Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge

Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge

Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge
4.5
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles21 reviews
Excellent
10
Very good
8
Average
3
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0
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0

lancegoodyear
Goodyear, AZ27 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maddog4631
Phoenix, AZ49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

aburgfogarty
Phoenix, AZ1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2017 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

redheadsue
Ellensburg, WA10 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

l0rdbens0n
Buckeye, AZ30 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John S
14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CandaceLynn
Phoenix, AZ13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2017 • 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 as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MsBloo
Buckeye, AZ57 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
This was a nice little adventure to Arlington Arizona. There is nothing around. Lots of agriculture and farms. We saw several Hickman's Eggs trucks. The bridge itself is very beautiful. And it's very photogenic. The bridge is narrow and we waited until a large semi truck came through before we crossed. We took a lot of pictures of the bridge as well as the dam. There were quite a few white herons gliding through the air just above the Gila River. I thought this was a nice little get away. Definitely worth seeing.
Written August 3, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charles B
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Friends
This is an old historic bridge worth seeing. There is a nearby dam (now destroyed that is also worth the short walk on a dirt path. There was lots of water around which was scenic as well as unexpected. (I know bridges and dams usually are associated with water, but not always in central Arizona.) Unfortunately, the signage is non-existent, so you have to search the internet for the history.
Written April 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sam W
6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
One of the place to visit on the way to and from San Diego to Phoenix. It's a historical dam bridge build on a failed dam. It's a great place for some photo opts
Written April 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Historic Gillespie Dam Bridge - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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