15 Best Things To Do In Clarkdale, Arizona: History And Wilderness - Updated 2021

things to do in clarkdale arizona

Between the many seasonal and year-round activities, Clarkdale offers community exploration and interesting things to do at all times. In the heart of Arizona’s copper industry, the city has more than just red metal. Let’s delve into Arizona’s history and stunning wilderness. To make your adventure even more exciting, here’s a list of the best things to do in Clarkdale, Arizona.

1. Clarkdale Park

Central Park Clarkdale AZ
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kate McGahan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

It’s always a great day for a picnic at Clarkdale Town Park. It’s located in the center of where the original Clarkdale town used to be on Main Street. The huge park has a multi-purpose turf area, several picnic tables, and a kid’s playground that the whole family can enjoy. It has a historic gazebo where you can watch bands playing or rent it out to host a special event like weddings. The park is open from 6 am to 9 pm every day and you will have to follow certain rules while inside the park. The park has a smoke-free zone and the picnic tables and ramadas are rented out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Clarkdale Park

Address: 1001 Main Street Clarkdale, AZ 86324

Website: Clarkdale Park

Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)

Price: 50 USD

2. St. Cecilia Catholic Church

St Cecilia Catholic Church
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marine 69-71 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

St. Cecilia’s is a quaint, rustic church in a remote village that has been serving the Christian community of Clarkdale for decades. The exterior is made of white plaster, while the interiors are newly remodeled but decorated with original furnishings. Reconnect with your Catholic spirituality and join the masses in Latin every Sunday. To keep up with the times and protect their parishioners from the pandemic, the church has created websites and phone apps to keep in touch with the churchgoers. There are products and services they provide through these social media channels to help fulfill the spiritual needs of their community, schools, parishes, and diocese.

St. Cecilia Catholic Church

Address: 850 Main St, Clarkdale, AZ 86324, United States

Website: St. Cecilia Catholic Church

3. Arizona Botanical Gardens

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Arizona Botanical Gardens on Saturday, September 5, 2020

The garden opened its gates to the public in 1988 so that visitors can view and appreciate various plant species that were adopted and are endemic to the region. It is not simply just any other plant nursery as Arizona Botanical Gardens has the largest cactus nursery in town. With several years of experience in nursery care and landscaping, you can hire gardeners to beautify your home or office. If you are just visiting, a trip to the botanical gardens is a refreshing way to appreciate Clarkdale’s outdoor landscape. It is also a good source for cacti and other low-maintenance plants if you are thinking of taking up gardening as a new hobby.

Arizona Botanical Gardens

Address: 1011 Wildhorse Ln, Clarkdale, AZ 86324, United States

Website: Arizona Botanical Gardens

Opening hours: Fri - Sun: 9am - 5pm (closed from Tue - Thu)

4. Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum

Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Marine 69-71 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Ironically, the museum was built during the 1918-19 influenza pandemic and was formerly an old clinic. After its closure in the 1950s, the site went through several changes that marked Clarkdale’s history. In 1957, it served as town offices with a jail and a police department. The library and Department of Motor Vehicles moved in the 1980s. In 2008, it was launched as a museum that holds all the family records, yearbooks, the town’s business and residential blueprints, and important artifacts and documents related to the town’s growth and history.

Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum

Address: 900 1st S St, Clarkdale, AZ 86324, United States

Website: Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum

Opening hours: Wed: 10am - 1pm; Thu - Sat: 11am - 2pm (closed from Sun - Tue)

Price: From 15 USD

5. Tuzigoot River Access

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Looking for a daytime escapade? Search no more and head to Tuzigoot River Access. Also called Tuzi RAP, it is a Day Use area that can be accessed all year round. It is a portion of Verde River Greenway State Natural Area under the ownership of Arizona State Parks. The entrance to the park is through Tuzigoot Road which leads to a huge parking area on a floodplain. About 400 feet (121.9 meters) away is a handicap-accessible viewing platform overlooking Verde River and a heavily forested area. It also features Tuzigoot Bridge where people go fishing and boating.

Tuzigoot River Access

Address: 15 E. Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale, AZ

Website: Tuzigoot River Access

Opening hours: 8am - 5pm (daily)

6. Smelter Town Brewery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Smelter Town Brewery on Saturday, September 19, 2020

Smelter Town Brewery is one of the most-visited places in Clarksdale where you can have a taste of their famous handcrafted beer and other beverages. The brewery started in 2018 when its owners bought and remodeled a century-old building in Clarksdale downtown. In 2020, the brewery opened to the public with its upper floors serving as a hotel. The beverages were created to represent the community of Clarksdale. Each drink here has a creative name referencing Clarksdale’s mining history such as Clark’s Cooper Ale, Ore Rich Roasted Marshmallow Porter, and Modern Miner Milkshake IPA.

Smelter Town Brewery

Address: 921 Main St, Clarkdale, AZ 86324, United States

Website: Smelter Town Brewery

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 2pm - 8pm; Fri - Sat: 2pm - 9pm (closed on Tue)

7. Main Street Cafe And Pizzeria

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

So theres this rumor going around town that these are the BEST. RIBS. EVER. What do you think?

Posted by Main Street Cafe - Clarkdale, AZ on Friday, January 8, 2021

Are you craving some pizza and burgers? Main Street Café and Pizzeria is one of Clarkdale’s best places to eat where you can have some grub. It opened in 2008, and since then, it has been serving the town’s best pizza. Their lunch and dinner menu includes fish, steak, chicken, burgers, appetizers, desserts, and fresh homemade pizza. The restaurant is in a remodeled historic building where guests enjoy a cozy, casual dining atmosphere. They only use local Arizona beef in their dishes, so come over and taste the difference in their burgers and house specials. You can dine-in or place an order online for pick-up.

Main Street Cafe And Pizzeria

Address: 920 Main St, Clarkdale, AZ 86324, United States

Website: Main Street Cafe And Pizzeria

Opening hours: 11am - 8pm (daily)

8. Arizona Copper Art Museum

Posted by Arizona Copper Art Museum on Monday, 31 August 2015

Even though there is more to Arizona than copper, while you’re in town, you should pay a visit to the Arizona Copper Art Museum, that explores both the influence of copper in Arizona and throughout the world. The museum mixes copper art and legends about the metal—from all over the world—to paint you a picture of copper’s beauty and how it has helped shape Earth into how we know it today. A completely unique museum, let Clarkdale take you through the process of mining the unassuming rock, refining it, and then turning the metal into art. The Arizona Copper Art Museum is equipped for the whole family, with multiple exhibits, including the Military Art Exhibit, Kitchenware Exhibit, and the Distillery and Winery Exhibit. The museum is highly recommended - it is top rated on TripAdvisor, listed as one of VacationIdea’s Best 25 things to do in Arizona and in National Geographic’s Best 22 Worldwide Locations.

Arizona Copper Art Museum

Address: Coconino National Forest, 849 Main St, Clarkdale, AZ 86324

Price: From 9 USD

Opening Hours: Daily 10am - 5pm; Closed on Christmas Day

Contact: +1 (928) 649-1858

Website: The Arizona Copper Art Museum

9. Verde Valley Wine Festival

The VVWF is proud to announce the WINERY participants for the 2017 event! These wineries are a collection of the finest...

Posted by Verde Valley Wine Festival on Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Another seasonal event, the Verde Valley Wine Festival is held May 13-14 in Clarkdale Town Park and presented by Four Eight Wineworks. Brewers from all over Arizona are featured at this festival, including those hailing from Clarkdale—like Four Eight Wineworks—and Bodega Pierce/Saeculum Cellars, Chateau Tumbleweed, and the Southwest Wine Center. This event brings the finest wineries, breweries, spirits, and restaurants together for locals and visitors to enjoy, highlighting Clarkdale’s community and Verde Valley.

While attending, expect to see guest viticulture lecturers, live music from Arizona bands, and local Clarkdale art, taking your experience beyond your palate. With each day of the festival highlighting new restaurants, music, artists and guest speakers, you’ll never be bored, finding new tastes and making new friends simultaneously.

If you’re unable to attend, don’t fret! You can always stop at the Chateau Tumbleweed wine-tasting room, which is open year-round. At Chateau Tumbleweed, you can sample and buy the company’s wine—a great souvenir from your time in Arizona.

Verde Valley Wine Festival

Address: Clarkdale Park, Coconino National Forest, 1001 Main St, Clarkdale, AZ 86324

Price: from 35 USD

Contact: +1 (928) 649-2007

Website: Verde Valley Wine Festival

10. Clarkdale Kayak Company

Posted by Clarkdale Kayak Co. on Sunday, 26 March 2017

If you’re searching for adventure, explore Arizona’s natural scenery with the Clarkdale Kayak Company. Here, you can kayak with a guide who is well-versed in the history of the area and will help you at your level to travel safely through this Level 1 river (no true white-water). Expect to spend about 2 ½ hours on the river, cruising past 900-year-old Sinagua ruins.

The adventure takes place under a cool canopy of willow trees, where you’ll get to view the forested riparian zone that makes up over 75 percent of Arizona’s biodiversity—but that’s not all. The Verde River winds through red rocks, canyons, lush desert forests, and a wide variety of unique wildlife, making up a magical experience you’ll remember for a lifetime. Keep in mind that camping, fishing, swimming, and paddle boarding are also available on the river so that you can fully immerse yourself in Arizona’s lush ecosystem.

After your kayaking adventure, be sure to unwind at the station, where you can enjoy a meal and some drinks while recollecting your latest adventure.

Clarkdale Kayak Company

Address: 920 Main St., Clarkdale, AZ 86324 |

Price: from 86.40 USD

Opening Hours: 8 am - 5 pm daily

Contact: +1 (800) 478-4711

Website: Clarkdale Kayak Company

11. Verde Canyon Railroad Wilderness Route

SPECIAL this week at Verde Canyon Railroad: Call us now at 800-320-0718, use the code “EAGLE”, and receive a 20%...

Posted by Verde Canyon Railroad on Thursday, 2 February 2017

If you’re unable to explore Arizona by water, or simply want a more relaxed ride, you can always view the surrounding wilderness by taking the Verde Canyon Railroad Wilderness Route. This train takes you on a tour through the surrounding environment of Clarkdale, where you can see nearby ruins without having to drive or hike. The train features first class, coach, locomotive and caboose seating, ranging in price and seating availability. All ages are welcome, allowing families to spend time exploring Arizona together.

You’ll be further charmed by Clarkdale back at the train depot where you can eat at the Copper Spike Café, buy gifts at the gift shop, learn more about Arizona’s locomotive history at the John Bell Museum, or pick out the perfect private label wines at the Whistle Stop at Milepost 38.

Verde Canyon Railroad

Address: 300 N. Broadway, Clarkdale AZ 86324

Price: from 64.95 USD

Contact: +1 (800) 582-7245

Website: Verde Canyon Railroad

12. Tuzigoot National Monument

Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale, Arizona
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

While you will see plenty of ruins from the train and kayak, you can always hike right up to the Tuzigoot National Monument, situated right outside of Clarkdale. Adventure and learning is yours to discover at this ancient pueblo built by the Sinagua people. Here, you can explore the museum and spend time with a ranger to learn more about the people that used to live in the pueblo.

The pueblo itself consists of 110 rooms, with some of the structure partially reconstructed to give modern viewers a better understanding of the people who lived there. The Tuzigoot tower room is an example of said reconstruction, literally towering over the rest of the structure in a majestic display of human ingenuity from 1000 years ago. While on your hike, don’t be surprised to run into some of Arizona’s wildlife, including bobcats, birds of prey, and snakes. At the Tuzigoot museum, you can view Sinagua artifacts and learn more about how the people lived. If you’re unable to visit the monument in person, you can always take a virtual tour of the structure and view the artifacts here.

Tuzigoot National Monument

Address: 25 Tuzigoot Rd, Clarkdale, AZ 86324

Price: from 10 USD

Opening Hours: Open daily from 8am to 5pm

Contact: +1 (928) 634-5564

Website: Tuzigoot National Monument

Nearby options

13. Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user jason shultz used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Dead Horse Ranch State Park has a quirky history of how it got its name. It was once owned by the Ireys family who found a dead horse on the vast ranch when they bought it in the 1940s. They sold a huge portion of the land to the Arizona State Park in 1973 on the condition that the name of the ranch be retained. It is located in Cottonwood, across and adjacent to Verde River. Being in the center, it’s a great home base when visiting Arizona’s historic parks, national monuments, Oak Creek Canyon, national forests, and more. It officially opened in 1977, and its verdant landscape is perfect for camping, biking, horseback riding, and hiking trails. Their rich wildlife is where you will find exotic animals such as whitetail deer, red-spotted toad, Gambel’s quail, gray fox, and more.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Address: 675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, United States

Website: Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

14. Coyote Trails Golf Course

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

It's about that time to make your tee time @ www.coyotetrailsgolfcourse.com! #golf #PGA #playmoregolf

Posted by Coyote Trails Golf Course on Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Golf aficionados will find Coyote Trail Golf Course a pleasantly challenging golf course to play on. The lovely golf greens are at the foot of Mingus Mountains surrounded by a lush green carpet and floral landscape that remains vibrant all-year. Play your games from September to November when the weather is nice. This 9-hole golf course is a par-33 with challenging levels for all kinds of golfers. The course twists through Mescal Gulch and extends to the gated community of On the Greens.

Coyote Trails Golf Course

Address: 1480 Annas Ave, Cottonwood, AZ 86326, United States

Website: Coyote Trails Golf Course

Opening hours: 7am - 6pm (daily)

Price: From 17 USD

15. And much more

Beyond Tuzigoot, Clarkdale lies in the center of several national and state parks, including Montezuma’s Castle, Walnut Canyon, and Red Rock State park.

Montezuma’s Castle National Monument is located 34 minutes from the town and is known as one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. Built 800 years ago, the “castle” is actually a 20-room high-rise apartment, nestled in the side of a limestone cliff and overlooking the Arizona landscape. While visitors are no longer permitted to enter the castle, you can view the inside structure virtually online here.

Similar to Tuzigoot, you can visit the Walnut Canyon National Monument, a trail that goes through a beautiful canyon, but also holds more cliff dwellings and pueblos used by ancient peoples. This monument is about 90 minutes away from Clarkdale, so if you’re looking for something closer, you might try Red Rock State Park, only 30 minutes out of Clarkdale.

Red Rock State Park is a magnificent display of Arizona’s red mountains, allowing you to walk on winding trails, through the park. Bird watching is a popular activity here and is a great way for visitors to interact with their environment and experience Arizona first hand.

Montezuma Castle

Address: Coconino National Forest, Montezuma Castle Rd, Camp Verde, AZ 86335

Price: from 10 USD

Opening Hours: Open Daily: 8 am - 5 pm

Contact: +1 (928) 567-3322

Website: Montezuma Castle

Walnut Canyon

Address: Coconino National Forest, 3 Walnut Canyon Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004

Price: from 8 USD

Opening Hours: November-June: 9 am - 5 pm; June-October: 8 am - 5 pm

Contact: +1 (928) 526-3367

Website: Walnut Canyon

Red Rock State Park

Address: Coconino National Forest, 4050 Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336

Price: from 7 USD

Opening Hours: 8 am - 5 pm; Last entry at 4:30 pm; Visitor Center 9 am - 4:30 pm

Contact: +1 (928) 282-6907

Website: Red Rock State Park

Experience Clarkdale

Whether you’re planning on staying in Clarkdale this summer, or just passing through, know that you’ll never lack for adventure and exploration in this small Arizona city. From cultural exploration to kayaking through the state, to stunning ruins, Clarkdale provides an outlet for all. For more information about the attractions, Clarkdale, and planning your visit, check out the following link. Hope to see you there!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Haley has been writing stories since she was five, but did not decide to be a full-time writer until her college years. She studied English and Biology at Eastern New Mexico University and has...Read more

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