Our Wonderful Community
The census-designated area of Bouse is located two hours west of Phoenix in a mild desert region known as the Arizona Outback. Visitors to the area enjoy our mild winters, scenic trails, and gorgeous desert sunsets. You’ll find that we are a friendly, welcoming community with a love of life and a passion for our rich local history.
In 1943, General George S. Patton established Camp Bouse, a top-secret training base where troops trained to use a classified fighting weapon intended to “change the course of the war.” This weapon, called the Canal Defense Light, and nicknamed “The Gizmo,” was a tank fitted with a powerful light to enable night advances and other covert military operations. Due to the purported game-changing nature of these tanks, the military shrouded Camp Bouse in secrecy and severely restricted troop movement. But although the Bouse troopers eventually deployed to Europe, the Gizmo tanks were abandoned for a different model and never entered a single battle.
Camp Bouse may have been a secret during World War II, but now visitors can get a good look at the abandoned training camp. Approximately 25 miles from Bouse, the camp is accessible any time of year by four-wheel drive or ATV, with tours available on Sundays. And on the second weekend in February, the Bouse Chamber of Commerce holds an annual dedication and reunion to honor the troopers of Camp Bouse.
Arizona Pioneer & Cemetery Research Project
Bouse Chamber of Commerce
Camp Bouse: Arizona Ghost Towns