Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge

Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge, Arlington: Address, Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge Reviews: 4.5/5

Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge

Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge
4.5
About
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

The area
Address
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
20 reviews
Excellent
9
Very good
8
Average
3
Poor
0
Terrible
0

my82pink
San Diego, CA190 contributions
Family
On the way to Phoenix from San Diego and took the back route on 85 to Old US 80 highway through Gila Bend.

There are no restrooms and no gas stations at Gillespie Dam Bridge. Make sure you get gas and use the restroom in Gila Bend before trekking this way.

The bridge is a historic site. In 1993 a flood damaged the dam and you can see that on the north side while the south side looked burnt.

The parking lot is on the south side with 4 parallel slots. It’s safe to get off to take a photo of the sign and there’s a ramp to the bridge for a better view. I wouldn’t advise taking photos on the bridge in the middle of the street as it’s dangerous with cars passing by super fast and kind of a blind spot.

Shouldn’t take more than 5-10 mins at this place but worth seeing the history in person.
Written May 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Barb D
Kent, WA24 contributions
Couples
A lovely day trip, heading out from the Sun City area. The drive is interesting, through small towns and farmland. When you get to the Gillespie Bridge, it's a very rusty, very picturesque bridge. The old dam is visible and you can walk to it. Not really much of anything there, but the bridge. People were fishing and riding dirt bikes. We really enjoyed it.
Written February 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robby G C
Toronto, Canada78,235 contributions
I liked the Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge Interpretive Plaza.

We went walking first and then we went by car.

It was fabulous.

Then we went down to the Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge we saw it perfectly.

There were a bodies of water nearby.

We had fun and enjoyed this attraction.

By the way it is historic.
Written November 20, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lancegoodyear
Goodyear, AZ28 contributions
Friends
Most people travel between Buckeye and Gila Bend, Arizona, on route MC 85. The road less traveled is Old US Highway 80, accessed just south of Buckeye by turning right off of MC 85 onto W. Hazen Rd. and then left on S. Wilson Ave, though there are alternate routes of access as well. You'll wind through a rich dairy and agricultural area, passing through tiny hamlets. After passing through Arlington, you'll soon arrive at the magnificent Gillespie Bridge. Built in 1926, it rises like a great rusting leviathan out of the tranquil waters of the Gila River, and was part of the historic 'ocean to ocean highway' that offered a southerly year round route between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. 1,660 feet long, it was once the largest steel structure in the state. As you cross the bridge, you'll see the Gillespie Dam; precursor to the bridge, it was completed in 1921, and stretches across the Gila like some old broken, Roman aqueduct. Park your car on the SE side of the bridge. It's an easy hike to the dam where you'll enjoy the vistas and the river teeming with fish and fowl. This is a wonderful day-trip from anywhere in the Phoenix metro area. If you're driving from Phoenix to Yuma, it’s a great alternative route. You won't regret taking the road less traveled.
Written May 5, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Maddog4631
Phoenix, AZ50 contributions
Family
There are a lot of amazing day trips from Phoenix, and the Historic Gillespie Dam, is no exception. I love Arizona, period! I'm never disappointed, when I decide to head to one of our historic spots. I personally came upon the old Gillespie Dam, back in 1985. Right after we moved here, from Central, Illinois. I was returning to Phoenix, from a Yuma trip, when wanderlust struck my heart. So, I made a right turn, somewhere in Arlington, and I ran right into the dam. Not much has changed, since the 1993 flood. At that time, the dam was breached, and was never repaired. On any given day, you can find an abundant species of wildlife, hanging around the water and dam. If you bring some fishing gear, you might get yourself a free meal. Just make sure you have your fishing license. Jack & I saw the game warden, today.

Another attraction of the Gillespie Dam area, are the petroglyphs on the West end of the dam. If you're an outdoor photographer, that likes natural light, this is a great place to come, either early or late in the day. Last time I came here, I ended up spending 2, unplanned days. Lots of places to play with the light. Another resident of the Gillespie Dam, is the swallow. They make their mud nests, attached to the very top(underside), of the structure. Amazing.

Well, I could go on and on(and bore you), about this place, but like Jack(my incredible grandson) said, "WOW", Grandpa. I don't know who had more fun, today. Jack was reveling in his new found adventure, so much so, that I felt guilty about having to head back to Phoenix. Bring your family out here, and you'll never be disappointed. Jack wasn't and neither was his grandpa.
Written April 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

aburgfogarty
Phoenix, AZ1 contribution
Friends
This is a great local road for a motorcycle ride. Love stopping at this bridge. There is a variety of sites along the way from Phoenix. Take the loop via Maricopa and Gila Bend (all back roads). Along the way you will see solar farms, shrimp farm, many trains will pass you, farm land and just a great open road.
Written May 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

redheadsue
Ellensburg, WA11 contributions
Couples
Our day trip started in Gila Bend AZ. Traveled Old Highway 80 to the Gillespie Dam Bridge. The car trip was enjoyable. Cotton Center Solar Farm, Cattle lots, hay fields and not much traffic! When we arrived at the bridge site, there was a large structure sign identifying the area but all other informational signage has been taken down or not put up on the erected post. There is a nice ramp walk to a elevated covered area with some kind of steel bridge artifact but not certain what it signifies as no signage. I looked up information on the Internet before the trip so we would have an idea as to the history and area. Good thing to do in this case!!! The trip was well worth the drive and we have been back to the area since the first trip on 12/7/2015
Written December 17, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

l0rdbens0n
Buckeye, AZ35 contributions
Friends
This is a cool old narrow bridge with a view of the busted dam. Photographers probably love this for shots. Not much beyond that though.
Written May 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John S
14 contributions
Solo
Great view - Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge in Arlington, AZ is ocated on the Gila River between the towns of Buckeye and Gila Bend, Arizona
Written May 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CandaceLynn
Phoenix, AZ13 contributions
Couples
The bridge is beautiful and rusty, the dam is bizarre yet beautiful and fascinating. They are in a beautiful agricultural area, something you don't really see that often in AZ. It's a great drive out and walk around the area.
Written January 3, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 19
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing