Vietnam Tours 2011

Posted by: vietnamtour | July 10, 2010

The Verde Valley,Arizona’s Hidden Treasure

Tucked between the Mogollon Rim of the Colorado Plateau, and the wrinkled old Black Hills mountain range, is a lush little oasis packed from edge to edge with history, recreation and beauty—the Verde Valley.
If you drive about an hour and a half up from Phoneix and take Highway 260 from I-17, you’ll climb a steep grade through the Black Hills’ jagged foothills, turn a corner and suddenly, there it is: a carpet of green stretching toward the red rocks of Sedona and the imposing walls of the Mogollon Rim beyond. Fluffy cottonwoods and lush sycamores crowd the banks of the Verde River and its little tributaries, and green pastureland stretches out luxuriantly and improbably in a place that only gets about a foot of rain a year.

TuzigootFromTheVerdeRiver 272 The Verde Valley,Arizona’s Hidden Treasure

Tuzigoot From The Verde River

This is the Verde Valley, a place valued for its hospitable environment ten thousand years ago by nomadic hunters and populated in one way or another ever since. Pueblo-dwellers, conquistadores, cowboys, miners, artists and New-Age gurus have all made their mark on this place, where the human activity, as enduring and varied as it’s been, barely registers compared to the magnificent natural beauty and variety.
The Verde River runs along the length of the valley, bringing a diversity of plant and animal life unrivaled by anywhere else in the state.
People dig it too, for kayaking, swimming, fishing, birdwatching and simply escaping the summer heat, when it’s generally 15-20 degrees cooler here than it is in Phoenix.
Oak Creek, which runs down from the Mogollon Rim into Sedona, is another oasis for summer travelers, famous for its trout fishing, swimming holes, and breathtaking scenery.
The communities of the Verde Valley are as varied as the landscape. Sedona, the most famous, is tucked into elaborate red rock formations and has been a tourist hotspot for decades for its hiking, photography, shopping and concentration of spiritual specialists.
It would be a big mistake, however, to pass by the other towns on your Verde Valley trip. Cottonwood and Clarkdale are charming little communities chock full of history, right on the banks of the Verde River. Oak Creek runs through the peaceful oasis of Page Springs, home to several wineries, sweet B&Bs and secret fishing holes.
Jerome is a funky mining boom town-turned ghost town-turned hippie hideout-turned artist haven and tourist attraction perched high on the side of Mingus Mountain. Camp Verde is an agricultural community steeped in its history as a military outpost during the Indian Wars.

MontezumaCastle 272 The Verde Valley,Arizona’s Hidden Treasure

Montezuma Castle

Fort Verde Sate Park delves into that fascinating story, and is a stone’s throw from Montezuma’s Castle National Monument and Montezuma’s well, two amazing archaeological sites left by the Sinagua Indians.
The Verde Canyon Railroad bills itself as “Arizona’s Longest-Running Nature Show,” and travels through the gorgeous terrain of the Verde Valley and adjoining Sycamore Canyon wilderness.
Jeep tours can take you deep into Sedona’s Red Rock Country to discover prehistoric pictographs and unique high-desert scenery, and horse-drawn carriages clatter over the cobblestones of Jerome at a leisurely pace suited to that town’s sleepy ambiance.
These are just a few of the ways to explore a region that you can spend a lifetime getting to know.

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