A Rockhound's Paradise
Hotel Reservations | Quartzsite's Show List 2014
Location / Description
Quartzsite, in western Arizona, just 20 miles east of the Colorado River on I-10, Quartzsite has been a rockhound's paradise since the 1960s. These days, it is also a mecca to well over a million visitors each year, most of whom converge on this small town in a wave of RVs during the months of January and February.
At this time of the year, 2,000 vendors of rocks, gems, minerals, fossils and everything else imaginable create one of the world's largest open air flea markets in Quartzsite. Eight major gem and mineral shows as well as vendors of raw and handcrafted merchandise peddle their wares to snowbirds, collectors and enthusiasts, making Quartzsite the place to be the first two months of each year.
Population / Elevation
Quartzsite 1,900 people / 876 feet above sea level
Weather / Climate
Quartzsite has a classic low desert climate with extremely low relative humidity and very high summer temperatures. On the average, it receives less than 4 inches of precipitation a year. Stores, shops, restaurants, theaters and homes are air-conditioned year round in Quartzsite.
Quartzsite, Arizona - Monthly Climate Normals
In 1856, settler Charles Tyson built a fort at the present site of Quartzsite to protect his water supply from attacks by Native Americans. Fort Tyson soon became a stopover on the Ehrenburg-to-Prescott stagecoach route, eventually becoming known as Tyson's Wells. After the stage stopped running, it became a ghost town.
A small mining boom revitalized the town and it became known as Quartzsite in 1897. It remained a mining town until 1965, when the Pow Wow Rock, Gem & Mineral Show initiated the rockhound winter migration to Quartzsite each year. These days, the population can swell to almost a million during January and February as rockhounders, jewelers and vendors, mostly in thousands of RVs, attend the eight major gem and mineral shows.
2013 - 2014
November 01 2013 - February 28, 2014 Hi Ali Swapmeet
November 01 2013 - February 28, 2014 Prospectors Panorama
December 07, 2013 Chrismas Lights Parade Gardens Show 2014
January 01 - February 28, 2014 Desert Gardens -Gem & Mineral
January 03 - January 12, 2014 Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Show
January 06 - January 26, 2014 Main Event
January 11 One day only The New Christy Minstrels 2 shows 2 & 7 PM
January 17 - January 26, 2014 Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama
January 18 - January 26, 2014 Sports, Vacation & RV Show
January 22 - January 26, 2014 Pow Wow Gem, mineral & jewelry
January 31 - February 9, 2014 Tyson Wells Arts and Crafts
There is one motel in Quartzsite with online reservations - Super 8 Motel - click here. (Rates, availability and reservations online)
Camping & RV Parks
There are camping and a plethora of RV accommodations in and around Quartzsite. For more information, contact:
- Quartzsite Chamber of Commerce
495 Main Event Lane
Quartzsite, Arizona 85346
- Arizona State Parks 602-542-4174
- Arizona National Forests 800-280-CAMP
Side Trips For Rockhounds
Cities & Towns
- Ehrenburg, Arizona: 17 miles west.
- Blythe, California: 25 miles west.
- Parker, Arizona: 35 miles north.
- Yuma, Arizona: 83 miles south.
- Wickenburg, Arizona: 111 miles northeast.
- Phoenix, Arizona: 125 miles east.
Parks & Monuments
- Joshua Tree National Park: 94 miles west.
- Riverside County river parks: 25 miles west.
- Buckskin Mountain Colorado River Park: 47 miles north.
- Lake Havasu State Park: 57 miles north.
- Alamo Lake State Park: 71 miles northeast.
Recreation & Wilderness Areas
- Kofa National Wildlife Refuge: 5 miles south.
- Cibola National Wildlife Refuge: 40 miles south.
- Imperial National Wildlife Refuge: 50 miles south.
Historic & Points of Interest
- Hi Jolly Memorial: 5 miles east.
- General Patton Memorial Museum: 86 miles west.
- Living Desert Reserve (Palm Desert)
- Imperial Sand Dunes
- Parker Dam: 50 miles north.
- Lake Havasu: 50 miles north
- Gold Road to La Paz: An Interpretive Guide to the Bradshaw Trail
Other DesertUSA Resources
Gem Trails of Southern California Book
Related Books & Gifts - Trading Post
Riding Over Gold on Your ATV in Ocotillo Wells
Desert Rocks, Minerals & Geology Index
Desert Survival Primer
Desert Survival Kit
Desert Survival: The Solar Still
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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
In 1939 the movie Stagecoach introduced two stars to the American public, John Wayne, and Monument Valley. Visiting Monument Valley gives you a spiritual and uplifting experience that few places on earth can duplicate. Take a look at this spectacular scenery in this DesertUSA video.
Glen Canyon Dam - Lake Powell - Held behind the Bureau of Reclamation's Glen Canyon Dam, waters of the Colorado River and tributaries are backed up almost 186 miles, forming Lake Powell. The dam was completed in 1963. Take a look at this tremendous feat of engineering - the Glen Canyon Dam.
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Canyon de Chelly NM offers the opportunity to learn about Southwestern Indian history from the earliest Anasazi to the Navajo Indians who live and farm here today. Its primary attractions are ruins of Indian villages built between 350 and 1300 AD at the base of sheer red cliffs and in canyon wall caves.
Laughlin - Lake Mohave - Colorado River
In the summer, Katherine's Landing at the southern end of Lake Mohave is a hub of activity. It has fuel, a general store, a restaurant and a snack bar. The Colorado River south of the dam offers many recreational opportunities. Take a look at this river destination!
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