The Verde Valley slashes across the geographic center of Arizona, a long green trough flanked by rugged mountains and the high wall of the Mogollon Rim. The towns of Clarkdale, Cottonwood and Camp Verde are strung along the Verde River, while Jerome, the former mining center turned artist enclave, clings precariously to the high slope of Cleopatra Hill. At the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona nestles amid a wonderland of red rock formations.
The river-carved valley forms a verdant transition zone, separating the sunbaked southern deserts from the high country forests perched atop the Colorado Plateau. This relative oasis has long been a natural lure for people and wildlife and boasts a rich history. Native Americans occupied these fertile lands for thousands of years and left behind a legacy of architecture and art. Anglo settlers arrived in the late 1800s, establishing mines, ranches and farms. Today, visitors flock to the region for the seemingly endless recreational possibilities, the diversity of the arts, the world-class resorts and spas, the rejuvenating power of vortexes, award-winning wineries and scenery that softly, relentlessly squeezes your heart.
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