YCNHA Parks Delay Opening

Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area was gearing up to reopen the Colorado River State Historic Park and Yuma Territorial Prison today, but due to the daily high numbers of COVID-19 positive cases, it has delayed the reopenings.
On Friday, the organization announced that it had “made the difficult decision to postpone the reopenings of the parks for at least another week, or until more data can be reviewed to determine when a more prudent and firm date can be announced.”
“With the numbers rising in Yuma County, we want to continue to keep our employees and guests safe,” spokeswoman Sarah Halligan said.

Read More


YCNHA Reaches it's firstgoal of $20,000; campaign continues

In the first month of a fundraising campaign, Yumans have shown that they are invested in their local landmarks.
Last month, Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area kicked off its Giving Tuesday campaign “Be Yuma’s Future by Investing in its Past” with the goal of raising money to restore iconic Yuma landmarks, including the historic Territorial Prison, Colorado River State Historic Park and the East Wetlands.
The goal for the first month was $20,000 with a “long game” target of $100,000. Thanks to donors, the campaign surpassed the first goal and reached the $23,000 mark.

Read More


Group: Invest in Yuma’s past

On the brink of turning 100 years old, Yuma’s old City Hall is in dire need of repairs. As a reminder of the upcoming milestone, the year “1920” is stamped above the ornate entryway.
Today the building, located at 181 W. 1st St., houses a number of nonprofit groups, including the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area, Visit Yuma, Yuma County Chamber of Commerce, Caballeros de Yuma and United Way.
However, along with celebrating a century of history, the Heritage Area wants to start giving it some tender loving care in the way of repairs.

Read More


Yuma Territorial prison named ‘best haunted destination’ in the nation


The legend says that many years ago a little girl in a red dress trying to retrieve her doll from the Colorado River drowned. She now haunts the Yuma Territorial Historic Prison, and if she doesn’t like a visitor or if a person is wearing red, the little girl will pinch the visitor.

Stories like this one have long given the state historic park a reputation as one of the most “haunted” places in the United States. Now it’s official: USA Today readers have voted the historic prison as the “Best Haunted Destination” in the nation.

The Yuma prison faced stiff competition, going up against destinations with sinister-sounding names such as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia, the Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa, and the Queen Mary, which is docked in Long Beach, California, and has an established reputation as being haunted.


Read More


Paranormal prison? Yuma facility noted as 'haunted'

By John Marinelli, Sun staff writer Aug 7, 2019

One of Yuma’s most cherished and historic landmarks is being recognized for an eerie reason.

Yuma Territorial Prison Complex has been nominated among the 20 best “haunted” destinations by USA Today’s travel site 10Best as part of their reader’s choice awards, and over the next 19 days, people can vote to determine its place among the creepiest locales in the country.

The webpage where votes are cast describes the prison as a “hub of paranormal activity,” and describes some of the ghost stories associated with the location.

To cast a vote cementing Yuma Territorial Prison’s reputation as one of the spookiest destinations in the country, visit

Click here for the full article:

Read More


Score! Fantasy football loser gets a Yuma VIP adventure

By Karen Harris, special to the Yuma Sun

"How did I get this lucky to get sent to Yuma in July?” Bryce James asked after a recent whirlwind tour of Yuma.

His friends thought they were sending him to a prison in the desert as punishment. Little did they know, the Yuma Territorial Prison has not had inmates since 1909.

If there’s one thing anyone knows about Yuma, it’s about the infamous prison, and everyone darned well knows Yuma is hot in the summer.

A bunch of friends in eastern Washington state have a fantasy football league with the loser getting a round-trip, one-day vacation to a place chosen by those who didn’t lose.

James, the “loser,” arrived at the Spokane, Wash., airport at the appointed time last week, and his friends texted him his boarding pass: He was being shipped down to Yuma. Arizona. In the Sonoran Desert. In July.

Read More


Spanish events at state parks are part of efforts to reach Hispanics


The Latino community in Yuma is invited to enjoy and connect with the great outdoors during the sixth annual Latino Conservation Week, which began Saturday and runs through July 21.

In partnership with the Hispanic Access Foundation, the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area is hosting two events, a Spanish presentation on the conservation efforts in Yuma at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Colorado River State Historic Park, 201 N. 4th Ave., and a Spanish tour of the Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, 220 Prison Hill Road, at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

The Spanish presentations are part of an effort by the YCNHA, which oversees both state parks, to reach more Hispanics. The YCNHA earlier this year formed an Hispanic Advisory Committee, comprised of community members, to finds ways to connect more with Hispanics, which make up more than 60 percent of the local population.

Read More


Yuma High welding class helps unveil city’s newest sign

By John Marinelli, @anactualjohn

Yuma’s newest sign commissioned by the city’s Clean and Beautiful Commission and constructed by Yuma High School students was unveiled Thursday.

Welding students from the school had been working on the “mini-beautification project” for several months, and finally got to see their handiwork on display at the sign’s new location at the corner of 1st Street and 4th Avenue during a ceremony that brought out Yuma Union High School District administration, city staff, Yuma High School Principal Bob Chouinard, Mayor Doug Nicholls and others.

The design of the sign displays the City of Yuma’s bright orange, teal and purple logo and reads “Welcome to Yuma” next to brown metal cattails nearby. The body of the sign is designed to reflect Yuma Territorial Prison and is built out of metal rods and filled with rocks, with a cell door swung open.

Read More