Gillespie Dam: The Public Works Project That's Now Home to Wildlife

Man versus nature. It's one of the quintessential conflicts in life as well as in the literature world. And it's also one the reasons why the Gillespie Dam on the outskirts of the Valley was transformed from a functional public works project into a curious oddity.

Since its partial collapse in 1993 due to overflow from massive rainstorms, the gigantic concrete gravity dam (which is located in the desert wilderness about 10 miles outside Buckeye) has become a riparian paradise that teems with a variety of fish, birds, and other fauna.

As such, Gillespie Dam has become a picturesque destination place for local hikers, fisherman, and urban explorers.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.