We are only 45 minutes from Jerome, Prescott, Flagstaff, and Sedona. While you’re enjoying Jackpot Ranch, here are some fun nearby attractions:
Montezuma’s Well: Montezuma’s well is a sinkhole, a collapsed underground limestone cavern filled with water. More than a million gallons of water a day flow continuously, providing a lush, verdant oasis in the midst of surrounding desert grassland. Montezuma’s Well is 368 feet across and 55 feet deep. Locating the source of the well’s water has researchers baffled. No connection has been established between the well’s water and any other water source in the area. The well is a unique ecosystem with several plants and animals found nowhere else on earth. Due to the high concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide, 600 times higher than most natural aquatic environments, it affords unique conditions for scientific studies of plant and animal interactions not found anywhere else. This rich supply of dissolved CO2, hence lack of oxygen, have precluded aquatic animals from living in these waters, especially fish.
Tuzigoot: Known as an ancient pueblo built by a culture known as the Sinagua, this historic site is located on a hilltop near the Verde River. As a large pueblo, this remarkable site is three stories high and contained 110 rooms. The first buildings were built around A.D 1100, and were inhabited until around A.D 1400 when they were abandoned by the Sinagua. Today this monument is currently comprised of 42 acres and is a beautiful historic place to visit.
Fort Verde Historic State Park: This beautiful park is known as being one of the best preserved examples of an Indian War period in Arizona. Once home to officers, doctors, families, enlisted men and scouts, the Verde State Historic Park was established in 1865. It was known as Camp Lincoln until 1890 when it finally became Fort Verde. Fort Verde was the primary base for General George Crook’s U.S Army scouts and soldiers. Today, visitors can explore three historic house museums, the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, Bachelors’ and Doctor’s Quarters, and all of the antique furniture that were furnished in the 1880’s period. There are also exhibits containing artifacts on military life, Indian Scouts, and Indian Wars history. All of these historic displays can be seen by visiting the Fort Verde Historic State Park.
Verde Canyon Railroad: Here’s is an old-fashioned train that lets you ride in comfort as you explore the most secluded and amazing scenery in Arizona. This experience through the Verde River Canyon visits areas that are only accessible by train. The Verde Canyon Railroad takes its passengers passed unforgettable desert cliffs and an abundant amount of wildlife while traveling in open-air viewing cars. This railroad trip is a great opportunity for seeing new sites and for taking amazing pictures of Arizona.
Out of Africa Wildlife Park: Located in Camp Verde, this wildlife park is placed on 104 acres of beautiful open land near Mingus Mountain. This park is home to over 400 animals and is very similar to the African environment. Out of Africa Park also includes a gift shop that reveals the interest of the animals, nature, and culture of Africa shown throughout the park.
Cliff Castle Casino: Only 1.5 miles from Jackpot Ranch in the historic Camp Verde area, this attraction offers live poker, slots, black jack, and dining at several different restaurants. In addition, there are several gift shops, live entertainment, and even a bowling center with 20 lanes.
Montezuma Castle National Monument: This 12th Century Sinagua Cliff Dwelling is one of the best preserved landmarks in all of North America. This monument stands five stories high and consists of twenty rooms and it once served as a “high rise apartment building” for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. It is one of the Camp Verde’s major attractions with 823,489 visitors touring it per year.
Verde River: Jackpot Ranch has frontage on the Verde River. The Verde River runs 200 miles along three national forests and is the only federally designated wild and scenic river in Arizona. The majority of the upper and lower Verde River passes through National Forestlands that is open to public recreation of all kinds. The experience of a lifetime awaits the paddlers wishing to canoe or kayak down this amazing stretch of water.
Beasley Flat Recreation: If you enjoy a relaxing picnic, then the Beasley Flat Recreation area is your destination. It is a popular place to unload canoes and rafts for traveling down the Verde River. Just a few miles south of Camp Verde, it can be reached by heading South on Salt Mine Road for approximately five miles. This picnic area has seven sites to set up camp and enjoy the beautiful scenery that Arizona has to offer.
Verde Hot Spring: This spring was once a thriving resort complete with a hotel and several baths, but today all that remains are two pools of water built on the side of a mountain. These pools were created during the construction of the resort many years ago. The main pool overlooks the Verde River giving this spot a beautiful view. If you are a hiker, there are some good campsites along the trail to the hot springs to hike and explore. As a result, the Hot Spring is also good for a hike during the day or even an overnight pack trip.
Directions to Hike: From Jackpot Ranch, head south bound on I-17. Get on the 260 (General Crook Trail) heading east towards Payson. Just on the outskirts of Camp Verde, you will cross Clear Creek, then will pass East Canyon Drive and then Lazar Road, Will then turn right on next road which is forest Road 708/Fossil Creek Road. Drive on this road for an unknown distance around 6 -10 miles until you reach Forest Road 502, then turn right towards Childs – this Forest Road is marked by a Forest Service sign for Childs Power Plant and the Verde River. Travel on this road for about 6 miles, passing Stehr Lake and descending into the drainage of the Verde River. The road will dead end at the Childs Power Plant parking-and-camping area. Be sure to stay straight at the sign for the hot spring and do not turn right toward the power plant. From the parking-and-camping area look for a small trail at the top of the campground (away from the river). This trail will lead you over a small wooden bridge across water from the power plant. From here, stay on the main trail. After about one-quarter mile, turn right uphill, following a sign for the hot-spring trail. This trail takes you up to a small dirt road which parallels the river. The road will pass a stock corral and descend next to the river. From here, look across the river for the remains of the old resort (a large stone wall). Cross the river here and head for the ruins. The hot springs are slightly downstream from this crossing, at the base of a cliff.
Verde Valley Wineries: Verde Valley, Arizona’s wine country is under-discovered, but the people who have been to the region and tasted the great wine it produces can attest to its excellence. Over the past 9 years, the Verde Valley has seen the birth of vineyards and wineries nestled in between the communities of Cottonwood, Jerome, Clarkdale, Camp Verde and Sedona. The high elevation, rich volcanic earth, and mild climate make it ideal for wine grape growing. Northern Arizona wines have won wine competitions in Napa Valley, prevailing over wines from California, Washington, Europe and other parts of the wine world. What better way to enjoy a day or more than touring the wineries, tasting rooms, area attractions and the great restaurants and bistros that dot the landscape?