The Verde Valley

Verde Valley Numbers

  • Pop. 55,107 (2000)
  • Ave. high temp. July: 97
  • Ave. high temp. Jan: 55
  • Annual precipitation: 13 in.

Cottonwood Numbers

  • Pop. 11,171
  • 3,314 ft elevation
  • Median rental price: $595
  • Ave. rent (2-Bd house): $679

Clarkdale Numbers

  • Pop. 4,097
  • 3,545 ft elevation
  • Median rental price: $541

Destination Distances

  1. Prescott: 1 hr. (50 miles)
  2. Flagstaff: 50 minutes (40 miles)
  3. Phoenix: 2 hrs (130 miles)
  4. Grand Canyon: 2.5 hrs (115       miles)

More Verde Valley Info

  1. Cottonwood Chamber
  2. City Data–Cottonwood
  3. City Data–Clarkdale
  4. Sedona/Verde Tourism Council

The Viticulture program is very hands on. You’re not just sitting in a classroom. You’re applying the knowledge in the field and networking with people already in the trade. I think it’s a great experience that we get to work side by side with established local vintners as part of our coursework. It’s like on-the-job-training at the same time.
Ted, Viticulture student

The Verde Valley

The Verde Valley includes about 714 square miles located in the geographic center of Arizona, about 100 miles north of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Verde River runs through the valley from northwest to southeast and is augmented by flows from Sycamore Canyon, Oak Creek, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek. The area is unsurpassed in its variety of physical beauty with the red rocks and Mogollon Rim to the north and east and the Black Hills and Mingus Mountain dominating the western and southern portions of the valley.


Climate iconThe Central Arizona Highlands is a distinct area between the extensive Colorado Plateau to the north and the Sonoran Desert to the south. The Verde Valley is the lower elevation region of the Central Arizona Highlands. It is of a semi-arid steppe climate, and marked by a cycle of winter precipitation, spring drought, summer precipitation, and fall drought.

The area is blessed with four mild seasons marked by abundant sunshine and clean air. Ideally, the annual average high and low temperatures are 74.7°F (23,7°C) and 45.7°F (7,6°C) degrees, respectively.

Outdoor Recreation

Recreation iconA wide variety of recreational opportunities await you in the Verde Valley area. Hiking and biking trails, horseback riding, fishing, golfing, national forests and many state parks are a few of the possibilities.

For a real adventure while hiking at the Grand Canyon, you can also tour it from the air by helicopter. Maybe a whitewater rafting trip interests you, or a balloon ride over the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. Floating rafts and kayaks is also a popular past time on the Verde River as it runs through scenic valleys and the Mazatzal Wilderness.

Cultural & Entertainment Opportunities

Cultural iconThere a lots of interesting things to do and see in the Verde Valley. Spend the day at the gold mine ghost town, ride the historic Verde Canyon railroad, or see animals at the wildlife park, all within easy driving distance. For live theater, the Verde Valley Theater group stages 4-5 productions in Clarkdale through September to May. And of course, local wineries offer tastings and events during harvesting and bottling with food and live music.

Between the nearby communities of Jerome, Sedona, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Cornville, Page Springs, and Camp Verde, there are several quaint and historic downtown areas to enjoy a glass of wine, a quality shot of espresso, a locally created meal, or a bit of live music. In addition, the national monuments of Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot are spectacular sites of Native American culture that add appreciation and understanding of past ways of life in the valley.

As an old mining town, Jerome is a cultural experience in itself. It has an arts festival and a lively Halloween celebration. A few minutes drive from downtown Jerome, Jerome State Historic Park features the 1916 Douglas mansion, filled with exhibits and memorabilia of the days of mining in the wild west.


Amenities iconShopping in the area has the basics that cover groceries, household goods, home improvement, office supplies, and the like. But a there is a small-town feeling to shopping in the towns that make up the valley, with lots of small shops and boutiques offering local crafts and products.

Dining has the usual fast food and chain establishments, but also an assortment of choices ranging from casual to gourmet and includes a wide variety of cuisine, whether you prefer French, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, classic American, cowboy or Southwestern.

Quality health care is provided by Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) as a full service regional health care facility with four locations in the Verde Valley.