Larry Coleman .com

Home About The Photographer Larry's Photographs The Aperture Our Headquarters Contacts & Links
R.T.C.A.   Photos

Cottonwood, Arizona

Cottonwood, Arizona lies in the Verde Valley about 110 miles north of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Though we regularly tell friends back in Georgia that we are located in the upper portion of Arizona, Verde Valley and Cottonwood are actually considered to be in the geographic center of the state. Nearly 80% of the land in the Verde Valley is National Forest including Coconino National Forest and Prescott National Forest.

Many tourist travel to Cottonwood to visit its old downtown area. This old downtown district is on the National Register of Historic Places, and though it is officially called the Cottonwood Commercial Historic District, most know it simply as "Old Town." There, visitors can stroll in leisure along the covered sidewalks while shopping its numerous quaint shops. In addition, Cottonwood sits smack dab in the middle of several other popular tourist areas like the old mining camp and once ghost town of Jerome, and the very popular Verde Canyon Railway that takes riders from small neighboring Clarkdale along the Verde River to the ghost town of Perkinsville and back. Other popular sites include The Blazin M Ranch, Out of Africa wildlife park, Tuzigoot and Montezuma Indian Ruins, and Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

Visitors to the area are surprised to learn that wineries have begun to pop up in the Verde Valley between the communities of Jerome, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Sedona and Camp Verde. The valley has the unique rocky soils that wine makers seek out when looking for an ideal location for their vines. Wine enthusiast can be found driving the back roads between Sedona and Jerome visiting the facilities and tasting rooms of the local wineries. Many of the local wineries have also established tasting rooms in “Old Town” Cottonwood as well.

The area offers locals and visitors a multitude of outdoor activities including camping, picnicking, horseback riding, hiking, scenic photography, fishing, hot air rides over the valley and even sky diving from the airport in Cottonwood.

Cottonwood is ideally situated above the heat of the desert and below the cold of Arizona’s high country, giving it a semi-arid steppe climate. January average temperatures can range from a high of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 26 degrees Fahrenheit, and July temperatures can range from a high of 97 degrees Fahrenheit to a low of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of our biggest considerations when choosing an area to move to was our love of photography and the outdoors. We wanted to be in an area with close proximity to many scenic hotspots, but we also did not want to locate to a large city. Cottonwood filled the bill perfectly. Right here in our own backyard, as the saying goes, is Sedona, Arizona, the world famous artists community drawing tourist from around the globe. Only fifteen minutes away, it is the perfect place for camera buffs  to set up a tripod  and spend all day exploring its red rocks, and this hardly scratches the surface of what is available there.  The whole area around Cottonwood is full of high desert beauty just waiting to be discovered. All one has to do is grab a camera and go exploring.

Within a day's drive we can easily reach the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, The Petrified Forest, Painted Desert, Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam, Joshua Tree National Park, Zion National Park and Death Valley, to name just a few.