Located in north/central Arizona – the Verde Valley is a unique and special landscape, nestled between the pine forests above in the high country and the Sonoran Desert below. Over 700-square miles comprise this valley, whose floor is rugged rock, cut by many rivers and streams, bearing pockets of low lands that are fertile ground for trees, plants, animals and agriculture.

Springing from canyon-rock bases of higher country, the waters of this valley sustain a gloriously verdant system of cottonwoods, willow and sycamore that sing their song of life for the enjoyment of hikers, kayakers, bird watchers, swimmers, horseback riders, fishermen, campers, gardeners and other nature lovers.

The Verde Valley was once overlapped by Hopi, Pai and Apache cultures that made a life along the river from their pueblos or encampments.  Ruins can still be found silently observing modern development below, from the canyon walls and mesas.

Prickly Pear cactus and mesquite pods fed the indigenous people here and even today it can be found amongst the cattle, pecans, corn, apples and vineyards in the area.

Surrounded by vast tracts of Forest Service land, the Verde Valley is almost guaranteed to be a place for an unencumbered romance with the natural world.

The clear skies above, host an overwhelming union of sunset colors that reflect off the epic red sandstone cliffs from the Verde Canyon to Sedona, which attracts millions each year.  What is it that people are drawn to?  Wide open spaces, vibrant stars at night, wildlife and biodiversity in a rugged landscape?

Edward Osborne Wilson, elder American biologist once said, “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even and spiritual satisfaction.”

The mindful locals here certainly agree.

Cottonwood, Arizona- “Heart of the Verde Valley”

Nestled between the red rocks of Sedona to the north and Mingus Mountain to the south lies the Verde Valley. It’s here you’ll find state parks, vineyards, and entertaining attractions that offer activities for all ages. And right in the center of it all is Cottonwood, a small town with a big heart.
Join AZ Culture host Cindy Christi as she takes you on a journey to one of Arizona’s best getaway spots, a town called Cottonwood!
Winner of the Governor’s Tourism Award, Cottonwood is the perfect destination for vacations or a quick weekend escape. And that’s what an intrepid group of adventurers did as they participated in the Cottonwood Culture Challenge. Follow them as they ride in hot air balloons, ride horseback through mountain trails, shop ’til they drop, taste the local wines and even search for aliens! If you’re anything like our challenge crew, you’ll be wanting to experience everything Cottonwood has to offer.

The Verde River, one of the largest perennial streams in the state of Arizona runs through the heart of the city.

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF THE DECADE AWARD is a tangible way to recognize communities who are embracing ‘smart growth and taking it seriously. Mayor of Cottonwood, Diane Joens, played an integral part in the process…