Arizona : Safety by City
- Casa Grande
- Lake Havasu City
- Oro Valley
- Sierra Vista
One of the biggest challenges of Casa Grande, Arizona, is figuring out how to pronounce it.
As it stands now, there is no wrong way, as even the Mayor and police officers say it differently.
So, whether you go with “Cahsa Graynd” or “Cauhsa Grandaay,” people will accept it.
I laughed a little when I saw the New York Times did an article on this topic, and even one of the most prominent newspapers in the world couldn’t get a consensus.
Another chuckle that comes with this town is that it’s named after the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, which isn’t even in Casa Grande.
It’s in Coolidge, about 22 miles northeast.
Nevertheless, this city is poised at a great spot in Arizona.
It’s about halfway between Tucson and Phoenix, and at the intersection of I-10 and I-8, giving many travelers a chance to stop and see this fast-growing city.
There are 25 community parks and basic amenities for travelers with fantastic regional and national parks surrounding them.
There’s also a historic downtown that’s a little more lively with authentic Mexican food and a neon sign display.
Warnings & Dangers in Casa Grande
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low overall risk in Casa Grande. The crime rates are mostly low, with a few exceptions we'll go through. The city is a diverse mix of Caucasians, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and African Americans.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There are not a whole lot of options here for public transportation aside from the Central Arizona Regional Transit (CART ) that goes between Florence, Coolidge, and a couple of stops in Casa Grande. You can get shuttles to and from Phoenix and Tucson, but those are private companies. You can get taxis and rideshares, but not as large in number as other cities. Any form of travel you choose, there's a low risk.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There were four pickpockets reported in this town of 54,000, so that's a low risk. There aren't too many crowded spaces here where you'd need to worry about that either.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
The city is prone to extreme heat, dust storms, and flash flooding. There's a medium risk because many of these concerns can happen year-round, and the winters are short with the heat kicking in around late spring.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
There were 38 robberies reported in 2020, so there's a low risk of a mugging happening to you. The robbery rate is just under the national average.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here. Nearby Phoenix might be a bigger terror target, but Casa Grande would only be impacted by people evacuating the city core.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
The biggest scam happening in Casa Grande involves people scamming businesses for Small Business Association Loans, but that's not going to impact tourists. There's a low risk. You should always be alert for someone coming up with a new scam, so if it involves you wiring money, purchasing gift cards, or exchanging money for a lottery ticket, then you know it's a scam and should leave immediately to report to the police.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women have a low risk when visiting Casa Grande. Use basic safety precautions and you still shouldn't walk around at night by yourself, but if you're safety smart, you'll be fine.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The tap water in Casa Grande is safe and there's low risk when using it. You should preserve water as much as possible since there's a drought throughout Arizona.
Safest Places to Visit in Casa Grande
The wild west of the desert has some amazing stories from centuries ago and you can learn all about them at the Casa Grande Museum.
You can also pay respects at the Pioneer Cemetery on the museum grounds.
There are a handful of golf courses in and around Casa Grande and you might have a better chance of getting your preferred tee time than if you tried in busy Phoenix or Tucson.
The Downtown Historic District is a great place to walk around with shopping and dining.
Also, don’t miss the Neon Sign Park while you’re there.
You should take the 22-mile drive to see the Casa Grande Ruins National Memorial.
You’ll see first hand where Casa Grande (“big house” in Spanish) got its name.
There are desert plants and animal species to learn about at the memorial site too.
16 miles southeast of Casa Grande, you’ll find Skydive Arizona, where you can parachute from a place and get a bird’s eye view of the Sonoran Desert.
There’s also a shooting range just outside of the southwest corner of town.
If you’re driving to or from Tucson on I-10, you’re going to hear this place before you see it, but there’s an Ostrich Ranch about 33 miles from Casa Grande.
The Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch is a place where you can feed animals from ostriches to bunnies to miniature goats to stingrays.
Places to Avoid in Casa Grande
Crime maps show the southwest part of the area has the highest crime percentage, but some of that area is outside of the Casa Grande city limits.
There’s not that “bad neighborhood” to avoid in Casa Grande.
You should feel safe driving throughout this city and surrounding areas.
If you see the Casa Grande Domes on a map, I’d recommend avoiding that area entirely.
It’s a lure for ghost hunters, the morbidly curious, and — as rumor has it — Satan worshippers.
The domes are the remnants of a failed business entity in the 80s.
The domes are filled with graffiti, trash, and trouble as it’s private property and you’d have to climb a fence to access it.
You want to avoid driving in the sparse areas around this community without plenty of water and a full tank of gas.
Always check the tire pressure when you stop to get gas as the hot, arid climate impacts that.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Casa Grande
- Drink plenty of water and electrolytes while you’re there. Water isn’t enough to replace what you lose in the desert heat, so an electrolyte mix or drink will help keep dehydration from starting.
- The dry desert landscape can quickly give people nosebleeds who aren’t from an arid climate. You should put some Vaseline in your nostrils to keep them moist. Bring a good lotion too, so your skin won’t get dehydrated. My knuckles got badly cracked when I didn’t follow this advice living in the desert.
- Use crosswalks in Casa Grande and don’t cross a street that doesn’t have one. The city police department is cracking down on jaywalkers and cars that don’t yield to pedestrians.
- Graffiti is an eyesore and a potential sign of gang activity. If you see any fresh graffiti or see taggers in action, you can call Silent Witness at (520) 836-2100 to remain anonymous or the Casa Grande Police Department at (520) 421-8700 if you want to leave your name or give more details.
- When spending time in the parks or hiking trails, be wary of rattlesnakes, scorpions, and coyotes. These animals generally won’t mess with you if you don’t mess with them, but a snake or scorpion can strike if they are caught by surprise. Scorpions can be almost translucent, so they are very hard to see.
- The Casa Grande Police Department has an app you can download. This way, you can stay on top of crimes that happen during your visit and find a list of frequently asked questions.
- ATVs are allowed on many trails in and around Casa Grande, but not all of them. There are trails dedicated to just foot and horse traffic. You can be cited for riding an ATV on a foot trail. Check the Arizona Parks Department website to see which trails are ATV-friendly.
- When you drive on tribal lands, the local and county law enforcement is no longer overseeing that area. Tribal lands regulate and enforce laws themselves.
- When visiting in late spring through fall, try to do your outdoor activities as much as possible before noon. The sun gets extremely hot in the afternoon and temperatures can easily get into the triple digits.
- When rain happens in Casa Grande and surrounding desert communities, it can quickly lead to flash flooding. This could cover streets with water. Never cross a flooded street, even if it doesn’t look “that deep.” The great thing about flooding in the desert is that it doesn’t last long. During my time in the desert, I would wake up and go to the pool, see a huge thunderstorm come in and flood roads, and I’d be eating dinner outside without a drop of rain to be seen on the ground.
So... How Safe Is Casa Grande Really?
The only crime statistic that is higher than the national average is theft/larceny.
- 43% are shoplifting
- 25% is theft from cars
- 0.4% is from pickpocketing or purse snatching
It’s wise to lock your car doors in Casa Grande and keep the windows rolled up.
With the intense heat, you might be tempted to leave a window cracked.
Don’t do that.
Instead, buy a sun visor for your windshield to keep the heat from building up in your car.
The city has less than five homicides each year going back at least a decade.
This is a small town desert city, generally overlooked by travelers in favor of its bigger sister cities of Tucson and Phoenix.
This is a great town if you want to get away from the bustle of the city, or if you just need to stop driving for a night on the way to another destination.
You can feel safe staying here and pronouncing Casa Grande any way you want.
How Does Casa Grande Compare?
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- Visas - Whether you crossed the border or flew in, the Visa process has already been handled and you don't need any additional processing to be in Casa Grande.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar is the only form of currency accepted here and statewide. You don't need cash here as a credit card should suffice for all purchases.
- Weather - The winters in the desert are mild but temperatures can take a deep plummet at night. The average high in the winter is 60°(F) and lows get into the 30s. The temperatures slowly go up a few degrees each month until May, when the highs get into the 90s, and then, from June through September, you should expect triple digits each day with lows in the upper 70s. Pack good hiking boots, sunscreen, plenty of hats to shield the sun, and a refillable water bottle.
- Airports - Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is 43 miles north and is the largest airport option. Tucson's international airport (TUS) is 80 miles south.
- Travel Insurance - You'll want travel insurance for a trip to Casa Grande just in case monsoon storms cause delays.
Casa Grande Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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