Show Low, Arizona

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Show Low is a city in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. It lies on the Mogollon Rim in east central Arizona, at an elevation of 6,400 feet (1,951 m). The city was established in 1870 and incorporated in 1953. According to 2007 Census Bureau estimates, the population was 11,763.[1]

According to the legend, the city was named after a marathon poker game between C.E. Cooley and Marion Clark. The two men decided there was not enough room for both of them in their settlement. The two men agreed to let a game of cards decide who was to move. According to the tale, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is." The stakes were a 100,000-acre (400 km²) ranch. Show Low's main street is named "Deuce of Clubs" in remembrance.

Another belief about the name is that the two men were in a race for mayor and the vote ended in a tie. The agreement was to open a fresh deck of cards, shuffle them and on the flip of a coin, begin taking turns flipping the cards until one turned over the deuce of clubs, making Cooley the first mayor and the name of the town.[citation needed]

In 2002, a large forest fire, the Rodeo-Chediski fire, threatened the city and forced an evacuation. The city is near extensive forests, and in normal times is a popular recreational area.



Show Low is located at 34°14′37″N 110°2′53″W / 34.24361°N 110.04806°W / 34.24361; -110.04806 (34.243595, -110.048173).[2]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.9 square miles (72.3 km²), of which, 27.9 square miles (72.2 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.25%) is water.


Winters in Show Low bring highs between 45°F (7°C) and 55°F (13°C), with lows usually below freezing between November and March, averaging in the 20s December through February, and in the low 30s for November and March.

In the summer, highs in Show Low average approximately 85°F (29°C), with an occasional day above 90°F (32°C) not uncommon for the city. As the sun sets in the summertime, temperatures plummet dramatically, sometimes upwards of 30 degrees. This nightly temperature swing results in summertime lows typically ranging between 50°F (10°C) and 60°F (16°C).

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