system, and the western end of the wilderness receives heavy use during the cooler times of the year. The area is starkly beautiful and often rugged, but can be inhospitable to those not equipped to meet nature on her own terms. Searing heat and a shortage of water are typical conditions in the summer.
A wonderful canyon hike in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona that begins 3.3 miles East of Tortilla Flat. Very strenuous.
Saguaro Lake is stocked by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, you can expect to find a good supply of walleye, largemouth and yellow bass, rainbow and brown trout, catfish and crappie.
Theodore Roosevelt Dam, the first major structure constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation on the Salt River Project (SRP), spans the Salt River to form a huge reservoir. The dam is 280 feet high and 723 feet long. Once the largest man-made lake in the world, Roosevelt Lake offers diverse recreation opportunities. The lake covers more than 17,000 acres when full.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument preserves an ancient Hohokam farming community and “Great House.” Created as the nation’s first archeological reserve in 1892, the site was declared a National Monument in 1918.
McFarland Collection Photographs
See select photos, organized by time periods, from The McFarland Collection. Presented by the Pimal County Library.