Imagine way back to 1874. There was an old adobe house near the Verde River that housed soldiers from nearby Camp Verde. Soon settlers began moving into the area. That adobe house became an old school house when the army no longer needed it. The old house no longer exists, but it became the genesis of Cottonwood, Arizona which was named after a circle-stand of sixteen huge cottonwood trees just a stones-throw from the Verde River.
By 1920, Cottonwood was a booming agricultural community and was the commerce center of the Verde Valley area and a major crossing of the Verde River. The market for hay and grain was thriving serving the needs of a the Fort at Camp Verde and subsequently Jerome and Sedona. Cattle became a secondary market. With only a population of about 1,000 in 1920, it had so many businesses that it became known as the "biggest little town in Arizona."
Cottonwood AZ has grown to about 12,000 today (2010). Although the town has enlarged, Old Town Cottonwood is the center of the action and the location where the old adobe house once stood. Today it still is a major area in the Verde Valley that also includes the towns of Cottonwood, Camp Verde, Clarkdale and Jerome, Arizona and the community of Cornville. Cottonwood (Inside pages is only about 18 miles south of Sedona, Arizona, one of the most popular vacation spots in the country.
The Enticement of Cottonwood
Cottonwood, Arizona is ideally situated. Sitting between the desert heat of Phoenix and Scottsdale, but yet below the extreme winter cold of Northern Arizona's high mountain country, at an elevation of about 3,300 feet, the town of Cottonwood enjoys year-round comfortable temperatures. Phoenix is about 130 miles south of Cottonwood AZ via the Interstate 17 Black Canyon Freeway. Flagstaff which has an elevation of about 7,000 feet is about 50 miles north of Cottonwood. The Grand Canyon South Rim, the most visited attraction in Arizona is about 95 miles to the north. The beautiful redrock country of Sedona and the scenic Oak Creek Canyon is just 18 miles north of Cottonwood. Prescott, Arizona is about 55 miles.
Cottonwood sets on the banks of the Verde River. The flowing waters hold many secrets of the ancient Native American civilizations that were the original inhabitants of the area. Cottonwood is small town America. It is a laid-back, tranquil community that avoids the large crowds of tourists that descend upon Sedona. With much more affordable lodging, Cottonwood is the ideal home base for those the will enjoy the vacation experience of central and northern Arizona.
Cottonwood Local Area Attractions
Stay a few days. Unwind, rejuvenate and in touch with what the Verde Valley offers. Stay at an RV Park or one of many campgrounds. Stroll down Old Town Cottonwood, feel the aura of years gone by and shop the boutiques, the antique shops and dine the restaurants. Visit the area state parks, national parks, Indian ruins, ride a train into the Verde River Canyon, float a hot air balloon, go birding, canoe the Verde River, visit the many vineyards and wineries, play a round of golf, visit Cliff Castle Casino picnic near Oak Creek or do nothing at all.
Blazin' M Ranch
Cowboy Jeep Tours
Gold King Mine & Ghost Town
Out of Africa Wildlife Park
Verde Canyon Railroad
Verde Santa Fe Golf Club
Silver Spur Tours
Campgrounds & RV Parks
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Distant Drums RV Resort
Mountain Vu RV Court
Sunrise Resorts (Page Springs)
Turquoise Triangle RV Park
Verde Valley RV Resort/Thousand Trails
Zane Frey RV Park
Distance Guide. Miles From Cottonwood
Cottonwood Area Map