Wickenburg, Arizona, like most western towns, sprang up shortly after the discovery of gold. In 1863, the town’s namesake, Henry Wickenburg, discovered his treasure in what became known as the Vulture Mine.
Today, Wickenburg retains it’s heritage as a true western town. A stroll along the main thoroughfare attests to that. But, the Desert Caballeros Western Museum dispels all doubt about this being just another small town.
The humble entrance to the museum on Frontier Street disguises one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. One step over the threshold and you’ll realize the interior appears anything but humble. From the history dioramas made with painstaking attention to detail to the artwork of top western artists on display in the Aiken W. Fisher Gallery of Western Art, this museum easily equates to the caliber of a metropolitan museum.
The gallery and dioramas occupy the main level along with the “Hays ‘Spirit of the Cowboy’ Collection.” This private collection of cowboy memorabilia on loan by Abe and Lalla Hays, has everything from numerous spurs, guns, saddles worn to a shine, bridles, hats and even artifacts from the days of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.
Also on the main level, you’ll discover a room dedicated exclusively to Native American pottery, artifacts, rugs, baskets and sundry tools. Perhaps the most intriguing exhibit is the collection of beautiful mineral specimens, especially those clandestine florescent minerals that come alive with an eerie glow under a black light.
Downstairs, you enter the world of the Victorian Era and view life size exhibits such as a completely stocked gereral store, a jewelry store, a parlor, dinning room, bedroom, laundry room, and a hands-on room where visitors are invited to touch and feel artifacts from the days of the old west.
You can experience the aura of the true West in less than a one hour drive from Phoenix. Take I-17 north to Cave Creek Rd. (exit #223) and turn west onto Highway 74. This scenic drive through the Sonoran desert will take you to the intersection of Highways 74 and US-60. Turn north and continue to Wickenburg on US 60.
To get to the Museum once you’re in Wickenburg, turn right at the traffic light and drive one block North and turn West (left) onto Apache Street. Drive one block and turn South (left) onto Frontier Street. The Museum is at the end of the block on the left.
Monday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays during June, July and August
Closed Memorial Day, Labor Day, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas
and New Years Day.
Desert Caballeros Western Museum
21 N. Frontier Street
Wickenburg, AZ 85390
Coordinates: 33° 57’ 54” N ;112° 44’ 53”W