Verde Valley Area:
The Verde Valley includes about 714 square miles located in the geographic center of Arizona, about 100 miles north of the Phoenix metro 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. About 80% of the land in the Verde Valley is National Forest which makes unhindered growth impossible. The good part about this is you have miles and miles of public land to explore and recreate on in one of the most beautiful settings in the southwest.The Coconino National Forest is generally located north and east of the Verde River while the Prescott National Forest is south and west of the River. The region includes 20 square miles of State Trust Land most of which is located along state highways between Cottonwood and Sedona and between Cottonwood and Camp Verde. Only about 17% of the Verde Valley is privately owned.
The region has long been home to Native Americans, particularly the Sinaugua and later the Yavapai and Apache. The first Anglo settlers in the area farmed and provided goods for the soldiers at Camp Verde and for the miners in Jerome beginning in the late 1870s. William Clark and Jimmy Douglas developed major smelters and the mining communities of Clarkdale (1912) and Clemenceau (1917), respectively. Clemenceau, located near the intersection of Willard Street and Mingus Avenue was a complete company town with thousands of residents, a school and other community facilities. Today, few people recognize the size and complexity of the original “Smelter City.”
Old Town Cottonwood became a haven for those seeking to be free from the prejudice and regulation of nearby company towns. Main Street was created 1908 when Charles Stemmer and Alonzo Mason used a mule team to pull and drag through brush. The Mason Addition, Willard Addition, Hopkins Ranch No. 2 and other tracts were platted during the next decade coinciding with the development of Clemenceau on higher ground about one mile to the south.
The copper industry continued its decline culminating with the closure of the Phelps Dodge operation in the 1950s. Population plummeted in the region as the mining industry declined. Jerome’s population declined from about 8,000 to nearly 0, while Clarkdale went from nearly 4,000 to several hundred.
What can be said that hasn’t been said already? This is the most beautiful place on earth! Sedona is a geological wonderland with its red rock bluffs laced with hiking trails, stunning creeks with swimming holes and unsurpassed luxury homes. Native Americans regarded Sedona as sacred and it continues to be recognized as a place of healing and spiritual renewal. Many flock to Sedona for its vortex energy centers and others wine and dine at the incredible selection of restaurants, spoil yourself with soothing treatments at the day spas, or prowl the 40 plus art galleries. With the nearby vineyards and tasting rooms, Sedona has recently emerged as a destination for wine enthusiasts.
Sedona is surrounded by National Forest that is not going to be sold or released to the public or developers. We have 4million tourists a year exposing Sedona to a wide range of people. Sedona is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we are privileged to live here. However, if the price is too high there are viable and vibrant alternatives in the surrounding communities.
Sedona Village of Oak Creek (VOC)
Big Park is commonly known as the Village of Oak Creek, and has become a bedroom community for Sedona that is 7 miles north. Tourism, retirees and second-home owners are the basis for the local economy. Big Park became the Village of Oak Creek in the early 1960’s, and is set among scenic red-rock buttes and canyons. Visitors frequently confuse the Village of Oak Creek with Oak Creek Canyon area to the north. The Village has about 7,000 residents. The area is well known for Mountain Biking, Hiking and has some very extensive and scenic hiking trails.
This is the gateway to Sedona for those arriving via I-17 to AZ 179. The area is served by the Sedona Fire District (fire station is behind the grocery store) and the Yavapai County Sheriffs. In the area is Webers IGA grocery store & pharmacy, post office, shops, restaurants & hotels (Hilton for one).
The Village of Oak Creeks is comprised of 25 subdivisions outside the city limits of Sedona. Adjacent to the Village of Oak Creek is an area known as Big Park. Big Park is not in the village of oak creek. The Village of Oak Creek and Big Park share a Sedona zip code (86351). The original concept was to include this area within the city limits of Sedona but it was rejected by the residents for a variety of reasons at the time. It is a 6-mile divided highway and scenic drive from the Village of Oak Creek to the “Y” roundabout in the city of Sedona.
The Village of Oak Creek is home to 3 world renowned Golf Courses: The Oak Creek Country Club, Sedona Golf Resort, and Canyon Mesa.
The Oak Creek Country Club has an 18 hole championship course. This is surrounded by stunning red rocks and lush vegetation the valley is famous for. The layout of this course is traditional. It consists of over 6,824 yards, winding fairways lined with trees and three lakes.
Sedona Golf Resort is an 18 hole, par 71 course that continually receives a 4-star rating from Golf Digest. Open to the public, this is a great place to golf while enjoying the exceptional beauty of Sedona.
Canyon Mesa is a 9 hole course tucked away in a corner of the Village of Oak Creek. This is a great course for those just learning the game, or anyone working on precision golf. This is one of the best Active Adult Lifestyle communities in the Sedona area that offer spacious townhomes. Like all the other subdivisions in the area it is fully built out and any sales are re-sales. This area has full time residents, second home owners as well as upscale vacation rentals that make a great investment compared to other Sedona properties.
This is the site of our home office. We are located inside the historical Wingfield Plaza at 564 S. Main Street in the heart of downtown Camp Verde. Our office is located in the oldest continually occupied commercial building in the entire state! Since 1871 the Wingfield Plaza has had commercial activity in it.
Camp Verde is the earliest European settled community in the entire Verde Valley. Camp Verde’s history dates back to the early 1860’s. It was established as a military fort on the banks of the Verde River in 1865 to protect settlers. The US Army first established a temporary outpost that protected the farms and farmers at West Clear Creek. In 1865, a second post was built and named Camp Lincoln. Soon the name was changed to Camp Verde. Due to a malaria outbreak, the post was moved to its current location in 1871. In 1878 the name was once again changed, this time to Fort Verde to signify a permanent installation. Fort Verde was active from 1871-1892.
Camp Verde is the oldest community in the Verde Valley. Anglo Americans settled in the Verde River Valley in the early 1860s and shortly after came into conflict with Tonto
Apache and Yavapai Indians in the area. In 1865, voluntary military units established a tent camp to protect settlers from Indian attacks. The voluntary military was relieved in 1866 by the U.S.Army. Camp Lincoln was established in 1865 one mile north of the current site and re-named Camp Verde in 1868. The Army moved the camp in 1870 to the current location to avoid Malaria that plagued the area. Camp Verde was renamed to Fort Verde in 1879 and was eventually abandoned after the Indian Wars ceased and was eventually sold at a public auction in 1899. The Fort Verde Historic State Park offers remnants of this early historyof Camp Verde. Camp Verde has remained a strong community as a result of its desirable climate, geographic location and proximity to tourist attractions including Montezuma Castle National Monument, Tuzigoot National Monument and the Historic Fort Verde.
In 1979, the city of Camp Verde requested the historic site be established as a State Park. Now the site consists of four adobe buildings. One of the buildings is a museum with exhibits and displays that feature life pre-dating modern subdivisions and amenities. The town now covers 46 square miles and was incorporated in 1986. The mostly sunny weather and moderate year round temperatures attract retirees, tourists and part time residents.
Located near the geographical center of Arizona, the Town of camp Verde is located in the eastern portion of Yavapai County. It is 92 miles north of Phoenix. State Route 260 and Interstate 17 pass through Camp Verde and serve as the major roadways servicing the community. The population is estimated at about 12,000 people. Elevation of 4800′ is just below snow belt & cooler than Phoenix. Sunny skies most days of the year.
Despite the name the area grows little corn today. Although the soil is great for growing crops many landowners here make a substantial living growing wine grapes and selling the fruit of their labor. Cornville is home to many a fine wineries and small scale farmers who sell their goods at local farmers markets and farm to table restaurants. As to the adoption of the name of “Cornville”, “At a meeting of Verde Valley pioneers, one of them said it was the intention to name it Cohnville, for a family named Cohn that lived there. When the papers came back from Washington, they had read it Cornville, so the settlers accepted the name.
Named for the prominent limestone rimrocks forming the edges of the mesas visible from the area. However, this area also goes by number of names including Beaver Creek, Lake Montezuma, and McGuireville. Around 1957 shortly after the Black Canyon Highway was built north from Phoenix, one of the largest ranches in Rimrock was turned into a subdivision called Lake Montezuma. The developers were planning on selling much of the property to out-of-state buyers and realized they needed something attractive in the name. They dug out a pond below the original ranch house and named it Lake Montezuma after the area’s most significant local landmark – Montezuma Well National Monument. The majority of the population of the rapidly growing area soon lived in this one subdivision and virtually all of them were not from the local area. They would identify themselves as being from Lake Montezuma not realizing they could be considered a resident of Rimrock or Beaver Creek.
Here you will find the fascinating Lake Montezuma and with its natural beauty, Native American Ruins, their irrigation channels and unusual geology. There is also the V Bar V Heritage site where some of the best-preserved petroglyphs of the southwest can be seen. Several restaurants and antique shops make this a great place to visit or live. It is one of the more affordable communities in the Verde Valle region.
The City of Cottonwood is located adjacent to the Verde River at elevations ranging from 3,300 feet to 3,900 feet above sea level and experiences a mild climate which, together with its proximity to an abundance of natural amenities such as the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Tuzigoot National Monument and the historic mining communities of Clarkdale and Jerome, continues to attract steady growth and tourism.
The City of Cottonwood incorporated in 1960. During this period area roads were improved, particularly the Highway 89A “Bypass” and SR 260 to serve the needs of the Phoenix Cement Plant located in Clarkdale. This facility supplied the cement for the Glen Canyon Dam project near Page. During the early 1970s about 4,500 lots were platted outside the Cottonwood City Limits by Ned Warren – the Queen Creek Land and Cattle Company. These lots, known as Verde Village, have limited infrastructure but have been built upon over time and few vacant parcels remain today. With road development and an increasingly large residential base, commercial development moved south from Old Town to SR89A intersections at Main Street and at SR260 during the 1970s and 1980s.
Recently Cottonwood has experienced a major expansion with Verde Valley Medical Center, developments of new residential projects and many commercial and office projects. The downtown area has had a huge resurgence in growth centered around tourism, the wine industry and fine dining. This is one of nicest areas to go walk, check out unique giftshops and antique stores and then sip on a glass of great locally made and grown wine.
The Town of Clarkdale was founded in 1912 and was originally owned by the United Verde Copper Company whose residents worked in the nearby smelter Clarkdale was built from a unified master plan intended to include all typical parts of a comprehensive planned small town. As a result of the Clarkdale Smelter, Clarkdale was ahead of other western towns with modern amenities. Mining operations shut down in 1953 however today, many of the old mining and smelter facilities still stand as well as the historical homes built to house the miners and townspeople. These homes still are stunning and represent some of the nicest historical architecture for the area. In the valley the Verde River bisects the north portion of the town and is the launching point for many kayakers who float the river for the day. The west side of the town boundary is located along the foothills of Mingus Mountain in the Black Hills Range before you head up to Jerome. Clarkdale is 110 miles north of Phoenix, 50 miles southwest of Flagstaff, and 42 miles northeast of Prescott. State Route Highway 89A passes through Clarkdale and serves as the major roadway servicing the community. There is a lot of new construction in Clarkdale as it has some of the last remaining privately owned land that has not yet been developed. They town has building guidelines that allow the homes to have a craftsman style that matches their beautiful historical homes downtown. Clarkdale seeks to maintain and enhance the livability, health and vitality of the Verde Valley and the natural systems to which it is a part preserving choices for future generations. They are experience vibrant but planned growth and are open to adapting to changing community needs. Some of the commercial buildings downtown are stunning yet need to be restored. This is a great place that will see a resurgence just like downtown Cottonwood when it is time.
This is a really fun town to visit that is in the middle of the Mingus Mountains on top of Cleopatra Hill between Cottonwood and Prescott Valley. The historic copper mining town was once known as the wickedest town in the west. Jerome was a copper mining camp that sprang up from a settlement of tents from the booming mining community.
Founded in 1876, Jerome was once the fourth largest city in the Arizona Territory. The population grew to about 15,000 in the 1920’s and the Great Depression of the 30’s slowing mining. It picked up again during WWII but then after the war demand for copper slowed and the Phelps Dodge Mine closed in 1953. The population decreased to about 50-100 people and these hardy individuals promoted the town as a historic ghost town and artist community. Today there are about 450 full time residents including the lead singer of the rock band Tool; Maynard James Keenan.
With an almost unlimited array of recreation opportunities, it’s easy to see why we are often named as one of the best places to live for people who enjoy the outdoors. From kayaking down the Verde River to hiking or biking the world-famous red rocks country of Sedona.
It has been said that the Verde Valley area has the best of both worlds. It is a beautiful safe place to live, with arguably the best year-round weather as well as unsurpassed recreation opportunities. If you plan on relocating to the area give us a call first. If you are planning to sell your home or property let us prepare a free broker price opinion to help you in your decision. Myself and our friendly agents forward to talking to you!