Travel back to the 1800s at Fort Verde State Historic Park and experience life as a frontier soldier, or visit Jerome State Historic Park to learn about the boom and bust of the Black Hills copper mines. Go for a horseback ride at Dead Horse Ranch State Park, or take a stroll along the Verde River Greenway. With seven nearby state parks to explore, Camp Verde has something for everyone!
Fort Verde State Historic Park
From 1865 to 1891, U.S. Army officers, doctors, families, enlisted men, and scouts lived in a succession of army bases located in the Verde Valley. Replacing the earlier camps of Lincoln and Verde, Fort Verde became the most established military presence in the Valley. The Fort is best known for its use by General Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers as a base of operation during the Indian Wars of the 1870s and 1880s.
Today, visitors can experience three historic house museums, all with period furnishings, that are listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places. The former fort administration building houses the Visitor Center with interpretive exhibits, artifacts from military life, and history of the Indian Wars.
Fort Verde State Historic Park is the best-preserved example of an American Indian Wars period fort in Arizona. The park periodically schedules living history programs that offer visitors a glimpse into a significant era of Arizona’s history. In addition to the historic buildings and interpretive exhibits, the park has picnic tables, restrooms, RV and tour bus parking, and is ADA accessible.
Rocking River State Park
Located just five miles south of downtown Camp Verde, the 204-acre Rockin’ River State Park was purchased by Arizona State Parks in 2008. Currently it is under development. No date has been set for an opening.
Verde River Greenway
The Greenway encompasses nearly 480 acres and is six miles long. The 3,300 foot elevation means mild temperatures for hiking along the Verde, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water. Life along the river changes with the season, giving visitors a glimpse of great blue heron, black hawks, coyotes, raccoons, mule deer, beavers, ducks, frogs, and toads. The Verde River and surrounding riparian corridor support nearly twenty threatened or endangered species including river otter, southwestern bald eagles, southwestern willow flycatchers, and lowland leopard frogs.
State Parks in the Verde Valley
Dead Horse Ranch
Dead Horse Ranch State Park is a beautiful park located in the Riparian area of the Verde Valley. The park offers camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and rents Camping Cabins.The developed portion of Dead Horse Ranch State Park covers 423 acres. The 3,300 foot elevation accounts for the mild temperatures that are ideal for camping, mountain biking in the Coconino National Forest, hiking along the Verde River, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water.
Jerome State Historic Park
Jerome State Historic Park is a state park of Arizona, USA, featuring the Douglas Mansion, built in 1916 by a family of influential mining entrepreneurs in Jerome, Arizona, a mining region in the northeast of the Black Hills, east Yavapai County. A museum is located in the old Douglas Mansion. Jerome State Historic Park reopened on October 14, 2010 after being closed since February 27, 2009 because of budget cuts and the need to repair the historic mansion. Renovation and stabilization were funded by a state heritage grant and donations from the Douglas family. The park is open on a five-day schedule thanks to additional funding raised by Yavapai County, the city of Jerome, and the Jerome Historical Society.
Red Rock State Park
Red Rock State Park is a 286 acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek. Green meadows are framed by native vegetation and hills of red rock. The creek meanders through the park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. This riparian habitat provides the setting and the opportunity for the park to offer a focus on environmental education. Red Rock offers a variety of special programs for school groups and private groups. There are a number of daily and weekly park events. Red Rock State Park is open 7 days a week from 8 am – 5 pm. The Visitor Center is open 9 am – 4:30 pm daily.
Slide Rock State Park
Slide Rock State Park, originally the Pendley Homestead, is a 43-acre historic apple farm located in Oak Creek Canyon.The park is named after the famous Slide Rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom adjacent to the homestead. Visitors may slide down a slick natural water chute or wade and sun along the creek. The swim area is located on National Forest land which is jointly managed by Arizona State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service. Together these areas have seen the making of many Hollywood movies such as “Broken Arrow” (1950) with James Stewart, “Drum Beat” (1954) with Alan Ladd and Charles Bronson, “Gun Fury” (1953) with Rock Hudson and Donna Reed, and a scene from “Angel and the Badman” (1946) with John Wayne.