Hildale is twin city to the adjacent Colorado City, Arizona. The headquarters of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) is in Hildale, while many of the church members live across the state line in Arizona. Most of the real estate in Hildale is owned by the United Effort Plan, the financial arm of the FLDS. The FLDS is one of the splinter sects of the LDS Church who practice plural marriage.

As more than half the population of both Hildale and Colorado City are descended from one or both of two men (John Yates Barlow and Joseph Smith Jessop), this area has the world's highest incidence of fumarase deficiency, a very rare genetic condition that causes severe mental retardation. As virtually everyone in the two towns are members of the FLDS, it's really hard to date someone who isn't at least your cousin...

There seems to also be a lot of discussion about the other costs of "plural marriage," especially when some folks charge that more than 50% of the mothers in Hildale and Colorado City are supported by Social Services because they claim they have no idea as to where the fathers of their children are (and that's enough to get them welfare funding).

Hildale and Colorado City both were known as "Short Creek, Arizona" for years... until July 26, 1953 when Arizona Governor John Howard Pyle sent troops into the community in an effort to put an end to polygamy as practiced there by the FLDS. Everyone in town was taken into custody except for six people who were found to not be members of the church. 236 children were taken into custody and 150 of them were kept away from their parents for more than two years while the court case was being dealt with. Some of the kids were never returned to their parents. While the church and the state were fighting things out in court, Hildale incorporated itself on the Utah side of the state line. The "Short Creek Raid" was a near-total PR disaster for the Arizona legal authorities involved and when everything finally cleared the courts, Arizona adopted a "hands-off" attitude toward Colorado City and FLDS members there for almost 50 years. Short Creek renamed itself Colorado City in 1960.