Explore 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 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.)