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Gold Canyon, Arizona

Verde Valley/Sedona

Feel the warm spirit of red rocks and ancient dwellings

Over the years, the Verde Valley has beckoned artists, explorers and visionaries to experience the beauty of the area’s red rock mesas, trendy neighborhoods and opulent resorts. Whether you’re searching for a great hike, seeking a compelling art gallery or simply questing for a decadent meal and soothing spa treatment, Sedona, with a population of just over 10,000, fits the bill. Camp Verde, likewise, will tantalize your wanderlust with watersports, vineyards and a compelling structure left behind by the region’s earliest inhabitants.

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Palatki Heritage Site

Fourteen miles to the east, the 1,000-year-old Sinagua cliff dwellings at the Palatki Heritage Site (A.D. 1150–1350) are the best places in the Sedona area to immerse yourself in the region’s Native American culture. Superb rock art is reason enough to embark on the 8-mile journey along a dirt road that leads to a truly otherworldly archaeological site.

Palatki, and its sister site Honanki—the largest cliff dwellings found in Red Rock Country—are famed for their remarkably preserved pictographs and petroglyphs created by every native culture to occupy Verde Valley. There are three easy trails at Palatki Heritage Site, each a quarter-mile (one way). One trail meanders up to the Sinagua cliff dwellings, the second affords panoramic views of the dwellings, and a third leads to impressive pictographs sheltered beneath red-rock alcoves. To visit Palatki, you’ll need a Red Rock Pass.

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Camp Verde

Located 27 miles south of Sedona, Camp Verde Valley greets visitors with history and natural wonder that are equally compelling.

The Verde River is a welcoming site for kayakers and boaters of all types to hit the water. Bird lovers will thrill at the variety of avian life that lives here or visits during migration. In all, more than 300 species can be spotted throughout the year along the Verde River.

Camp Verde’s Out of Africa Wildlife Park gives visitors a chance to take a safari-style tour that puts them close to the exotic animals, including giraffes, bears, tigers and wolves. Attend shows and interactive sessions are also offered at the 104-acre park.

History buffs will enjoy a visit to the Montezuma Cliff Dwelling, a 20-room cliff dwelling built high in a limestone rock face overlooking the valley. The 800-year-old structure is believed to have served both as a residence and as a refuge—its lofty location was daunting to potential raiders. Check out the visitor center for exhibits on the history of the structure as well as compelling archeological finds.

If you’re seeking indoor thrills, check out the Cliff Castle Casino Hotel, with nearly 700 slot machines and ample card tables to challenge gamblers.

For More Information

Sedona Verde Valley Tourism Council

877-GoSVVTC

www.sedona-verdevalley.com

 

Arizona Office of Tourism

866-275-5816

www.visitarizona.com