In the north-central region of Arizona, just an hour’s drive to the southwest of Flagstaff is the small town of Cottonwood. At an elevation of 3,300 feet, it boasts milder weather than some of the cities to the south too, which can be a welcome reprieve for those unfamiliar with Arizona’s hot, dry climate. Cottonwood is considered the heart of the Verde Valley, a popular tourist areas known for abundant wineries, magnificent scenery, and excellent opportunities for outdoor pursuits. The lush forests and striking red rock canyons of the region stand in sharp contrast to the expansive and blisteringly hot Sonoran Desert 250 miles to the south.
It’s also just a 25-minute drive from the artist community and tourist hotspot of Sedona and 100 miles from the state’s capital city, Phoenix. When you book an RV in Cottonwood, you can explore this unique section of the state.
Getting Outside Near Cottonwood
Dead Horse Ranch State Park is one of the most accessible places to get outside when you rent an RV near Cottonwood, sitting on the town’s northern edge. Hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, and bird watching are all popular activities there, and if you’re looking for a more rustic place to camp, it has a few RV sites.
Tuzigoot National Monument is just a few miles outside of town and features a three-story pueblo ruin built by the Sinagua people around 800 years ago. There are some short hiking trails that visit the native petroglyphs there along with a museum to help explain the culture and living conditions of the people that once lived here. Montezuma Castle National Monument is also close by and includes an ancient pueblo set into a cliff face. Visitors must admire it from afar though, as access to the pueblo is prohibited.
If you’re willing to travel a bit farther with your Cottonwood RV rental, Grand Canyon National Park is only a two-hour drive away. It’s one of America’s most popular parks for a reason, with awe-inspiring views, fantastic hiking for all ages and fitness levels, and there’s a great museum to inform visitors about the history of the canyon’s geology and the indigenous people that made their home nearby.
RV Parks near Cottonwood
Cottonwood has a surprising abundance of RV parks for a town of its size. Chalk it up to all the amazing attractions nearby, but you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to camp with your motorhome rental in Cottonwood.
Rio Verde RV Park is just outside of downtown Cottonwood and has sites with full hookups, and laundry facilities. A little farther out you’ll find Verde Valley RV Park and Camping Resort along with Mountain Vu RV Park. Both could be decent options if you’re thinking about exploring some of the vineyards to the southeast of town. But if you’re visiting Tuzigoot National Monument, it might be better to stay to the northwest of town, where Rain Spirit RV Park and Clarkdale RV are located. They’re both small, but you should be able to find sites there as long as it’s not peak season or during a big event in Sedona.
Despite being a fairly quaint mountain town, there’s a Walmart on Cottonwood’s southern edge, so you may also have the option to spend a night or two here while planning the next leg of your journey. Call ahead to confirm parking availability with store management.
There are also a few grocery stores in town if you need to restock the food supply in the Cottonwood camper rental.
Exploring the Town of Cottonwood
Cottonwood is an easy enough town to explore on foot, so take full advantage of this and pop into anything that looks interesting. Start your Cottonwood travel trailer rental vacation with a trip to the historic Old Town. Plenty of great shopping can be found there, whether you’re looking for some light reading at one fo the bookstores or perhaps a gift for the family pet from one of the pet boutiques in town.
This section of town is also dotted with wineries. Beer drinkers won’t be left out though there is at least one brewery in town that has several ales on tap for those preferring an ale to a glass of vino.
The nearby town of Jerome is also a popular day trip for visitors to Cottonwood; it almost became a ghost town after silver mining ceased in the surrounding hills, but is now reborn as a hip little town with wine tastings, quirky museums, and fantastic art galleries. Take the ghost town tour to see some of the purportedly haunted sites there.
There’s also a few interesting tours available in Cottonwood including the Verde Canyon Railway, a scenic train trip that visits the stunning red rock cliffs nearby while providing guests with delicious refreshments. Biking and kayaking tours are also available for those with a sense of adventure and plenty of stamina.