Chloride Arizona

Chloride Arizona is the oldest continuously inhabited Silver Mining town located in Mohave County, Arizona. The name derives its named from Silver Chloride (AgCl) which is found in abundance in the local Cerbet mountains.

1916 Chloride Main Street. Arizona.
1916 Chloride Main Street. Arizona.

Chloride’s modern history began in the late 19th century when prospectors, drawn by rumors of silver and other valuable minerals, began to explore the nearby hills and canyons. In 1863, a prospector named John Moss struck silver in the area, leading to a flurry of activity as more miners and settlers arrived. The first official post office was established in 1866, and Chloride was officially born.

Chloride experienced rapid growth during the late 1800s as mines produced substantial amounts of silver, lead, zinc, and other valuable minerals. The town’s population swelled. Businesses, saloons, and other establishments sprung up to cater to the needs of the growing community. At its peak, Chloride boasted a theater, several hotels, and a bustling main street.

Chloride Arizona and part of the Cerbat Range, looking easy from Silver Hill,  with Tennessee Avenue in the foreground - 1906- Photo U.S. Geological Survey
Chloride and part of the Cerbat Range, looking easy from Silver Hill, with Tennessee Avenue in the foreground. 1906 – Photo U.S. Geological Survey

However, like many mining towns of the era, Chloride’s prosperity was short-lived. Fluctuating metal prices, mine closures, and the depletion of easily accessible minerals led to a decline in the town’s fortunes. By the early 20th century, Chloride entered a period of decline. Much of its population began to dwindle as residents sought opportunities elsewhere.

Despite the challenges, some residents remained in Chloride, and the town managed to maintain a semblance of its former self. The 20th century saw the rise of tourism as visitors were drawn to Chloride’s picturesque desert landscapes, historical buildings, and remnants of its mining heritage. Efforts to preserve the town’s history led to the restoration of several historic structures, including the Monte Cristo Saloon. The saloon proudly claims to be Arizona’s oldest continuously operating bar.

Modern Relevance

In recent decades, Chloride has experienced a revival fueled by a mix of nostalgia, artistic expression, and a desire to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The town has attracted a diverse group of residents, including artists, retirees, and those seeking a slower pace of life.

One of Chloride’s most unique and captivating features is the open-air Chloride Murals project. In the early 1960s by local artist Roy Purcell, this project has transformed the town into a vibrant canvas. Murals depicting scenes from Chloride’s history, Native American culture, and the American West decorate the sides of buildings and rock formations.

Chloride Arizona Town Summary

NameChloride, Arizona
LocationMohave County, Arizona
Latitude, Longitude35.4047, -114.1812
Elevation4,022 ft (1,226 m)
Max Population2000

Trail Map


Alamo Crossing Mohave County Ghost Town

Alamo Crossing is a submerged ghost town hidden beneath the waters of Alamo Lake, Mohave County, Arizona.

Alamo Crossing, Mohave County Arizona
Alamo Crossing, Mohave County Arizona

The town is founded by Tom Rogers about 1899. The little hamlet served as a small mining community to transient prospectors with most of the population camping out. During its heyday, the town only consisted of a five-stamp mill, a few stores and a post office. The town’s population is never known to be significant.

In 1968, an earth filled damn is constructed along the Bill Williams River by the Army Corp of Engineers for flood control. The 283 foot tall damn caused the formation of Lake Alamo, which is about 80 feet deep. The remains of Alamo Crossing still lie in the waters of the lake. Scuba gear is required to explore the remains. The town site was believed to be one of the best preserved ghost towns in the county, prior to flooding.

In 2020, the area surrounding Alamo is revived for mining again, this time for placer gold prospecting.

Trail Map

Town Summary

NameAlamo Crossing
Also Known AsAlimo,
LocationAbout 60 miles northwest of Wickenberg on Bill Williams River, Mohave County, Arizona
Latitude, Longitude34.2605, -113.5827
Elevation1,237 ft (377 m)
Post officeNovember 13, 1889 – December 15, 1900
March 30, 1911 – 1918 Alamo


Fort Mohave

Fort Mohave is a historic settlement located in the southwestern region of Mohave county, Arizona, United States. Nestled along the banks of the Colorado River near Beale’s Crossing, it has played a significant role in the development and growth of the American West. Over the centuries, this area has witnessed the presence of various indigenous tribes, Spanish explorers, American pioneers, and military forces, each leaving their mark on the region’s rich history.

The history of Fort Mohave dates back thousands of years, with evidence of human habitation found in archaeological sites within the surrounding area. The Mojave people, from whom the fort derived its name, were one of the prominent Native American tribes in the region. They lived along the Colorado River, engaging in agriculture, hunting, and trade with other indigenous groups.

The first recorded European contact in the area occurred in the 16th century when Spanish explorers, including Melchor Díaz and Francisco Garcés, ventured into present-day Arizona. They encountered the Mojave people and established a limited presence in the region through the establishment of missions and trade routes. However, it wasn’t until the early 19th century that significant European-American exploration and settlement occurred.

In 1826, trapper and explorer Jedediah Smith traversed the Colorado River, reaching the vicinity of Fort Mohave. His expedition paved the way for subsequent fur trappers and traders who ventured into the area in search of beaver pelts and new trade opportunities. This influx of fur trappers and mountain men led to increased interaction between Native American tribes and Euro-Americans, often resulting in conflicts and tensions.

The establishment of Fort Mohave came about as a direct response to these conflicts. In 1858, the U.S. Army constructed the fort on the east bank of the Colorado River, near the confluence of the Mohave and Hardy rivers. Initially known as Camp Colorado, its primary purpose was to protect American settlers and travelers on their journey to the California gold fields during the height of the Gold Rush.

Fort Mohave was strategically positioned along the major transportation route that linked the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, known as the Mojave Road. It served as a critical outpost for the U.S. Army during the American Civil War, as troops were deployed to protect the mail and telegraph lines and maintain control over the region.

 Indians at Fort Mojave, Arizona, Sicihoot, War Chief of the Mojaves. - Photographer: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Indians at Fort Mojave, Arizona, Sicihoot, War Chief of the Mojaves. – Photographer: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882

The fort played a significant role in the military campaigns against Native American tribes, particularly the Mojave, Chemehuevi, and Navajo people, who were resisting the encroachment of settlers on their traditional lands. Numerous skirmishes and battles occurred in the area as tensions escalated between Native Americans and the expanding American population.

Following the conclusion of the Civil War, the fort gradually lost its military significance. In 1890, it was officially decommissioned, and the remaining structures were abandoned. However, the establishment of the Mohave Valley Irrigation Project in the early 20th century sparked a renewed interest in the region.

The irrigation project brought water to the arid lands surrounding Fort Mohave, facilitating the cultivation of crops and the establishment of farming communities. This development, coupled with the construction of the Davis Dam in the 1950s, which created Lake Mohave, transformed the economy and landscape of the area. The lake provided recreational opportunities, attracting tourists and supporting the growth of the local tourism industry.

The region continues to be influenced by its proximity to the Colorado River, offering a range of water-based activities such as boating, fishing, and water sports. The Fort Mojave Indian Reservation, located nearby, serves as a reminder of the area’s rich Native American heritage and provides a cultural center for the Mojave, Chemehuevi, and Navajo tribes.

Fort Mohave Trail Map


Colorado Steamships

From 1852 through 1909, Colorado Steamships ferried people and supplies up and down the Colorado River to mining camps and outposts. Following the discovery of gold in California, westward expansion of the United States was on the mind of most people seeking their fortune of livelihood. Wagon trains, horses and trains all brought people deep into the new county seeking their fortune. Lesser known is the role of the steamships, which brought supplies and people up the Colorado River from Baja California to the Green River in Wyoming.

View showing steamboat Cochan on the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona in 1900 - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
View showing steamboat Cochan on the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona in 1900 – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

In November of 1952, the steamship Uncle Sam launched steamship service on the Colorado River. The modest vessel was powered from mesquite wood to boil the water required to turn its paddle wheel located at the stern. The steamboat was capable of hauling some 40 tons of supplies up the river. Steamship service on the river proved to be a lifeline to early settlers of Arizona and California.

Mohave II at Yuma, Arizona, with Sunday school group embarked, 1876 - Unknown author - MacMullen, Jerry, Paddle-Wheel Days in California, Stanford University Press, 1944
Mohave II at Yuma, Arizona, with Sunday school group embarked, 1876 – Unknown author – MacMullen, Jerry, Paddle-Wheel Days in California, Stanford University Press, 1944

The steamers of the Colorado River range in size from just thirty five feet in length to over one hundred and forty nine feet. These purposes built ships, some of which could haul up to two hundred and thirty six tons of goods and people, could navigate the swift flowing river with just thirty inches of draft. The Colorado Steamships stern paddle wheels gained the best drive reputation for navigating with heavy flowing water of the Colorado with its ever shifting sand bars.

Colorado II in a tidal dry dock in the shipyard above Port Isabel, Sonora - MacMullen, Jerry, Paddle-Wheel Days in California, Stanford University Press, 1944
Colorado II in a tidal dry dock in the shipyard above Port Isabel, Sonora – MacMullen, Jerry, Paddle-Wheel Days in California, Stanford University Press, 1944

Steamships of the Colorado River operated six hundred miles from the gulf of Baja California up to Rioville, Nevada which is now submerged beneath Lake Mead. They ships helped open the south west and were the kings of the Colorado River Valley until competition from the local railroads took over the market. Sadly, although necessary, the damming of the Colorado River starting in 1905 locked the river up and prevents along distance travel on the Colorado River and doomed Colorado Steamships completely.

Colorado River Steamship Landings

The steamboat Mohave departing the landing in El Dorado Canyon.
The steamboat Mohave departing the landing in El Dorado Canyon.
Potholes, California, From 185918 mi (29 km)
La Laguna, Arizona Territory, 1860-186320 mi (32 km)
Castle Dome Landing, Arizona Territory, 1863-188435 mi (56 km)
Eureka, Arizona Territory, 1863-1870s45 mi (72 km)
Williamsport, Arizona Territory, 1863-1870s47 mi (76 km)
Picacho, California, 1862-191048 mi (77 km)
Nortons Landing, Arizona Territory, 1882-189452 mi (84 km)
Clip, Arizona Territory, 1882-188870 mi (110 km)
California Camp, California72 mi (116 km)
Camp Gaston, California, 1859-186780 mi (130 km)
Drift Desert, Arizona Territory102 mi (164 km)
Bradshaw’s Ferry, California, 1862-1884126 mi (203 km)
Mineral City, Arizona Territory, 1864-1866126 mi (203 km)
Ehrenberg, Arizona Territory, from 1866126.5 mi (203.6 km)
Olive City, Arizona Territory, 1862-1866127 mi (204 km)
La Paz, Arizona Territory, 1862-1870131 mi (211 km)
Parker’s Landing, Arizona Territory, 1864-1905
Camp Colorado, Arizona, 1864-1869
200 mi (320 km)
Parker, Arizona Territory, from 1908203 mi (327 km)
Empire Flat, Arizona Territory, 1866-1905210 mi (340 km)
Bill Williams River, Arizona220 mi (350 km)
Aubrey City, Arizona Territory, 1862-1888220 mi (350 km)
Chimehuevis Landing, California240 mi (390 km)
Liverpool Landing, Arizona Territory242 mi (389 km)
Grand Turn, Arizona/California257 mi (414 km)
The Needles, Mohave Mountains, Arizona263 mi (423 km)
Mellen, Arizona Territory 1890 – 1909267 mi (430 km)
Eastbridge, Arizona Territory 1883 – 1890279 mi (449 km)
Needles, California, from 1883282 mi (454 km)
Iretaba City, Arizona Territory, 1864298 mi (480 km)
Fort Mohave, Arizona Territory, 1859-1890
Beale’s Crossing 1858 –
300 mi (480 km)
Mohave City, Arizona Territory, 1864-1869305 mi (491 km)
Hardyville, Arizona Territory, 1864-1893
Low Water Head of Navigation 1864-1881
310 mi (500 km)
Camp Alexander, Arizona Territory, 1867312 mi (502 km)
Polhamus Landing, Arizona Territory
Low Water Head of Navigation 1881-1882
315 mi (507 km)
Pyramid Canyon, Arizona/Nevada316 mi (509 km)
Cottonwood Island, Nevada
Cottonwood Valley
339 mi (546 km)
Quartette, Nevada, 1900-1906342 mi (550 km)
Murphyville, Arizona Territory, 1891353 mi (568 km)
Eldorado Canyon, Nevada, 1857-1905
Colorado City, Nevada 1861-1905
365 mi (587 km)
Explorer’s Rock, Black Canyon of the Colorado, Mouth, Arizona/Nevada369 mi (594 km)
Roaring Rapids, Black Canyon of the Colorado, Arizona/Nevada375 mi (604 km)
Ringbolt Rapids, Black Canyon of the Colorado, Arizona/Nevada387 mi (623 km)
Fortification Rock, Nevada
High Water Head of Navigation, 1858-1866
400 mi (640 km)
Las Vegas Wash, Nevada402 mi (647 km)
Callville, Nevada, 1864-1869
High Water Head of Navigation 1866-78
408 mi (657 km)
Boulder Canyon, Mouth, Arizona/Nevada409 mi (658 km)
Stone’s Ferry, Nevada 1866-1876438 mi (705 km)
Virgin River, Nevada440 mi (710 km)
Bonelli’s Ferry, 1876-1935
Rioville, Nevada 1869-1906
High Water Head of Navigation from 1879 to 1887
440 mi (710 km
Soruce: Wikipedia

Colorado River Steamship Landings

Steamboats on the Colorado River

Gila Steamboat at the Yuma Crossing Arizona, 1873.
Gila Steamboat at the Yuma Crossing Arizona, 1873.
Black EagleScrew40 feet6 feetGreen River, Utah
June 1907
Exploded 1907
Charles H. SpencerStern92.5 feet25 feetWarm Creek, Arizona
February 1912
Spring 1912
Cliff DwellerStern70 feet20 feetHalverson’s Utah
November 1905
To Salt Lake
April 1907
CochanStern234135 feet31 feetYuma, Arizona
November 1899
Spring 1910
Cocopah IStern140 feet29 feetGridiron, Mexico
August 1859
Cocopah IIStern231147.5 feet28 feetYuma, Arizona
March 1867
Colorado IStern120 feetEstuary, Mexico
December 1855
August 1862
Colorado IIStern179145 feet29 feetYuma, Arizona
May 1862
August 1882
CometStern60 feet20 feetGreen River, Wyoming
July 1908
EsmeraldaStern93 feet13 feetRobinson’s, Mexico
December 1857
General JesupSide104 feet17 feetEstuary, Mexico
January, 1864
Engine Removed
General RosalesSternYuma, Arizona
July 1878
GilaStern236149 feet31 feetPort Isabel, Mexico
January 1873
Rebuilt as Cochan
Major PowellScrew35 feet8 feetGreen River, Utah
August 1891
Mohave IStern193135 feet28 feetEstuary, Mexico
May 1864
Mohave IIStern188149.5 feet31.5 feetPort Isabel, Mexico
February 1876
Jan 1900
Nina TildenStern12097 feet22 feetSan Francisco, California
July 1864
September 1874
RettaStern36 feet6 feetYuma, Arizona
Feburary, 1905
St. VallierStern9274 feet17 feetNeedles, California
Early 1899
March 1909
San JorgeScrew38 feet9 feetYuma, Arizona
June 1901
To Gulf
July 1901
SearchlightStern9891 feet18feetNeedles, California
December 1902
October 1916
Uncle SamSide4065 feet16 feetEstuary, Mexico
November 1852
May 1853
UndineStern60 feet10 feetGreen River, Utah
November 1901
May 1902
Steamboats on the Colorado River 1852-1916 – Appendix A


Cerbat Arizona – Mohave County Ghost Town

Founded in 1870 Cerbat Arizona is a gold mine ghost town and former county seat for Mohave County, Arizona. The surrounding area started to attract prospectors in the 1860s. The journey was tough just to them to get into the area due to the remove location. Prospectors would travel up the Colorado River by steamship and disembark in Hardyville which is overrun by Bullhead City. Once offloaded, they would need to find their way north about 40 miles across the hot dry desert.

Cerbat Arizona in 1870
Cerbat Arizona in 1870

Cerbat was formed near three mining operations in the area, which included the Esmeralda mine, the Vanderbilt and the Gold Gem. The town Cerbat was named from the Indian word for “Big Horn Mountain Sheep” and formed in a canyon about 38 miles from Hardyville, Arizona.

The fledgling desert community was named the county seat of Mohave County Arizona in 1871. A post office soon followed on December 23, 1872. The town hosted some businesses common to mining down and included a doctor, lawyer, mill, smelter, schoolhouse, stores, saloons smelter and post office. The first permanent court house in Mohave County is built in Cerbat. The courthouse gained notoriety for being the first location to execute a convicted murder Michael DeHay who was found guilty for murdering his wife.

In 1872, $6,000 is invested to connect the town to larger population centers to the east including Fort Rock, Camp Hualapai and Prescott. In 1873 the nearby town of Mineral Park as named county seat. Despite this setback to its honor, In 1884, the California and Arizona State Company made weekly trips between Mineral Park, Cerbat, Chloride and Prescott.

Mining into the twentieth century. The post office was closed June 15, 1912

Town Summary

LocationMohave County, Arizona
Latitude, Longitude35.303413,-114.1380277
Elevation3,872 Feet
Post OfficeDecember 23, 1872 – June 15, 1912
Alternate NamesCampbell (June 25, 1890 to October 24 1902 )

Cerbat Trail Map