Home to the Verde Canyon Railroad, Clarkdale was laid out in 1914 near the site of the existing smelter built in 1910. It processed ore from nearby Jerome until 1952. Clarkdale was Arizona’s first company town built with modern amenities. The mining and smelter sites, along with the Clarkdale clubhouse, are listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Clarkdale also hosts a number of community events including an art festival and Independence Day celebration.
Only minutes from the train depot, Cottonwood began as a campground and stopover for travelers to Oak Creek, Beaver Creek and Camp Verde. It was one of three main crossings over the Verde River. Today it is home to a number of attractions including historic downtown Cottonwood with a number of antique stores and Arizona winery tasting centers.
Tuzigoot National Monument
Eight hundred years ago, this Sinagua pueblo was home to the Indian population which once inhabited this area. The site is comprised of 42 acres, including hiking trails (one wheelchair accessible). Visitors are escorted through the various rooms of the pueblo to view this ancient civilization. Images, etched in stone, help tell the tale of their daily life.
Blazin’ M Ranch
Chuckwagon & Western Stage Show
The activities and displays at Blazin’ M Ranch will strive to keep you outside but the saloon will call you to sit a spell with your favorite libation. The aroma of dinner will soon turn your attention to the rustic splendor of the dining barn. Gates open at 5 p.m. for shopping, shooting, roping and tractor rides. Dinner bell rings at 6:30 p.m. followed by a Blazin’ M Cowboy stage show at 7:30 p.m..
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Over 100 species of birds have been identified in the immediate confines of the Park. It also has excellent camping and RV facilities, as well as a lagoon which is stocked with rainbow trout from November through March.
Nicknamed “The City in the Sky,” Jerome was at one time the most talked-about mining camp in America. This legendary burg is listed on the National Historic Register. Its population went from 15,000 in its heyday to a “ghost town” of under 50 people. The Gold King Mine displays early machinery of the mining era in Jerome.
About 20 minutes from the Verde Canyon Railroad, Camp Verde offers a blend of ancient cultures, military influence and ranching heritage. It is a small town that had its beginnings with farms and cattle ranches. Today it is home to Cliff Castle Casino, located on Native American land.
Fort Verde State Park
General Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers were primarily based at this fort. They were charged with squelching Apache and Yavapai Indian uprisings in the late 1800s. Some of the original buildings still remain. Its officers’ quarters are open to visitors and a museum is located in the old headquarters building.
Montezuma Castle National Monument
This ancient cliff dwelling dates back to 1150 A.D.. The Castle stands in a cliff recess one hundred feet above the valley. Montezuma Well, also part of the monument, is a natural limestone sinkhole and was an important source of water for the Sinagua Indians. The Castle stands as one of the most well-preserved cliff dwellings in North America.
Red Rock Country is a four-seasons playground for everyone – history, geology, archaeology, art and sports buffs, and especially curious outdoor enthusiasts – love this spectacular scenery.
Out of Africa
Out of Africa Wildlife Park strives to educate and entertain; to provide an exciting and engaging opportunity to love and respect creation and Creator. It is a place where family and friends gather to experience oneness with animals and each other during safaris, tours, walks, observations and shows of wild-by-nature animals in their own natural splendor.
Other Links and Arizona Attractions
Sedona New Day Spa www.sedonanewdayspa.com
Festival of Native American Culture www.festivalofnativeamericanculture.org
Dolly Steamboat www.dollysteamboat.com/
Bed and Breakfasts of Sedona www.bbsedona.com
Verde Valley Newspaper
Arizona Office of Tourism www.arizonaguide.com
Verde Valley Wine Trail www.vvwinetrail.com
Family Days Out in Arizona www.familydaysout.com