Historic Fort Verde State Park is located in North Central Arizona. This small day-use park in Camp Verde features a museum, historic buildings, demonstration gardens, a visitor center and picnic areas. Guests are able to glimpse into the past while appreciating the natural beauty of the area and the surrounding cliffs.
This Arizona state park was established in 1970 as a way to preserve this Apache Wars-era fort for future generations to experience. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.
Activities at Fort Verde State Historic Park
While visiting the Camp Verde area stop in for the day and take your time exploring the historic buildings, museum and gardens at Fort Verde State Historic Park.
The museum’s interactive displays and staged scenarios are a must see for anyone interested in Arizona’s military history. And the visitor center’s gift shop carries books, guides and souvenirs. Living history programs create a more meaningful visit and are available for groups when booked in advance.
Here are some more activities that you can do during your visit to Fort Verde State Historic Park:
History at Fort Verde State Historic Park
When you visit Fort Verde State Historic Park you get to take a visit into the past and experience what life may have been like for frontier soldiers living here during the mid to late 1800s. This fort was a base for Gen. Crook’s US Army scouts and soldiers and is one of the best-preserved examples of an Indian Wars-period fort.
Many enlisted men, officers, scouts, doctors and their families lived at this fort. There were also voluntary military groups that resided here. These units were made up of mostly Mexican recruits that were known for being fierce fighters and often marched barefoot.
When this fort was originally built it contained 22 buildings around a parade ground. Now reenactments are held yearly onsite. Fort Verde Days offer visitors a chance to experience what life was like here during the 1890s.
Museum & Gift Shop at Fort Verde State Historic Park
The main museum area is housed inside the former Military Headquarters and features interpretive exhibits, artifacts and historic photos. Here you will find information on and the possessions of many soldiers, Indian Scouts, settlers, doctors and Native Americans.
Fort Verde State Historic Park also has 3 historic 1880s period houses. These museums are located on Officers Row and highlight the Commanding Officers Quarters, the Bachelors’ Quarters and the Doctors and Surgeons Quarters.
Wildlife Viewing at Fort Verde State Historic Park
The nearby mountains, river, desert and greenways offer visitors the chance to see many different species during their stay in the area. Hawks, great blue heron, eagles, black hawks, deer, squirrels, ducks, coyotes, foxes, javelinas, frogs are just some of these many species.
The vegetable garden inside the park features a Native American planting practice known as the ‘three sisters method.’ Corn, beans and squash are planted together so that they can shade and support one another as they grow. This method ensured a good harvest for the early natives.
Become a Junior Ranger at Fort Verde State Historic Park
Junior Ranger Pledge: ‘As an Arizona State Parks Junior Ranger, I pledge to help the park rangers protect and preserve habitat, wildlife, and help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.’
Encourage younger generations to do their part and help preserve the beauty of the parks for future visitors. If your child is between the ages of 6-12 they can become a Junior Ranger at Fort Verde State Historic Park.
All they need to do is download and complete the Junior Ranger Activity Sheet and then request a Junior Ranger booklet at the park’s visitor center once you’ve arrived at the park. Complete each of the activities during your stay.
When all of the activities have been completed report back to a Park Ranger who will swear your Junior Ranger in and award them with a Junior Ranger Button. Kids can become a Junior Ranger at most Arizona State Parks and earn each park’s unique Junior Ranger Button. Check out the For Kids section on each park’s website.
Pets at Fort Verde State Historic Park
Pets are allowed at Fort Verde State Historic Park but must be attended to at all times and kept on a leash no longer than six-feet. Pets are not allowed inside facility buildings (service animals are not considered pets). Please clean up after your pet.
Lodging Near Fort Verde State Historic Park
There are many places to stay overnight near Fort Verde State Historic Park. Here are a few of the many options nearby:
Verde River RV Resort & Cottages
Year round campsites and cabins only 5 miles from Fort Verde State Historic Park. This riverside campground features fishing, boat rentals, a dog park, pool, clubhouse, shaded picnic areas and more.
Comfy rooms, free breakfast and a pool just minutes away.
Cliff Castle Casino Hotel
If you’re looking for somewhere unique to stay check out this 6-story, 122 room hotel with casino, restaurants and indoor pool.
Attractions Near Fort Verde State Historic Park
Dead Horse Ranch State Park
This nearby state park (19 miles) lies along the Verde River and has a campground, camping cabins and trails.
Verde River Greenway State Natural Area
Beautiful area adjacent to Dead Horse Ranch State Park and more opportunities for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking and birdwatching.
Out of Africa Wildpark Wildlife park and zoo nearby.
Park & Facility Hours
10:00 am – 4:00 pm Daily
Park Entrance Fees
– Adult (14+): $7.00
– Youth (7–13): $4.00
– Child (0–6): FREE
Fort Verde State Historic Park
125 E Hollamon St
Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Here is a short YouTube video giving a lesson on the history of Fort Verde State Historic Park: