Welcome to Southeastern Arizona, a great place to visit and live!
located in the Southeastern portion of Arizona, in the northern
half of Cochise County on I-10. Nestled at the northern end of
the Sulphur Springs Valley near the Dos Cabezas and Chiricahua
Mountains at an elevation of 4,167 feet; Willcox is considered
high desert which gives us Arizona's best yar round temperate
climate without the extreme summer heat of Tucson, Phoenix, and
Yuma. Established in 1880 and incorporated in 1915 Willcox is
the trade center for the norther porion of Cochise County.
Located only 80 mildes from Tucson, 75 miles from Mexico and 40
miles to New Mexico it is well placed for trade and shipping of
Once known as the Cattle Capitol of the nation, Willcoc was in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the old west. With the railroad going through the center of town it was an ideal location for the shipment of not only cattle but any type of goods produced in the area that were needed in the norther part of the county. Fort Bowie and the local mining community of Dos Cabezas had many fo their supplies come in via the railroad. The rough and tumble old west can be felt throughout the town and some of it's old building, most of which are located on Railroad Avenue. The colorful history of the cowboy and the cattle that he lived with can be seen at the Hall of Fame which is located at teh Rex Allen Cowboy Museum.
Southeastern Arizona is considered the birding capital of the world and just outside of Willcox you will find the Playa, an ancient seabed that is the winter home of a large group of Sandhill Cranes. Numerous other birds are found in this area also and in the nearby mountains. The Chiricahua Mountains is where you will see the Elegant Trogan. It's an easy drive to all of the premier birding spots, Ramsey Canyon Nature Conservancy which is famous for it's hummingbirds, Madera Canyon, Portal and the San Pedro Riparian Area National Consrvation Area. You can obtain more information on birding in Cochise Cunty by visiting the Southeastern Bird Observatory.
"The Magic Circle of Cochise" begins in Willcox and consists of a large loop through the valley. Thus named because this was the homeland of the Chiricahua Apache and their great chief Cochise. Within this circle you have the Chiricahua National Monument and the "Wonderland of Rocks", an area of the Coronado National Forest containing some truly astonishing rock formations. Old Fort Bowie a National Historic Park can be reached after a medium hike. Here you will find the remains of the Fort which was an important outpost during the Apache conflicts. The Amerind Foundation of Archaeological Research has a Museum that houses an exquisite prehistoric collection. The privately collected ancient artifacts, costumes and weapons are worthy of a lingering perusal. There is also an Art Gallery that contains sculptures and paintings. Cochise Stronghold is located in the Dragoon Mountains, a veritable fortress of large rocks and canyons. This is part of the Coronado National Forest and somewhere within it's boundaries is where Cochise is buried. This was a natural fortress that the Chiricahua Apache used and his warriors buried him within it....the location is unknown.
Places to See in Willcox
Museum of the Southwest - Housed in the Willcox Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, the museum commemorates the history of the local area. Chamber office (520) 384-2272.
The Rex Allen Arizona Cowboy Museum and the Cowboy Hall of Fame - In historic downtown Willcox on Railroad Avenue. The museum houses memorabilia of the famous cowboy, movie star and entertainer, Rex Allen. The Cowboy Hall of Fame is a portrait gallery of local cattlemen and women. Museum office (520) 384-4583.
Old Willcox Cemetery - For those old west history buffs you will find several notable headstones here, one of which is Warren Earp, the brother of the famous Tombstone Marshall Wyatt Earp.
Chiricahua Regional Museum and Research Center - Located downtown in two historic storefront buildings, this large collection of interesting artifacts will take you back as far as 10,000 years. Don't miss the excellent Geronimo and Chiricahua Apache exhibits. (520) 384-3971
Marty Robbins Museum - Willcox is the home of the extensive collection of memorabilia of the legendary Marty Robbins, who loved our town, the fictional setting for his hit song "Big Iron on His Hip"
Things To Do In Willcox
Wings Over Willcox - The third weekend of January. This event is a celebration of the Sandhill Cranes who winter over on the Playa and feed daily in the local fields of the Sulphur Springs Valley. Teh event includes tours of the prime bird watching areas, minin and ranch operations, geology and archaeology tours, a trade show, seminars, weorkshops on "The Brirds of Southeastern Arizona" and a banquet. This event is getting more popular each year so get your reservations in early! Southeastern Arizona is considerd the birding capitol of the world.
Miniature Arr Show - The whole month of February at the Willcox Chamber of Commerce
JR Rodeo - The second weekend of April at Quail Drive Sportspark
Southeastern Arizona Fine Arts Show - The last weekend in April
Willcox Annual Car Show - This very large show has brought the finest of artists in every medium for many years to Willcox. Held the end of May annually.
W.A.S.A. (Willcox Against Substance Abuse) Youth Summer Program - A whole summer full of fun. Choose one or all of the many planned activities that include hiking, sports camps (basketball, tennis, football, cheerleading, soccer, wrestling, etc.) choir, karate, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, videography, drama, field trips, fishing and much, much more.
Rex Allen Days - The first weekend of October. Rex Allen was born and raised in Willcox and considered Willcox his "hometown". Willcox honors him by celebrating Rex Allen Days. Some of the events are an induction ceremony and dinner for the Willcox Cowboy of Fame, parade, softball tournament, turtle race, rodeo, Rex Alen Jr. Stage Show, country music concert, western dances, tractor pull, car show, country fair, carnival and many other activities.
U-Pick Farms and Festivals
Northwest of Willcox you will find the states largest assortment of direct sales farms. They offer nuts, vegetables, meats, honey, hellies, baked goods and great family farm experiences including pettin gzoos, hayrides and U-pick fruit and vegetables. Most of hte farms are open daily through November. There are festivals at many locations including the following:
Sweet Corn Festival - Mid to late July
Peach Mania Festival - Weekends Mid July through the end of August
Labor Day Weekend Apple Festival - September
Annual Harvest Festival - Every weekend in October
Fall Pumpkin Celebration - Month of October
Principal Economic Activities
Cattle are still an importan aspect of the economy, and a large livestock auction is held every Thursday morning in Willcox, Row crops such as corn, cotton and small grains as well as alfalfa hay are grown extensively in teh area. Diversification of agriculture has resulted in the establishment of vineyards, apple orchards, pistachio and pecan groves and state-of-the-art green houses, with ovr 200 acres in tomato production. A well established "U-Pick" industry provides fresh produce for all of souther Arizona with many festivals and delicious farm fresh baked goods and products. Tourists have an important impact on the city's economy. With a mild, year-round climate, relatively inexpensive land and housing, and a pleasant rural lifestyle, Willcox is a desirable retirement community. Our small community boasts excellent schools and is a safe and friendly place to raise a family as well.