A great place to visit, an even better place to call home!
The Verde Valley is not a town of its own. It's a valley that consists of many little towns. Cottonwood, Arizona is the heart of this unique “valley of enchantment” called the Verde Valley. Besides Cottonwood, the Verde Valley includes Jerome, Clarkdale, Sycamore Canyon, Sycamore Creek, Sedona, Red Rocks, Oak Creek, Camp Verde, Beaver Creek, Clear Creek, Rimrock, Cornville, Page Springs, upper Verde, middle Verde, lower Verde, and more. The Verde Valley is the most captivating place in the state of Arizona, next to the Grand Canyon.
The Verde Valley is rich in history and prehistoric sites. Probable sites as pueblos of forty or more rooms, small cave dwellings, irrigation canals, bluff-top forts and overlooks, and pit house villages, described by archaeologist, Peter J. Pilles, Jr. Confirmed prehistoric sites from the Southern Sinagua and Yavapai cultures can be found all along the Verde Valley. Considerable significance is attributed to the Verde Valley ruins because they represent central population segments and show the focus of man's occupation there, between 1300 and 1425, to be along the Verde River. Studies have found:
1) a source of argillite, a prehistoric Southwest trade commodity, between Perkinsville and Sycamore Canyon 2)a cave site near Perkinsville that was probably occupied between B.C. 3000 and A.D. 1450 3) a Hohokam pithouse village and irrigation canals near Perkinsville 4) a possible Hohokam pit house village with a ball court near Tapco 5) a hill-top fort near Sycamore Canyon 6) several large pueblos dating to the Tuzigoot phase.
According to Pilles, "Many of these sites are important individually, as representing prehistoric 'towns' that controlled an area and a number of people, and collectively, as representing a prehistoric economic and political system that had relationships with other parts of the Southwest." For further information on this heritage, cultural study CLICK HERE
A great way to see a vast part of the Verde Valley canyon side is to hike the Sycamore Canyon. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Parsons Trail along the Verde River, where you can find swimming holes and caves.
Or take the Verde Canyon Railroad. This train ride is another way to see some of the Sycamore Canyon area of the Verde Valley. The Cottonwood Hotel is the closest hotel to the Verde River, the Verde River Greenway Riparian, the Dead Horse Ranch State Park (hiking & biking Trails), the Tuzigoot National Monument (Prehistoric Indian Ruins), Parsons Trail, Clarkdale. Jerome and the Verde train. Please ask for a hiking or trail map/directions if needed.
History of the Verde Valley The Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde, Arizona, presents a short video presentation about the history of the Verde Valley. For a trailhead production see below.
“Images of the Verde Valley” by William L. Cowan A great source of history, full of photos, this book celebrates the Verde Valley from its prehistoric settlements to the Arizona State Centennial Celebration 2012. Located in the heart of Arizona, between the Sonoran Desert and the mountain highlands of the Colorado Plateau, the Verde Valley has been a pleasant refuge for man and beast for thousands of years.
Floating rafts and kayaking is a popular past time on the Verde as it runs through scenic valleys and the Mazatzal Wilderness. The water to wine and other Verde Valley kayak and wine events are a way to explore this area and have some fun!
The VerdeRiver, one of Arizona’s last free-flowing rivers, sustains a large regional wildlife population as it flows through 36 miles of lush riparian habitat. This Fremont Cottonwood-Goodding Willow VerdeRiverGreenway Riparian Habitat is one of 20 like it in the world. see more
In 1987, a six mile (10 km) stretch of the river was identified by the state of Arizona as a critical natural resource that needed protection and management. This reach of the Verde River, located between the town of Clarkdale, near the Tuzigoot National Monument (prehistoric Indian Ruins) and the Bridgeport State Route 89A Bridge.
The park, which encompasses some 700 acres (2.8 km2), is known today as the Verde River Greenway State Park Verde River Greenway State Natural Area.
Images of the Verde River Greenway Cottonwood-Clarkdale area.
Oak Creek empties into the Verde River near the Alcantara Vineyard Winery & Wine Tasting Room. If you are into wine and hiking, this is a must!!! Your can grab a bottle of wine, or a glass and walk Alcantara grounds towards the Verde River, where Oak Creek connects, find your own private beach and whoa-la!!! Love this place. One of Northern Arizona Vineyards and part of the Verde Valley Wine Trail.
Below is Oak Creek Canyon at the Cresent Moon area, Lower Red Rock Crossing and Cathedral Rock. A favorite spot and a 'healing vortex'. Maps are available at the Cottonwood Hotel.
Cresent Moon Area
Sedona Cathedral Rock at Lower Red Rock Crossing
General Crook Trail
Lime-Kiln Road Trail and Historic Lime Kiln
Overland Road Trail
The Verde Valley is the 'Heart of Arizona'...
Cottonwood is the "Heart" of the Verde Valley...
And the Cottonwood Hotel is in the 'Heart' of Old Town, Cottonwood... This location makes a great choice when visiting the Verde Valley offering specialty lodging in the prohibition-era hotel. Also has a main floor studio for extended stay or vacation rental.
Verde Valley Map by Discovery shows Sedona, Old Town Cottonwood, Jerome