12 Parks in Yuma, Arizona

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Yuma, Arizona is a vibrant city located along the Colorado River in the southwest corner of the state. With nearly 100,000 residents, Yuma provides plenty of parks and recreational opportunities for its citizens and visitors to enjoy. From manicured grass parks to dusty desert parks and everything in between, the city features diverse landscapes perfect for walking, playing, picnicking and more.

In this article, we will highlight 12 fantastic parks in Yuma that are worth a visit. For each park, we will give a brief description, list some of the amenities and activities offered, and explain why you won’t want to miss it. Whether you’re a family looking for a place for the kids to play, a couple searching for a romantic picnic spot, or an individual who just wants to relax in nature, you’re sure to find the perfect park option in Yuma.

West Wetlands Park

West Wetlands Park is one of Yuma’s most popular parks, spanning over 100 acres right along the Colorado River. It features a scenic trail and boardwalk, fishing areas, interpretive displays, and an observation deck overlooking lush wetlands filled with a variety of birds and wildlife.

Amenities & Activities:

  • 1.5 mile loop trail & boardwalk
  • Benches scattered along trail for resting & birdwatching
  • Platform for fishing along the Colorado River
  • Interpretive signs describing the wildlife, plants & importance of wetlands
  • Observation deck with views of the wetlands

Why Visit?

West Wetland Park allows visitors to take in views of Yuma’s diverse wetland environment. It’s the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll while birdwatching or to fish along the Colorado River. With dense vegetation and ponds, there’s always an opportunity to catch glimpses of unique wildlife not found anywhere else in Yuma’s desert landscape.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

This park allows visitors to step back in time and explore what life was like within the notorious Yuma Territorial Prison during its operational years from 1876 to 1909. Now operated as a historical museum, the park grounds hold the remains of the prison’s iconic guard tower, cells, workshops, hospital building and more.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Museum exhibits with prison artifacts & information
  • Guided tours of the remaining prison buildings led by park rangers
  • Gift shop with regional history books & souvenirs
  • Picnic area
  • Hiking trail along the perimeter of the prison grounds

Why Visit?

History buffs will love walking through the grounds of this past maximum security prison learning about the criminals and law enforcement that inhabited the region in the late 19th century. The museum pieces and tours provide a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the Old West so close to the Arizona-California border.

Sanguinetti House Museum & Gardens

Built in the early 1900s, this beautiful two-story home allows visitors to explore what life was like for early settlers in the Yuma region. The museum features antique furnishing, while the well-manicured gardens surrounding the home highlight a variety of plants able to thrive in Yuma’s arid desert environment.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Museum exhibits displaying antique household items owned by the Sanguinetti family
  • Self-guided tour through rooms on both floors of the home
  • Gift shop with regional history books & souvenirs
  • Manicured gardens demonstrating lush vegetation that grows well in the desert
  • Picnic area

Why Visit?

History and garden lovers alike will enjoy touring this stately home filled with artifacts left behind by the pioneering Sanguinetti family that originally constructed and occupied this home. The gardens also provide great inspiration for visitors looking to spruce up their own Yuma yards to flourish beautifully even in the desert.

Yuma Art Center

Operated by the Yuma Fine Arts Association, this art hub features galleries, studios and an art school supporting creative opportunities for regional artists and art lovers. The Center aims to foster artistic development with exhibitions, classes and public events.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Galleries with exhibitions by local artists that change every 4-6 weeks
  • Gift shop with unique regional art available for purchase
  • Classrooms and studios for art classes and workshops
  • Art supply store
  • Public events like artist receptions and art fairs

Why Visit?

Art fans will enjoy exploring the galleries displaying works across a variety of mediums by talented local artists. The public events also offer a great chance to mingle with and support the thriving creative community in Yuma. Budding artists can also enroll in a class or workshop to develop their own artistic abilities.

Gateway Park

This riverfront park is located along the Colorado River and features playground equipment, sports fields, a skatepark, walking paths and lovely views. It’s one of the most family-friendly parks in Yuma.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Playground with climbing structures & slides
  • Open grass areas for games, picnics & free play
  • Basketball & tennis courts
  • Baseball & soccer fields
  • Skate park with ramps & rails
  • Paved walking/biking paths
  • Scenic views of the Colorado River

Why Visit?

Gateway Park appeals to families or active individuals looking for recreation. The variety of amenities and activities make it easy to spend hours here having a picnic, playing on the playground or courts, using the skate park or paths for exercise, or just relaxing in a charming setting.

Yuma Territorial Park

This park focuses on preserving the natural desert ecosystem along with fossils and ruins left behind by native tribes and early settlers that traveled through this region. Visitors can hike and bike along trails while exploring the landscape and history.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Over 6,000 acres of Sonoran Desert landscape with trails for hiking & biking
  • Ancient indigenous sites like tent rocks, petroglyphs & intaglios
  • Abandoned mine shafts & swimming tank from late 19th/early 20th centuries
  • Fossils including petrified wood, leaf impressions & dinosaur tracks
  • Wildlife viewing for desert species like Gila monsters

Why Visit?

Yuma Territorial Park appeals to nature lovers and history buffs who will enjoy traversing miles and miles of trails to come across ruins, fossils and beautiful desert scenery that tell the rich stories of this region’s past inhabitants. It’s the perfect spot for a rugged outdoor adventure.

Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex

One of the largest park facilities in Yuma, this complex features a number of sports fields and courts, walking paths, playgrounds and a skatepark located close to downtown Yuma. It’s a popular spot for local sports leagues and tournaments.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Baseball fields, soccer fields, football/track field
  • Basketball courts, tennis courts & sand volleyball courts
  • Large playground with climbing dome & slides
  • Concrete skatepark area
  • Paved walking paths surrounding the fields & courts
  • Concession stands & restroom facilities

Why Visit?

The Pacific Avenue Athletic Complex appeals to families and sports enthusiasts given the diversity of amenities all in one place. The facilities host games and tournaments throughout the year that are fun to watch or participate in. Visitors can also make use of the playground, walking paths or skatepark for individual recreation.

Mary Avenue Dog Park

This park provides a fun, safe space for dogs to play and owners to mingle. It features fenced-in areas with obstacles for big and small dogs to zoom around off-leash to their heart’s content.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Fenced-in area divided for large & small dogs
  • Benches scattered throughout for humans to rest
  • Tunnel segments, ramps & hoops for dogs to climb on & run through
  • Shade structures & drinking fountains
  • Waste stations with bags & trash bins

Why Visit?

The Mary Avenue Dog Park is a must-visit for dog owners living or staying in Yuma. It provides a legal, well-maintained space for dogs to exercise and play together. And owners are sure to enjoy chatting with fellow dog lovers as their pups interact.

Yuma Lakes Wetlands

Unlike Yuma’s drier desert parks, this wetland area features freshwater lakes that attract a diversity of birds, wildlife and aquatic plant life visitors can view from walking paths and observation decks.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Over 600 acres of wetlands with two freshwater lakes
  • Paved walking/biking paths with shade structures
  • Benches and observation decks for wildlife viewing
  • Interpretive signs highlighting the native flora and fauna
  • Restrooms and drinking fountains

Why Visit?

Nature lovers, birdwatchers, photographers and anyone wishing to take a relaxing stroll will enjoy taking in the biodiversity the wetlands have cultivated along the lakeshores. It also makes for one of the most unique, scenic settings among Yuma’s parks.

Yuma Civic Center Park

Located right downtown, this park offers plenty of shade and attractions like an amphitheater, playground, interactive fountain and veterans memorial. Community events are also hosted here throughout the year.

Amenities & Activities:

  • Benches and grassy areas shaded by trees
  • Amphitheater that hosts live music and other performances
  • Temporary amusement rides during special events
  • Playground with a variety of equipment for kids
  • Interactive splash fountain for cooling off
  • Veterans memorial

Why Visit?

Yuma Civic Center Park is one of the best spots downtown for shade and attractions perfect for families and community gatherings. The splash fountain, amphitheater performances and special events make for great entertainment beyond simply picnicking and using the playground.

Desert Hills Golf Course

This 18-hole championship municipal golf course features Bermuda grass, desert terrain and mountain views across over 7000 yards. The site includes a driving range, pro shop, restaurant and bar.

Amenities & Activities:

  • 18-hole golf course spanning 7,002 yards
  • Driving range with practice greens
  • On-site restaurant and sports bar
  • Pro shop selling gear, snacks and apparel
  • Cart and club rentals
  • Scenic views of the desert landscape

Why Visit?

Golfers will enjoy playing on the creatively designed fairways and greens integrated into the native desert setting. The on-site amenities also make it convenient for golfers to practice their swing, rent equipment, enjoy a meal or drink and shop for souvenirs all in one place.

Conclusion

The diverse parks of Yuma provide endless opportunities for play, exercise, exploration and relaxation with something to appeal to just about any interest. Families can head to playground-filled parks like Gateway or Civic Center, while nature lovers will prefer wandering through Yuma Territorial or the Yuma Lakes Wetlands watching wildlife.

There are sites focused on preserving Yuma’s rich history, like the Yuma Territorial Prison and Sanguinetti House, as well as spots celebrating creativity and art at venues like the Yuma Art Center. And golfers will delight in playing a round or two on Desert Hills Golf Course with its championship green surrounded by desert vistas. Not to mention places for dogs, skaters, athletes and community events throughout the city’s parks system.

With beautiful desert scenery, views along the lush Colorado River wetlands and historical sites all packed into Yuma’s parks, visitors and residents will want to spend ample time exploring this friendly city’s outdoor spaces. Whether you’re looking for activity, education, nature or simple relaxation, the 12 parks highlighted above offer an excellent place to start your adventures across Yuma’s vibrant park scene.

Leave a Comment