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Home » Things to Do » Explore the Verde Valley

Things to Do Around the Verde Valley

The Verde Valley is surrounded by the Mingus Mountains and Woodchute Mountains and is traversed by the Verde River. Read more about the cluster of Central Arizona communities that make up the Verde Valley.


Cottonwood began as a small adobe where soldiers took refuge in 1874. Soon, settlers began moving in, and created a place whose namesake is a circle of 16 cottonwood trees near the Verde River. The community was established in 1879 and incorporated in 1960. In Yavapai County, Cottonwood is near the geographic center of Arizona at an elevation of 3,300 feet. Cottonwood is approximately 100 miles north of Phoenix. Prescott visitors can get to Cottonwood via scenic, winding Highway 89A through Jerome - about 44 miles (1 hour 10 minutes) - or via Highway 69 to Highway 169 to Interstate 17 to Highway 250 through Camp Verde - about 54 miles (1 hour 15 minutes).  Click here for Cottonwood lodging and things to do nearby.


Jerome, Arizona was built on Cleopatra Hill above a vast deposit of copper. The mines, the workers and those who sought its wealth formed Jerome's history. They were a brave and raucous mix: miners, smelter workers, freighters, gamblers, bootleggers, saloon keepers, storekeepers, prostitutes and preachers, wives and children made Jerome what it was. Today, visitors walk the hillside streets visiting galleries, shops, restaurants and bars. Bikers feel quite at home at (in)famous Jerome haunts such as The Spirit Room. Wine and food lovers indulge at the Jerome Winery and local artisanal eateries. Thrill-seekers delight in Jerome’s reportedly haunted hotels and former houses of ill-repute. To get to Jerome from Prescott, take Highway 89A north about 35 miles (about 55 minutes.)

Camp Verde

Camp Verde lies near the geographic center of Arizona. It is in the Verde River valley of central Arizona, 85 miles north of Phoenix, at an elevation of approximately 3100 feet. Camp Verde is the oldest community in the valley, and was established in 1865.


Clarkdale is at the upper end of the Verde Valley in Yavapai County and is approximately 110 miles north of Phoenix and south of the Grand Canyon at an elevation of 3,542 feet. Topography of the area is characterized by numerous mesas and buttes along the rise from the Verde River on the east, at 3,300 feet, to the Mingus Mountains on the west, at 7,000 feet. Clarkdale, incorporated in 1957, was laid out in 1914 near the site of the Clarkdale Smelter, which was financed by Senator William A. Clark of Montana. Clarkdale is approximately 107 miles north of Phoenix. Prescott visitors can get to Clarkdale via scenic, winding Highway 89A through Jerome - about 40 miles (1 hour 5 minutes) - or via Highway 69 to Highway 169 to Interstate 17 to Highway 250 through Camp Verde - about 58 miles (1 hour 25 minutes).


Just 90 minutes north of Prescott, Arizona, Sedona has become a day trip and overnight destination for visitors to Northern Arizona who wish to explore the famous red rocks, the scenic Verde River, the 1.8 million-acre Coconino National Forest, or the winding road through Oak Creek Canyon. There are a nearly infinite number of things to do in Sedona! Relax atop shaded boulders that dot the 16-mile gorge of Oak Creek Canyon, take a rugged Jeep tour or helicopter tour deep into Sedona's authentic Indian ruins, scale a red rock monolith that penetrates the crystal blue sky or feel the earth’s energy at one of several Sedona vortexes. Whatever you do, Sedona will take your breath away. To get to Sedona from Prescott, take Highway 69 to Highway 169, then Interstate 17 to Highway 179 (about 67 miles; 1 hour 25 minutes.)

Written by: Christina Hecht

Driving Directions

Prescott driving directionsNeed driving directions to Prescott from Phoenix, Las Vegas, and other cities nearby? Our handy directions will get you here. Prescott is ideally located in central Arizona at the intersection of two major state routes – Highway 69 and Highway 89. It’s also fewer than 90 miles from I-10 and I-40, two coast-to-coast interstates. And once you’re in Prescott, you’ll experience the Gateway to Northern Arizona. Within just a couple hours driving time, Prescott visitors can find themselves in Jerome, wine country, Sedona, or the Grand Canyon. Prescott is the perfect central Arizona location from which to venture out, and we're sure you'll always want to find the road back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions FAQs and visitor informationDo you have some questions about Prescott, Arizona? Curious about the history of Prescott? Wondering what Prescott is like today? Do you need directions or a map of the area? We’ve got answers on every topic from Whiskey Row to where to go; from what to pack to weather facts. You’ll find answers you can use when researching your next vacation or your next change-of-address., THE online resource for Prescott visitors and locals, has put together a full list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers about Prescott, Arizona. We hope they'll help you plan a nice long visit to Prescott soon, or even entice you to make Prescott your next hometown.

All Things to Do in Prescott

Things to do in PrescottYou probably don't need help finding things to do in Prescott; there's a ton to do! Nevertheless, we can help you narrow down the list to fit into your perfect Prescott vacation. Looking for family friendly attractions that kids and adults will both love? Or maybe a winery tour, a casino and some grown-up fun is more your style. Whether you want to go for outdoor adventures, embark on an area tour, horseback riding, or golf, the best things to do in Prescott are at your fingertips. Enjoy Prescott attractions like art galleries and museums and historical sites, entertainment and nightlife on Whiskey Row and beyond and dozens of other Prescott attractions.

Prescott Arizona Real Estate

Prescott real estate guideAre you dreaming about Prescott Arizona real estate? You are certainly not alone. Prescott real estate and Prescott Valley real estate together are one of the most popular targets for Arizona retirement, resort style living communities and new homes. Who wouldn't want to find Prescott, Arizona homes for sale and start enjoying year-round outdoor weather, diverse landscapes, rock formations, pine forests, majestic mountains and rolling foothills? Find a Prescott realtor - someone who's a true expert in Prescott, Arizona real estate? Browse Prescott Arizona homes for sale - like golf course homes - inside resort living communities. You'll find it all on

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Find Prescott outdoor activities, attractions and tours. Photo used with permission by Tyler Randall James. All Rights Reserved.

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