Adventure lovers will find Quartzsite, Arizona, to be their dream destination. Popularly referred to as the “Rock Capital of the World”, Quartzsite is frequented by innumerable globe-trotters for RV shows and gem events each year. Though the population of this small Arizona town is only about 4000-5000 people, a few times every year, this number crosses a million. Summers are sweltering here, but Quartzsite welcomes its visitors with beautiful weather come winter, fall, or spring. A little offbeat and a whole lot of exciting, Quartzsite is a pleasant surprise. And people who want to know what real adventure means must visit this place! There are innumerable things to do in Quartzsite, Arizona, and we have enlisted the best ones here.
Castle Dome Museum
Arizona is home to some really eerie and (possibly) haunted places, and the Castle Dome Museum near Quartzsite is one of them. You see, there were many mining towns in Arizona, and most of them were eventually abandoned. Castle Dome was a similar town, dating back to the 1860s. There was a time when it was teeming with life, but now there is nothing left of the place except for a few broken structures that stand in perfect sync with the rustic exteriors. It is recommended to take a guided tour of this place to better understand the lives of local Native Americans.
Address: Castle Dome Mine Road, Yuma, AZ 85365, USA | Timing: 10:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/6WF7dQXzaazvmJ9EA | Phone Number: +19289203062
Quartzsite Annual Mineral Shows and Swap Meets
One of the most prominent things to do in Quartzsite if you visit in January and February is attending the annual shows displaying colorful rocks and minerals along with swap meets. These annual shows are some of the largest gem and mineral events in the world. It is interesting to see several crystal lovers, rock-hounds, and jewelers from across the world attend in such exponential numbers. It is a great place for meeting fellow crystal fans too! There are also many RV sites near the venues of these shows.
Dripping Springs, an 18.4-mile-long trail located east of Quartzsite on Interstate 10 is one of the most sought-after destinations for adventure lovers in Quartzsite. It offers panoramic views of the wilderness, and the major attractions include abandoned and historic mines, Native American petroglyphs, and a stone-made cabin. Near the cabin, there is a cave with dripping springs, hence the name. The end of the trail, however, needs additional exertion; carrying water is recommended.
Address: Dripping Springs, Arizona 85192, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/cirf1bQcH1HL6BZq9
Hi Jolly’s Tomb
One of the major Quartzsite attractions, Hi Jolly’s Tomb is a must-see for anyone who visits this place. Hi Jolly’s tomb is dedicated to a Syrian immigrant, Hadji Ali. Back in the day, the federal government had enlisted his services to introduce camels into the southwest American deserts. While the camel plan didn’t quite work out, Hajdi Ali stayed in Quartzsite till his death. His tomb, called the Hi Jolly’s Tomb is adorned with a bronze statue of a camel to honor his memory by the locals who loved him.
Address: W Elsie Ln & Hi Jolly Lane, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: 24/7 | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/K53V3RSZGYZBNRcN7
Quartzsite Rock Alignment and Intaglio
Among the many Quartzsite things to do, do not forget to check out Quartzsite Rock Alignment and Intaglio. The history of Quartzsite mainly revolves around rugged terrains and rocks in particular. The Quartzsite Rock Alignment spells ‘Quartzsite’ with an arrow pointing towards the town, acting as a direction for airmen to prevent them from getting lost in the desert during World War II.
Intaglio, another interesting thing to see here, is a large image of a fisherman created by the Native Americans with the help of rocks. It is interesting to see their creativity as the depiction has been done in a desert environment.
Address: Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/kHQTJ1dyrQL6btCM9
Petroglyphs and Grinding Holes
Tyson Wash, located near Quartzsite, is a dry wash that feeds into the Colorado River post rains. This happens during the spring. One of the major Quartzsite attractions, the famous Native American petroglyphs can be seen in this area. These are mainly pictographs and artworks done on rocks that often tell a Native American story. Petroglyphs stand as a symbol of respect and thankfulness that the indigenous people have for Mother Earth.
Another attraction is the Grinding Holes. It is evident from the name that these holes were made for grinding seeds and corns long ago. They are still present in the form of large depressions and holes in the rocks.
Address: Arizona 85371, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/KkoyVtFeEyjEe79L7
One of the highlights of Quartzsite attractions is the Palm Canyon. Located on Highway 95, this is a unique desert place. However, there is a slight confusion regarding the palm trees found in this area, whether they are native to the place or not. But what is truly magnificent about this place is the canyon-lined oasis, which is breathtakingly beautiful. It exudes a sense of calm serenity, and in many ways, it will remind you of Egypt. Since the trail is not very clear and distinct, you must keep a watch for the ‘Palm Canyon’ sign on the road. Once you locate the canyon, you will understand what a beauty this place is!
Address: Arizona 85365, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/37eVE1n5B5cTVZes5
Celia’s Rainbow Garden
Visiting Celia’s Rainbow Garden should definitely top your list of things to do in Quartzsite, Arizona. Though the story of this park is heart-wrenching, it is worth your time. The garden, named after a little girl, called Celia, is a memorial park that started small but now spreads over an expansive area of eight acres. You can see various kinds of rocks, cactus, and flowers in the place, along with a replica of a village. Everything in the park is dedicated to locals who are no more and are missed dearly.
Address: Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/mjEDXtNLeGBY5KUu7
If you want to do something different and interesting in Quartzsite, Arizona, make your way to the Skoolie Palooza. It will afford you to meet people who live in converted school buses with some bold and flashy paint job. While it is a relatively newer trend, it has quickly gained immense popularity. You can see many people who have made this place their seasonal home – a home on wheels. Even though Skoolie Palooza mainly takes place in January, the owners are friendly and enthusiastic enough to show off their mobile homes to people otherwise.
For event details, venue, and other important information, visit http://www.skooliepalooza.com/
Quartzsite Historical Society Museum
The Quartzsite Historical Society Museum is known by two other names – Tyson’s Well Stage Station Museum and Quartzsite Museum. People interested in knowing about the history of the place must visit this place. There are equipment, exhibits, and artifacts on display here that belong to a bygone era when mining was common in the state of Arizona.
Address: 161 W Main Street, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am to 04:00 pm, Monday and Tuesday: Closed| Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/94LSbf9PT8Sgn5Wy7 | Phone Number: +19289275229
Readers Oasis Books
Reader’s Oasis Books in Quartzsite, Arizona is every book lover’s paradise. There are thousands of books from almost all genres in this bookstore cum library, which is also a museum. Don’t be surprised by the scanty clothing of the owner; that’s his style!
Address: 690 E Main Street, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: 10:00 am to 04:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/kzoV9sbnMe29EoW88 | Phone Number: +19289276551
Quartzsite Roadrunners Gem and Mineral Club
The Quartzsite Historical Society Museum is known by two other names – Tyson’s Well Stage Station Museum and Quartzsite Museum. People interested in learning about the history of the place must visit this place. Equipment, exhibits, and artifacts belonging to a bygone era when mining was common in the state of Arizona are on display here.
Address: 65 East, Ironwood, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: 07:45 am to 11.45 am, Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday: Closed| Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/bFpLgu5kVPHicbVS6 | Phone Number: +19289275531
Vacation & RV Show
In what is known to be the biggest conglomeration of RV lovers in the whole world, several thousand RV lovers and enthusiasts flock to Quartzsite each year. While the town of Quartzsite is sparsely populated, during the Vacation and RV show season in January and February every year, more than a million people call it their home. The Vacation and RV show began in the year 1984 and quickly gained immense popularity with the world’s RV-loving population.
(P.S. If you don’t like crowds, avoid the place in January.)
Address: 700 S, Central Boulevard, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/sGs86iffd9LQcDZg9 | Phone Number: +17143777940
Joanne’s Gum Gallery
Want to know one of the quirkiest things to do in Quartzsite this weekend? Well, make sure you visit Joanne’s Gum Gallery. It is a gallery completely dedicated to everything related to gum and all the different variety of gum from across the world. Needless to say, that this gallery is one of its kind. The woman who owns the place has extensive knowledge about all the different kinds of exhibits at display at the gallery and she gladly takes visitors on a tour of the place. Here you will see gums, the likes of which you’ve never seen or heard of before. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Address: Washington Street, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Phone Number: +19289277566
Rock, Mineral and Gem Show
If you love shiny rocks and other such earthly treasures, there is no better place to visit than Quartzsite in January and February. At the Desert Gardens Annual International Rock, Gem, and Mineral Show and swap meets organized for seven days a week during these months, you are sure to get magical and exquisite rocks in vibrant colors and various sizes. This is the place where vendors and buyers can sell, buy, and swap their earthly finds. When compared to other shows in Quartzsite, prices here are much lower.
Address: 1055 Kuehn St. Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: 09:00 am to 05:00 pm. For more details visit https://www.desertgardensrockgemandmineralshow.com/ | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/tcmGBWVJdfQTvTP47 | Phone Number: +16236060053
Tyson Wells Flea Market
If you are looking for fun things to do in Quartzsite, you should definitely check out Tyson Wells Flea Market. Hundreds of people from all over Quartzsite go to this market daily either for the quirky bits and baubles it has to offer or for swap meets. It also hosts different shows and events regularly. People involved in the rock and gemstone business usually make a beeline for this market. You can also find unique handicraft items such as home décor items, fiber crafts, ceramics, unique furniture, etc.
Address: 121 Kuehn Street, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: 08:00 am to 06:00 pm. For more details of shows and events visit https://www.tysonwells.com/ | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/aZhLN1Dk3Djt9UYr8 | Phone Number: +19289276364
Ready for some off-roading adventure? Nellie E Saloon, referred to by the locals as the ‘Desert Bar’, is situated in the Buckskin Mountains. And, to reach this bar in Quartzsite, you have to travel through some really rough and rugged terrains. But your Quartzsite trip will remain incomplete without a visit to this watering hole. Located in the middle of a desert, the bar remains open only on weekends. They serve brews and sandwiches while various local bands play live music at the venue. It is a quintessential Quartzsite experience to remember for a lifetime.
(Psst! Don’t forget to bring cash here!)
Address: Cienega Springs Road, Parker, AZ 85344, USA | Timing: Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 pm to 06:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/Yyw4dFDTafRkVouW9
After you checked off all the items on your list titled ‘what to do in Quartzsite, Arizona’ it’s time to treat yourself to some lip-smacking local cuisine! And what better place to do that than at Grubstake in Quartzsite? It is not only a restaurant but also a bar and a social club, all at the same time! Here you can enjoy some of the finest delicacies while also treating yourself and your group to amazing drinks!
Address: 725 AZ-95, Quartzsite, AZ 85346, USA | Timing: Saturday – Thursday: 11:00 am to 09:00 pm, Friday: 02:30 pm to 09:00 pm | Google Map Location: https://goo.gl/maps/pHNFkzsZb99FKLta8 | Phone Number: +19289274485
The desert town of Quartzsite in Arizona has a lot to offer. From relics from the rich native American history and colorful indigenous rocks shows to an undying love for RVs. So, if you are in a mood for an unconventional vacay, now you know what to do in Quartzsite!