Chloride was founded in 1862 with the discovery of silver ore. During its heyday, there were more than 75 mines in operation, and the population reached 2,000 in 1920. Today, there are still a few mines in operation, but Chloride looks elsewhere for prosperity. Click Here for a short video on the town.
Chloride has been served by both stage coaches and trains during its colorful history. The Chloride Post Office, also established in 1862, is the oldest continuously operating post office in the state of Arizona. The Chloride Historical Society maintains several old buildings including the Old Jail and the Playhouse. Every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month
Mock gunfights are held at Cyanide Springs. The Wild Roses of Chloride, the world's only all-female gun-fighting troupe perform hilarious skits involving gun battles, bank robberies, catching cattle rustlers (usually a member of the audience), mock weddings (usually a male from the audience is chosen to marry one of the Roses), and a host of other Wild West frivolities.
Chloride is a peaceful place for tourists to visit and for others to retire to. There are many fine artists, writers and musicians who now call Chloride home. There are a few shops to display their goods, but the lifestyle is relaxed and merchant hours are flexible.
We like to wander from shop to shop and see what's new or what we can find that's real old, or that may add some character to our condo in Laughlin, Nevada. On this visit, my wife found a wonderful painting, and I was able to add a specimen of rock quartz crystal to my collection.
Chloride now has a central water system that solved a lot of the town's problems. The Chloride Fire Department houses an operational 1939 Ford fire engine built especially for the town by the Ford Motor Company. It is still in use. A Mack fire engine has been added, and both are used when needed.
Chloride has a small RV park and overnight RV parking. The drive around the city is quite interesting. Some of the residents have turned their household junk into lawn art, and some have just tossed their old appliances and junk into their yard. The town is whatever you want to make it. It might even be a good place to retire when you are finally ready to get away from it all.
Located in the hills behind Chloride are the famous Purcell Murals painted by the artist Roy Purcell in 1966. These murals are well worth the mile and a half drive on a rough dirt road. Roy was a prospector with time on his hands, so he painted some intriguing scenes on the face of the boulders in the area. The Murals have held up well during the past 30 years, and the colors remain vibrant. Roy Purcell is well recognized throughout the Southwest, his artwork can be found in collections of such major international corporations as Standard Oil Company (AMOCO), Dow Chemical, and The Royal Bank of Canada. He is represented in the collections of many well known figures including Clint Eastwood, Dale Robertson. His latest work "Portraits of Nature" is Roy's vision of the Mojave Desert, which he captures in a collection of his watercolors of birds, animals, wildflowers, and desert landscapes bound into a 200 page book.
We hated to leave Chloride, but we're headed for Boulder City to visit the Hoover Dam and explore Black Canyon bridge, located just above the dam. We'll let you know what we find there in one of our future reports about places Off the Beaten Path. Until then, watch out for rattlers and carry plenty of water.
All Town Yard Sale
Citizens of Chloride and the surrounding community hold an all town yard sale the second Saturday in May and the first Saturday in October. Lots of bargains on antiques and general junk are available. The Historical Society of Chloride traditionally holds a bake sale and includes some of the finest pastries ever eaten by human beings.
Annual March St. Patrick's Day Celebration, the Saturday before the official St. Patrick's Day. Annual events include a zany parade down the main street, gunfights, vendors, visits to the Chloride Historical Society's Jim Fritz Museum at Cyanide Springs, a bake sale, drawings for wonderful prizes and an opportunity to visit a variety of unique businesses.
Old Miner's Day
Old Miner's Day commences the last Saturday in June and is the biggest event of the year for Chloride. Festivities commemorate mining days when Chloride was the silver mining capitol of Arizona. No one is sure of the exact number of years this occasion has taken place, but rumors say over 100 years. A large parade, mock gunfights, a huge number of vendors hawking their wares, pie baking contests, great food and nice trophies are the norm.
Annual Car Show
On the second Saturday in October, some of the nation's finest automobiles travel to Chloride for the Annual Car Show. Spectators line the streets to watch these magnificent machines slowly travel the streets of town. Trophies and other prizes are awarded to winners in several categories. Food vendors, jewelry vendors, antique vendors, and junk dealers add to the gala affair sponsored by Shep's Miner's Inn. Also included in the mix of festivities is a mock gunfight scheduled at high noon.
Today's Desert Artists
Time Travel on Rt 66
Check the River Updates reports
Where to stay in the area.
Text & Photos By Cactus Jim
Other points of interest in the area.
DesertUSA is a comprehensive resource about the North American deserts and Southwest destinations. Learn about desert biomes while you discover how desert plants and animals learn to adapt to the harsh desert environment. Study desert landscapes and how the geologic features unique to the desert regions are formed. Find travel information about national parks, state parks, BLM land, and Southwest cities and towns located in or near the desert regions of the United States. Access maps and information about the Sonoran Desert, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert, which lie in the geographic regions of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Utah in the United States and into Mexico.
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Click Here for a short video on Chloride Az.
Laughlin, Nevada Video, Take a virtural trip on Lake Mohave and the Colorado river
in this DesertUSA video. If you have never
been to Laughlin you need to see this video
before you pick a place to stay. Click Here
Laughlin - Lake Mohave - Davis Dam
The Davis Dam and Powerplant facility was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation in Pyramid Canyon, 67 miles downstream from Hoover Dam. The site is about 10 miles north of the point where Arizona, Nevada and California meet, and approximately 2 miles upstream from the Laughlin, Nevada/Bullhead City, Arizona, communities.
Lake Mead - Houseboating & Hoover Dam
In October of 2009, DesertUSA rented a houseboat to explore the western part of Lake Mead. Our first stop was the Hoover Dam off the Boulder Basin. Without Hoover Dam, Lake Mead wouldn't exist today. Come along with DesertUSA staff as they explore Lake Mead and check out Hoover Dam. Take a look at the cove where we camped, and the Bighorn Sheep encounter we had there!
Death Valley - Overview
Take the Death Valley grand tour - see the Badwater Basin, the lowest place in North America; the dramatically eroded Sabriski Point; Artist’s Palette, with its unusual tonal colors; Salt Creek and its pupfish, Titus Canyon and more! See why Death Valley is such a spectacular National Park!
Death Valley - Scotty’s Castle
Find out how Scotty's Castle came to be, when Albert Johnson met Walter Scott, later known as Death Valley Scotty. Take a tour of the magnificent rooms and see the castle's fantastic furnishings. Hear the organ in the music room as you experience this place of legend first-hand.
We have a online Wildflower Field Guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.