Latitude / Longitude:
33°40′45″N 114°25′35″W / 33.67917°N 114.42639°W / 33.67917
584 ft (178 m)
Mountain (NO DST) (UTC-7)
La Paz (Yavapai: Wi:hela) was a short-lived, early gold mining town along the Colorado River in La Paz County on the western border of the U.S. state of Arizona. It was the location of the La Paz Incident in 1863, the westernmost confrontation of the American Civil War. The town was settled in 1862 in New Mexico Territory, before the Arizona Territory was officially declared a United States territory by President Abraham Lincoln.
Today it is a deserted ghost town. In 1983, long after the town was deserted, the name was adopted by the newly formed Arizona county of La Paz. La Paz is Spanish for “peace”; the town was presumably named after another earlier town named La Paz, such as La Paz, Bolivia, or La Paz, Baja California Sur.
Mountain man Pauline Weaver discovered gold in the vicinity in January 1862, starting the Colorado River gold rush. La Paz grew up in the spring of 1862 along the Colorado River to serve the miners washing placer gold in the La Paz Mining District. This district produced about 50,000 troy ounces of gold per year in 1863 and 1864. La Paz had a population of 1,500 and was a stage stop between Fort Whipple, Arizona and San Bernardino, California. The town was the county seat of Yuma County from 1864 to 1870, and as the largest town in the territory in 1863 was considered for the Arizona territorial capital.