Located in the heart of Gila County, Young, Arizona and the surrounding Pleasant Valley are two of Arizona’s best-kept secrets. Young was first settled in the 1870s and still gives off that exciting wild-west feel. Electricity did not arrive until 1965 and there was no cellular service until 2009. Even today, there are no fast food restaurants or well-known chain stores. Progress in Pleasant Valley moves very slow, making it the ideal city for a more relaxed life away from the city.
Pleasant Valley is best known for playing a central part in the Pleasant Valley War between 1887 and 1892. The war was fought between two feuding families, the Grahams and Tewksburys. The feud was likely started over stolen cattle, though the true origin will never be known. The feud ended in 1892 when Tom Graham, Jr., the last surviving member of his family, was shot and killed in Tempe by the fugitive Ed Tewksbury, the last of his clan.
Pleasant Valley is accessible by State Route 260 from the north and State Route 188 to the south. Although several sections of these roads are unpaved, access to the town is available year-round. Young is also home to the airport affectionately known as “Young International.” Although not truly an international airport, it does cater mostly to single-engine airplanes, although helicopters and gliders also frequent the airport.
The town of Young is surrounded by the Tonto national Forest, which attracts campers, hunters, and anglers alike. There are miles of trails to explore on horseback or on foot. Most areas in Young offer breath-taking views of the mountains that surround Pleasant Valley. Summer temperatures average between 80 and 95 degrees in the day, while nighttime lows fluctuate between 40 and 55 degrees, making outdoor recreation ideal, even in the middle of the Arizona summer.