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Winkelman is the smallest incorporated town in Arizona, and most of Winkelman’s economic activity is based on copper. The community serves primarily as a service center and residential area for families of employees associated with the mining and processing activities. The principal employer with the Town is the Hayden-Winkelman School District, as well as ASARCO.
The Gila River flows downstream from San Carlos Lake – carving through ancient ‘tilted bed’ formations of limestone and sedimentary layers exposed now to amateur geologists, photographers and students – easily seen at Hwy 77 roadside pullouts just north of town.
The San Pedro River is the last undammed river in the American Southwest, starting 143 miles south in Mexico and meeting with the Gila River in Winkelman.
Located at the southern end of Gila County, at the confluence of the San Pedro and Gila Rivers, Winkelman was named for Peter Winkelman, a stockman who ranched in the area. The history of Winkelman dates back to 1877 when a large number of farmers migrated to the region. With the coming of the railroad, the post office was established in 1903, but the town was not incorporated until 1949.
In 1926 one of the worst floods in local history roared down the San Pedro Valley. It destroyed most of the farm land and flooded lower Winkelman (also known as Winkelman Flats). There were similarly disastrous floods in 1983 and again in 1993.
The Winkelman Luten Historic Bridge was constructed in 1916 and is only one of two still in existence in the country designed by Daniel Luten, famous for the Luten Arch. In 2016, Winkelman celebrated the Centennial of the Historic Bridge.
Arizona State Highways 77 and 177 provide both excellent access to different parts of the State, and scenic views. Both highways are popular destinations for motorcyclists and car clubs.
Known for its gargantuan size "The Homestead" is a one-of-a-kind rock-climbing experience. It is said to have the best moderates, best 10s and the best hardlines period. The Homestead is well bolted and has the best wilderness experience possible. The Road is a little sketchy but don't let that stop you from experiencing this gem!
Community Facilities At the gateway to Winkelman stands a roadside park featuring a 115-foot-long adobe wall. The wall tells the history of the town by using bits of ranching and mining implements, as well as local geological samples.
An added attraction to Winkelman is the Winkelman Flats Public Park. Located adjacent to the Gila River, this park provides camping areas, swimming, tubing, fishing, and picnicking. Beautiful weather makes this outdoor playground the perfect location for annual events such as the Easter Bash and Riot on the River!
In October 2014, Winkelman celebrated its centennial. On that same day, Winkelman’s ore cart, A Penny for your Thoughts, was dedicated by the Copper Corridor Economic Development Coalition. The Ore Cart Trail encourages tourism in the region. Winkelman’s ore cart was the second of 10 ore carts that were placed in towns along the Copper Corridor.