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Hikes in Clarkdale: A Guide to Hitting the Best Trails

Top 5 Hikes in Clarkdale: A Guide to Hitting the Best Trails

If you’re searching for the best hikes in Clarkdale, AZ, you’re in luck. This charming town, located just a short drive from Cottonwood, offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and exploring the great outdoors. With its marked trails among towering red rock formations to lush desert landscapes, Clarkdale guarantees an excellent time for hikers of all ages.

Here are the top five hikes in Clarkdale that promise breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.


Best Hikes in Clarkdale

The hiking trails described in this article are conveniently located within a 5 to 30-minute drive from Clarkdale, Arizona.

Tuzigoot National Monument Trail

Tuzigoot National Monument Trail is just a 5-minute drive from Clarkdale. It offers a glimpse into the area’s rich Native American history. This easy 1.3-mile loop trail takes you through the remnants of a thousand-year-old Sinagua pueblo perched atop a hill. As you hike, marvel at the well-preserved ruins and enjoy stunning views of the Verde Valley and the surrounding mountains.

Tuzigoot National Monument - Hikes in Clarkdale
Tuzigoot National Monument – Pueblo Ruin

Lime Kiln Trail

One of the standout hiking trails near Clarkdale is the Lime Kiln Trail, which offers a unique glimpse into the area’s industrial past. This historic trail takes you on a fascinating journey through remnants of the town’s lime kiln industry. As you hike along the trail, you’ll encounter well-preserved lime kilns. They were used to produce lime for mortar and other industrial purposes. 

The trail is approximately 15 miles round trip, but you can hike a shorter portion if preferred. Along the way, you will see stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including majestic red rock formations. The trail is marked and offers plenty of shade, making it an enjoyable experience even during the warmer months. 

Lower Raptor Hill and Bones Loop

For those seeking a more challenging and adventurous hiking experience, Lower Raptor Hill and Bones Loop Trail is a great option. Located within the Tavasci Marsh area, this 8.1-mile-long trail offers a mix of rugged terrain and stunning views. 

The trail takes you on a loop that explores unique geological formations and the diverse flora and fauna of the area. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife sightings, as the area is known to be 

home to various bird species and other desert creatures. You’ll also see panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscapes, including the Verde Valley and Clarkdale. 

 With its challenging inclines and rocky terrain, this trail is best suited for experienced hikers who are up for an adventure. 

Verde River Greenway Trail

The Verde River Trailhead near Clarkdale offers an idyllic starting point for this hike. This 2-mile-long trailhead meanders through the river and serves as a gateway to the Verde River Greenway. The Verde River Greenway is a lush riparian habitat teeming with wildlife and natural beauty.

This hike provides breathtaking waterway views, towering cottonwood trees, and vibrant vegetation. As you hike, you’ll have opportunities to spot various bird species and may even catch a glimpse of other wildlife, such as deer or beavers.

With its easy-to-moderate difficulty level, the Verde River Greenway Trail suits hikers of all skill levels, including families with kids.

Banks of Verde River from Train - Photo Credit Verde Canyon Railroad flickr
Banks of Verde River from Train – Photo Credit Verde Canyon Railroad flickr

Mingus Mountain Trail

One of the best hiking trails near Clarkdale is at the trailhead of Mingus Mountain, known for its stunning scenery and diverse terrain. As you begin your 18.8-mile journey, you’ll find well-marked trails catering to beginners and experienced hikers.

The main trail takes you through breathtaking landscapes, offering shaded areas, picnic tables, and ample parking for convenience. Watch for the diverse bird species that call this region home as you traverse the trails.

The visitor center at the park provides useful information about the trails and the surrounding area, ensuring that you have a fun and memorable time.

Safety Tips for Hiking in Clarkdale

Before you set out on your hiking adventure in Clarkdale, keeping a few safety tips in mind is important. These guidelines will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience:

Plan and Prepare for Your Hikes in Clarkdale

Research the trail you plan to hike, including its difficulty level and any necessary permits or regulations. Check the weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing, gear, and plenty of water.

Stay on the Trails

Stick to designated trails to protect the delicate desert ecosystem and prevent getting lost. Following trail markers and signs will keep you on the right path and minimize the risk of accidents.

Wear Proper Footwear

Choose sturdy, comfortable hiking shoes or boots with good traction and ankle support. This will help prevent slips, falls, and injuries.

Wear Sun Protection

Protect yourself from the Arizona sun by wearing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The desert heat can be intense, so you must shield yourself from harmful UV rays and stay hydrated.

Carry Essential Supplies

Pack a backpack with essentials such as a trail map, a first aid kit, snacks, a flashlight, and a whistle. These items can be invaluable in case of emergencies.

Hike with a Buddy

It’s always safer to hike with a companion, especially on more challenging trails. If hiking alone, inform someone about your plans and estimated return time, and share your location using a reliable tracking app.

Leave No Trace

Respect nature and leave the trail as you found it. Carry out any trash and avoid disturbing wildlife or plants. Leave no trace of your presence, allowing others to enjoy the area’s pristine beauty.

As you can see, Clarkdale, Arizona, is a treasure trove of natural wonders and hiking opportunities. So, lace up your hiking boots, grab plenty of snacks and your camera, and embark on a memorable journey through the breathtaking landscapes of Clarkdale.

How to Find More Hiking in Clarkdale

For more information on hiking in Clarkdale, as well as outdoor recreation, be sure to visit

Relax on a Train Ride After Your Hike in Clarkdale

Looking for an unforgettable adventure in the Verde Valley? Treat yourself to a scenic ride after hiking or explore the area by train before embarking on your hiking adventure. Discover the beauty of the Verde Valley in a whole new way and create memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t miss out on this unique experience – plan your Verde Canyon Railroad train journey here!

Verde Canyon Railroad through Bridge - Photo Credit Verde Canyon Railroad via flickr
Verde Canyon Railroad through Bridge – Photo Credit Verde Canyon Railroad via flickr

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