History, Heritage & Tradition

With nearly 10,000 years of human habitation by a diverse group of cultures, Camp Verde has long established, historic roots that spread throughout the Valley. The Sinagua, the Yavapai, the Apache, Spanish soldiers, and other settlers have each carved out their place in Camp Verde’s history, leaving behind legacies to be explored by enthusiasts and visitors to this region.


montezuma's castle

Once identified by President Theodore Roosevelt as a place “of the greatest ethnological value and scientific interest,” Montezuma’s Castle remains one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America. Although awe-inspiring sections with 45-50 rooms cannot be accessed by the public, the sight of this magnificent Sinagua structure is absolutely worth the trip. 

Photo Credit: Efren Lopez

Photo Credit: Efren Lopez

verde valley archaeology center

Request a museum tour by Director Ken Zoll and sign up for an exclusive interpretive hike to protected ruins. Or check out the self-guided Heritage Pathway trail to see ancestral gardens and glimpse the Native American way of life. It is always inspiring to catch one of VVAC’s concerts, Archaeology Fair, and cultural events, which showcase the richness of local tribal traditions, talent, and teachings. 


fort verde state historic park

Fort Verde State Historic Park is significant as the best surviving assemblage of Indian Wars era military architecture in the state. Once occupied by U.S. Army troops in the summer of 1870, The Fort was an active primary military base during the Central Arizona Indian Wars. Today, you can still see the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters, and a large collection of historic artifacts. 


historic building walking tour

Journey on a self-guided tour of some of Camp Verde’s most historic buildings, including the oldest commercial building in the Verde Valley. With more than thirteen historic sights within walking distance of the Camp Verde Historical Society, this manageable walk through downtown Camp Verde is filled with architectural and historical buildings and their stories of the past.


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camp verde historic society museum

Located in the Old Stone Schoolhouse in downtown Camp Verde, the Camp Verde Historical Society displays early pioneering exhibits along with a variety of photographs and artwork from past Camp Verde residents. You’ll also find the Visitor’s Center here, with a plethora of information to help guide your travels. Clear Creek Church and the Old Stone Jail also hold a piece of history for the area and are managed by the Museum.


historic irrigation ditches

Although not a common tourist attraction, the Camp Verde Irrigation Ditches are a treasured asset of the Verde Valley. Dating back from the late nineteenth century, each ditch is marked with a plaque and viewed with reverence by the locals for the water they continue to provide to farm fields, orchards, and lawns to this day. Take a little time out of your day, and partake in a little treasure hunt to see if you can find all five! The Verde Valley was also extensively farmed by the Sinagua, dating back thousands of years. Many of the irrigation ditches still used in Camp Verde were originally built by these very early residents.  


heritage sites

Many ancient cultures have been discovered by settlers in the Camp Verde area over the years. From stone pueblos and hand carved caves to preserved ruins and petroglyphs, Camp Verde’s multitude of Heritage sites provide an unparallelled look into the history and heritage of the region.


yavapai-apache nation culture resource center

Dedicated to providing cultural enrichment and preserving local tribal identities, the Center offers language classes, events, social dances, and youth education opportunities. Public exhibits and onsite Cultural Directors offer a one-of-a-kind introduction to the Yavapai-Apache people.