Make your journey to North Central Arizona memorable by taking advantage of all the things to do in this part of the state. We have unrivaled national and state parks, monuments and wilderness areas that are all within easy driving distances. Clarkdale is perfectly situated so that you can easily experience all the best of Arizona bucket list attractions and historic towns in the Verde Valley.
Sycamore Canyon Wilderness
Clarkdale is the gateway to Sycamore Canyon which you will enter as you follow Sycamore Canyon Road north from town. The wilderness area encompasses the second largest canyon in Arizona’s red rock country. A lesser known, but equally scenic, cousin of Oak Creek Canyon, Sycamore Canyon Wilderness contains more than 50,000 acres of colorful cliffs, soaring pinnacles, and one of the world's rarest habitats, a desert riparian area.
IMAGE CREDIT: Forest Service
Begin climbing up Mingus Mountain from Clarkdale as you head southwest toward Jerome. Located in the cool pines of central Arizona, Mingus Mountain offers a wide range of recreational opportunities including: picnicking, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, fishing, hunting, hang gliding, and paragliding.
IMAGE CREDIT: Arizona Highways
Located 34 minutes southeast of Clarkdale and established December 8, 1906, Montezuma Castle is the third National Monument dedicated to preserving Native American culture. This 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a story of ingenuity, survival and ultimately, prosperity in an unforgiving desert landscape. Admission into Tuzigoot will also get you into this National Monument on the same ticket.
IMAGE CREDIT: Live Science
Red Rock State Park
Located 29 minutes northeast of Clarkdale, Red Rock State Park is a 286 acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek. Green meadows are framed by native vegetation and hills of red rock. The creek meanders through the park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. This riparian habitat provides the setting and the opportunity for the park to offer a focus on environmental education.
IMAGE CREDIT: Arizona State Parks
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Located 10 minutes southeast of Clarkdale, a scenic park that belies its ominous name and is best known for bird watching, camping, canoeing, hiking and horseback riding. Dead Horse Ranch State Park is located adjacent to and across the Verde River from the community of Cottonwood.
IMAGE CREDIT: Tripadvisor
Old Town Cottonwood
Located 5 minutes southeast, Old Town Cottonwood is located in the heart of the Verde Valley Wine Country and known for its Main Street with over 60 businesses including wine & spirit tasting rooms, cafes and restaurants, shopping, historic and natural attractions.
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Located 12 minutes to the southwest, Clarkdale's sister town of Jerome is a popular tourist and artist hub with a population of around 450 people. Jerome resides above what was once the largest copper mine in Arizona which was producing an astonishing 3 million pounds of copper per month. Today the mines may be silent, but Jerome has found new life as the largest ghost town in America.
IMAGE CREDIT: azjerome.com
Located 33 minutes northeast of Clarkdale, Sedona is known worldwide for its colorful, surreal red rock formations, which you can explore via Jeep tours or hiking. You'll hear about the five vortexes – areas in the red rocks that are said to possess increased electric and magnetic energy and that can imbue calming and euphoric feelings in people who visit the sites. The stone ruins and petroglyphs left by the Sinagua people between 1100-1400 show Anglos were far from the first to settle here in 1876. Shoppers delight in the many local boutiques and art galleries in town, and anglers rave about the challenging trout in upper Oak Creek.
IMAGE CREDIT: Expedia
Slide Rock State Park
Located 44 minutes north of Clarkdale following 89A, this gorgeous northern Arizona park sits comfortably within the red rock escarpments of Oak Creek Canyon, just north of Sedona. There is so much to do at this park on the creek including swimming at the natural water slide, wildlife and bird watching, trout fishing, picnicking, learning history and more.
IMAGE CREDIT: Visit Arizona
Jerome State Historic Park
Located 13 minutes to the southwest of Clarkdale, Jerome State Historic Park features the Douglas Mansion which has been an eye-catching landmark in Jerome since 1916, when James S. Douglas built it on the hill just above his Little Daisy Mine. This former home is now a museum devoted to the history of the Jerome area and the Douglas family. The museum features photographs, artifacts and minerals in addition to a video presentation and a 3-D model of the town with its underground mines. There are more displays outside along with a picnic area offering a beautiful panoramic view of the Verde Valley.
IMAGE CREDIT: Visit Arizona
Fort Verde State Historic Park
Located 35 minutes to the southeast of Clarkdale, The Fort Verde State Historic Park is where you can experience life through the eyes of a frontier soldier. The park is the best-preserved example of an Indian Wars period fort in Arizona. Today visitors can experience three historic house museums, all furnished in the 1880s period, that are listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places. Visit the Visitor Center with interpretive exhibits, period artifacts from military life, and history on the Indian Scouts and Indian Wars era.
IMAGE CREDIT: When In Your State