QUARTZSITE, AZ FACTS & WEATHER
“Q” is barely 18 miles east of the Colorado River. Q is located in the Southwest corner of Arizona, surrounded by open desert, amazing sunsets and magnificent mountains. Quartzsite has long been a crossroads for an array of friendly people.
INTERSTATE ACCESS: I-10 runs directly through Quartzsite, intersecting with U.S. Route 95 (runs N and S).
INTERSTATE 10 EXITS: Take Exit 17 from California, take exit 19 from Phoenix
COORDINATES: Quartzsite is located at 33° 39′ 54″ N 114° 13′ 15″ W.
YEAR-ROUND POPULATION: 3,677 People
POPULATION IN MID-JANUARY-FEB SEASON: 1 Million
ELEVATION: 897 FEET
TOTAL ARE: 36.3 SQUARE MILES
TIME ZONE: MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME
ZIP CODES: 85346, 85359
AREA CODE: 928
MOST PROMINENT FEATURE: 92 CAMPGROUNDS
Quartzsite is a popular recreational vehicle camping area for winter visitors, and tourism is the major contributor to Quartzsite’s economy. Nine major gem, mineral, and 15 general swap meet shows are very popular tourist attractions, attracting about 1.5 million people annually. Many new events are emerging all over town as Rock Fiesta is born in March, 2016.
THE QUARTZSITE SPORTS, VACATION & RV SHOW
This place goes nuts once a year for 2 months. This one fact qualifies Q to be host of the first Southwest U.S. Latino Rock Music Festival and Campout.
According to the Arizona Highway Department, as many as 750,000 to 1,000,000 people, mostly in RV’s, converge on this little desert town for the rock, gem and mineral shows, and the numerous flea markets and the Quartzsite Sports, Vacation & RV Show.
Started over 40 years ago it’s now billed as “The Largest Gathering Of RVers in the World”… Quartzsite is also called the “Largest Parking Lot in the World”. Amazingly this entire event is free to attend!
TOWN HISTORY EST. 1897 INCORPORATED 1989
Named Quartzsite because quartz were discovered in the area, the name ultimately evolved to “Quartzsite” due to an error in spelling.
Established as a stage coach stop on the site of old Fort Tyson in 1866, Quartzsite is now internationally famous for its annual Rock & Mineral shows started by the Quartzsite Improvement association, with the first “POW WOW” rock & gem show sparking Quartzsite’s status of “World Famous Rock & Gem shows.” Today there are 10 themed shows with a variety of vendors. Some stay for a few days, others a few months! Quartzsite’s history is rich with prospecting & mining form 1880’s to early 1900’s. Even today’s modern miners and prospectors are drawn to “try their luck” …many find nuggets, gold dust & specimen quality gold bearing quartz. More varied sports and entertainment events are planned for 2016.
Operated by the Quartzsite Historical Society Inc. The original adobe stage station was built in 1866 by Charley Tyson at its present location. It was an important way station on the California – Arizona line because of excellent water and grass for the horses. Miners and freighters, hauling mining equipment and military supplies from the river port at Ehrenberg, AZ also stopped here.
The Quartzsite Historical Society opened Tyson’s Well Museum in February 1980, after extensive restoration work. The original structurally sound walls were retained and others were rebuilt. A shell of stabilized adobe brick was built around the original walls to protect them.
The desert in the southwest U.S. was a problem for transporting cargo in the mid-1800s, so in 1856, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis imported over 30 camels and hired camel drivers. One of them was a Syrian named Haji Ali.
U.S. soldiers called Ali “Hi Jolly”. The famous camel herd with Hi Jolly is linked constitutes an interesting sidelight of Arizona history… Major Henry C Wayne of the U.S. Army and Lt. D.D. Porter (Later a distinguished Admiral in the Civil War) visited the Levant with the store ship supply and procured 33 camels, which were landed at Indianola Texas February 10, 1856. 41 were added on second voyage…with the first camels came as caretaker “Hi Jolly” who became famous. His Greek name was Philip Tedro on the Beale expedition in 1857 to open a wagon road across Arizona from Fort Defiance to California. The camels under Hi Jolly proved their worth.
The Camel Corps was never fully tried out because soon after its formation, the Civil War started, the Camel experiment was dropped. The War department abandoned the experiment and the camels were released into the desert near Quartzsite to fend for themselves, chiefly roaming this particular section. They survived for many years creating interest and excitement ever since.
Hi Jolly remained in the Quartzsite area making a living as scout, packer, seller of water and trinkets to tourists and delivered the “jackass mail”. He became a well-loved member of the town so the residents made this pyramid when he died in 1902.
Quartzsite lies on the western portion of the La Posa Plain along Tyson Wash. The Dome Rock Mountains overlook the town on the west with Granite Mountain on the southwest edge of the town and Oldman Mountain on the northwest. The Plomosa Mountains lie across the La Posa Plain to the east.
Q Mtn. is the backdrop of the Rock Fiesta site bordering the Southern border of Desert Gardens Showgrounds.
There is a medical center staffed year-round, and two medical centers staffed by doctors from fall to spring with reduced staff during the summer.
Ambulance service is available in Quartzsite. Full medical facilities are available in Blythe, CA (22 miles away) and Parker, AZ (35 miles away). A medivac heliport is located at the Quartzsite Fire Dept. with 24-hour EMT service.
Horizon Community Bank is Located at 225 N. Central (Hwy 95). Four banks are available in Parker and three in Blythe, CA. ATMs are available throughout Quartzsite.
Quartzsite is governed by a Mayor, Town Council, Town Manager and Town Clerk. Q is served by the Town Police Department with eight officers, the Department of Public Safety and the La Paz County Sheriff’s Department. The fire department has full-time and part-time personnel.
GREYHOUND BUS to Q
From L.A. and Phoenix to Q lands you at PILOT TRAVEL CENTERS 1201 W MAIN ST, Quartzsite, AZ 85346. This stop is located close to Desert Gardens Showgrounds.
FOOD & FAST FOOD
Many fast food restaurants, Love’s Truck Stop and Pilot Travel Center, and a number of good restaurants incl. Silly’s Pizza & Bar are located on the West side of I-10 on Main Street in Q.
The closest Walmart Supercenter is in 35 mi. north in Parker.
QUARTZSITE ARIZONA CLIMATE
The town has a hot desert climate with mild to warm winters from November to March and hot to extreme summers for the rest of the year. Mid-March averages 80° during the day and 60° at night.
There is very little precipitation: only 3.51 inches falls in an average year
AVG. RAINY DAYS IN MARCH: 2.6”
Local Newspapers http://paloverdevalleytimes.com/ Quartzsite Times and Palo Verde Times
Local Radio KBUX – 94.3 FM Quartzsite, AZ Classic Hits http://kbuxradio.com/
Quartzsite Museum http://www.quartzsitemuseum.org/ Tyson’s Well Stage Station- Museum