Gila River Valley

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Quick Summary

Location
33°04'46"N
111°39'20"W
Country
 United States of America
Categories
  • Nature
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Description

The Gila River Valley is a multi-sectioned valley of the Gila River, located primarily in Arizona. The Gila River forms in western New Mexico and flows west across southeastern, south-central, and southwestern Arizona; it changes directions as it progresses across the state, and defines specific areas and valleys. The central portion of the river flows through the southern Phoenix valley region (the Salt River Valley joins the Gila River Valley in this area), and the final sections in southwestern Arizona form smaller, irrigated valleys, such as Dome Valley, Mohawk Valley, and Hyder Valley. Two mountain ranges are named for the Gila River: the Gila Mountains (Graham County) bordering the Gila River Valley, northeast of Safford; the Gila Mountains (Yuma County) border the Gila River Valley before the Gila River joins its confluence with the Colorado River; that range is east of Yuma and the Fortuna Foothills.

Graham County

The Gila Valley begins as a 35-mile (56 km) long valley in central Graham County, Arizona. Thatcher and Safford lie upstream on the Gila River in the southeast beginning of the valley. The elevation of the river valley upstream at Safford is 2,906 feet (886 m). The Gila Valley region along the river contains the most populated areas of the Safford micropolitan area.

Yuma County

The Gila Valley of Yuma County, Arizona is a small valley surrounding the Gila River at its confluence with the Colorado River, the Colorado being the border between California and Arizona, and locally southwest of Yuma – Baja California, and Sonora states, Mexico. The valley extends only 10 miles (16 km) from its confluence to the northern end of the Gila Mountains, which abut the east end of the Laguna Mountains, where the Gila River meanders west, southwest, then due west again. The Gila Valley is called the North Gila Valley in the northern parts, north of the Gila River, and it is called the South Gila Valley in the south. The communities in the valley are agricultural, especially in the south and southwest, towards Yuma, Arizona. The South Gila Valley borders the Yuma Mesa on its south, where the Fortuna Foothills are located on the northwest perimeter of the Gila Mountains. The North Gila Valley contains the Adair Range, a shooting range located on the southern edge of the Laguna Mountains.
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