In the heart of Arizona wine country, Cottonwood is the cultural, industrial, retail, medical and services center for the picturesque Verde Valley. The city is located an hour and a half north of Phoenix and one hour south of Flagstaff. In 1874, soldiers were stationed at an adobe house where Cottonwood stands today. Settlers began moving in and developing a community that took its name from a circle of 16 cottonwood trees near the Verde River. Cottonwood is near the geographic center of Arizona, just off interstate 17 on State Highways 89A and 260. From Phoenix to Cottonwood, visitors drive north to exit 287, then northwest on State Highway 260. From Flagstaff, they would drive south through the magnificent Oak Creek Canyon on State Highway 89A.

Principal Economic Activities

Cottonwood serves as the trading center for the Verde Valley, with a wide variety of retail, professional services and manufacturing establishments. The Verde Valley is the premiere destination to experience the burgeoning wine industry through the many tasting rooms and restaurants in Old Town. The Verde Valley Medical Center is one of the finest diagnostic and treatment centers in Arizona. The travel and tourism industry are also important to Cottonwood’s economy. Nearby national forests, state parks, national monuments and wilderness areas attract hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. Cottonwood was recognized by Lonely Planet as one of the top 10 U.S. travel destinations in 2013 and is the "Arizona Sustainable Growth City of the Decade" award-winner.

Scenic Attractions

The Verde River supports one of the state’s best riparian habitats. Riverfront Park and Dead Horse Ranch State Park provide access to the Verde River Greenway. Historic Old Town features many wine tasting rooms that showcase incredible Arizona wines. Main Street in Old Town also provides many choices for fine dining, hospitality and arts and cultural experiences. In the immediate vicinity of Cottonwood are many diverse attractions. Tuzigoot National Monument, a 550-year-old Sinaguan Native American ruin, and Montezuma Castle National Monument, an 11th-century cliff dwelling, give insight into the area’s pre-Columbian past. The Verde Canyon Railroad offers spectacular views into the remote Sycamore Canyon Wilderness. Natural attractions include the red rocks of Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon to the north and Prescott National Forest to the west, where the 7,700-foot Mingus Mountain is a mecca for hang gliding enthusiasts.

Community Facilities

Cottonwood has a library, a civic center, a new world-class recreation center, four parks, a swimming pool, multi-complex softball and baseball fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, a skate board park, an inline hockey facility, basketball courts, a disk golf course and two golf courses. The community also offers senior facilities such as skilled health care, supervisory care and retirement centers. Yavapai College provides exceptional higher education opportunities including its emerging viticulture and oenology programs at the Southwest Wine Center.

Basic Information

Founded 1879 Incorporated 1960
Elevation 3,320 ft. Location Yavapai County
Distance to major cities:
Phoenix 106 miles San Diego 450 miles
Tucson 217 miles Los Angeles 467 miles
Las Vegas 280 miles  


2000 2010 2021 (est.)
Cottonwood 9,179 11,238 12,185
Yavapai County 167,517 210,899 241,173
State of Arizona 5,130,632 6,401,569 7,285,370

Office of Economic Opportunity

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation


Cottonwood 3.00%
Yavapai County 0.75%
State 5.60%

Arizona Dept. of Revenue & Arizona Tax Research Foundation

Labor Force

2000 2010 2022
Civilian Labor Force 4,074 5,167 6,065
Unemployed 181 550 151
Unemployment Rate 4.4% 10.6% 2.5%

Office of Economic Opportunity

Workforce Education Attainment

Count Share
Less than high school 745 7.9%
High school or equivalent, no college 3,224 34.0%
Some college or Associate degree 3,573 37.7%
Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree 1,939 20.5%

American Community Survey

Industry (ranked by employment)

  Count Share
Arts, entertainment, food & recreation services 1,270 24.0%
Education, health care & social assistance 1,173 22.2%
Retail trade 549 10.4%
Professional, scientific, & administrative services 506 9.6%
Construction 369 7.0%
Other services, except public administration 352 6.7%
Manufacturing 347 6.6%
Finance, insurance & real estate 297 5.6%
Public administration 184 3.5%
Transportation, warehousing, & utilities 150 2.8%
Wholesale trade 92 1.7%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, & mining 0 0.0%
Information 0 0.0%

American Community Survey

This profile was prepared by the Arizona Commerce Authority in cooperation with local sources. For further information, please contact:

City of Cottonwood
Tricia Lewis
827 N. Main St.
Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Phone: 928-340-2729
Email: [email protected]
Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce
849 Cove Parkway
Suites B & C
Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Phone: 928-634-7593

Local First Arizona
407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: 602-956-0909
Email: [email protected]
Arizona Commerce Authority
Statewide Economic Development Group
100 N. 7th Ave., Suite 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-845-1200
Email: [email protected]

ACA has partnered with APS to provide you with Arizona Prospector, a free database to access available real estate opportunities in rural Arizona. Click here to access available properties in this community.