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Clarkdale, Arizona
Public Works Building
Public Works Building
"A Place That Makes Sense"
Location of Clarkdale in Yavapai County, Arizona.
Location of Clarkdale in Yavapai County, Arizona.
Clarkdale is located in Arizona
Location in Arizona
Clarkdale is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Arizona
County Yavapai
 • Total 10.33 sq mi (26.74 km2)
 • Land 10.18 sq mi (26.36 km2)
 • Water 0.15 sq mi (0.38 km2)
3,545 ft (1,081 m)
 • Total 4,424
 • Density 434.66/sq mi (167.83/km2)
Time zone UTC-7 (MST)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 928
FIPS code 04-13890
GNIS feature ID 27687
Website Town of Clarkdale

Clarkdale (Yavapai: Saupkasuiva) is a town in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The Verde River flows through the town as does Bitter Creek, an intermittent tributary of the river. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town was 4,097.

Clarkdale, formerly a mining town, is now largely a retirement community and arts community.


Clarkdale was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his copper mine in nearby Jerome. Clarkdale was one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services, and was an early example of a planned community. The Clark Mansion, a local landmark, was built in the late 1920s by William Clark III, Clark's grandson and heir to the United Verde Copper Company. The structure, east of town across the Verde River near Pecks Lake, was destroyed in 2010 by a fire of "suspicious" origin.

The town center and business district were built in Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both still in use. The Clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire original town site is also on the National Register as the Clarkdale Historic District.

The mine and smelter closed in 1953, and Clarkdale entered hard times. Clarkdale was bought and sold by several different companies. In 1957, Clarkdale was incorporated as a town. The 1959 construction of the Phoenix Cement Company plant restored a modest prosperity to the community.

Clarkdale was a segregated town for much of its early history. Mexican and Mexican-American laborers were restricted to living in Patio Town (see neighborhoods), with a separate swimming pool and park; the town swimming pool was marked "whites only." Additionally, Upper Clarkdale was designated for engineers and executives, while Lower Clarkdale was for the "working class."

A portion of the Yavapai-Apache Nation is within Clarkdale's boundaries.

Geography and climate

According to the United States Census Bureau, Clarkdale has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19 km2), of which 7.3 square miles (19 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km2) is water.

Clarkdale is at 3,545 feet (1,081 m) above sea level at the confluence of Bitter Creek and the Verde River in Yavapai County, northern Arizona. The town is about 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Flagstaff and about 90 miles (140 km) north of Phoenix. Arizona Route 89A skirts the town on its south edge, while Historic Route 89A passes through Clarkdale. Nearby towns include Jerome, about 4 miles (6.4 km) to the southwest, and Cottonwood, about 4 miles (6.4 km) to the southeast.

Tuzigoot National Monument, a 42-acre (17 ha) Sinagua pueblo ruin, is between Clarkdale and Cottonwood, Arizona, on land donated to the National Park Service by Phelps Dodge in 1938.

Sycamore Canyon Wilderness lies several miles north of town. Sycamore Creek, which flows through the wilderness, enters the Verde River canyon about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) north-northwest of Clarkdale.

The average temperature in Clarkdale in January is 45 °F (7 °C), and in July it is 84 °F (29 °C). The highest recorded temperature for the town was 118 °F (48 °C) in 1994, and the lowest was 8 °F (−13 °C) in 1990. The wettest month is August, averaging about 2 inches (51 mm) of precipitation. In the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clarkdale has a tropical and sub-tropical steppe climate, abbreviated BSk on climate maps.

Little snow falls in Clarkdale. Between 1949 and 1977, Cottonwood, Clarkdale's close neighbor, received an average of about 4 inches (10 cm) of snow a year. About half of this fell in December. The average snow depth in Cottonwood during the period of record was reported as zero.

Climate data for Clarkdale, Arizona
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 60
Average low °F (°C) 30
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.16
Source: The Weather Channel


The Made in Clarkdale organization hosts an annual invitational art show each December in the Clark Memorial Clubhouse. The Verde Valley Theatre performs community theatre in Clark Memorial Clubhouse, and free concerts are offered in Clarkdale Park through the summer months.


Clarkdale's neighborhoods are not strictly defined, but include:

  • Upper Clarkdale, the oldest part of the historic section of town, from 9th Street/Miller's Hill west to 16th Street.
  • Lower Clarkdale, east of 9th Street/Miller's Hill, along Main Street to 4th Street and the railroad tracks.
  • Riverfront, between 4th Street/railroad and the Verde River (sometimes included in Lower Clarkdale).
  • Patio Town, across Bitter Creek between the train depot area and the river.
  • Centerville, the oldest development not in the historic site, along Avenida Centerville off of Arizona State Route 89A. Said to be named for its location at the geographical center of Arizona.
  • Foothills Terrace, a development west of Arizona State Route 89A along Lisa Street and Lanny Lane.
  • Black Hills, north of Black Hills Drive and west of Old Jerome Highway. Site of Yavapai College's Clarkdale campus.
  • Bent River, east of Broadway (Historic US Route 89A) along Bent River Road and Old Clarkdale Highway.
  • Verde Palisades, west of Broadway along Palisade Drive.
  • Giant's Grave, on a bluff north of Arizona State Route 89A along Panorama Way.
  • Newer developments, including Lampliter Village, Pine Shadows, Mingus Shadows, Mingus View Estates and Mountain Gate.
  • Individual homes in unsubdivided areas, including Haskell Springs, Hawk Hollow Way and Mescal Wash/Tavasci Road.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 2,435
1930 5,526 126.9%
1950 1,609
1960 1,095 −31.9%
1970 892 −18.5%
1980 1,512 69.5%
1990 2,144 41.8%
2000 3,422 59.6%
2010 4,097 19.7%
2020 4,424 8.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,422 people, 1,433 households, and 994 families residing in the town. The population density was 466.9 people per square mile (180.3/km2). There were 1,546 housing units at an average density of 210.9 per square mile (81.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 84.5% White, 0.3% Black or African American, 6.8% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.4% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. 11.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,433 households, out of which 22.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 7.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.82.

In the town, the population was spread out, with 21.5% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 26.0% from 45 to 64, and 25.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $34,911, and the median income for a family was $41,250. Males had a median income of $28,824 versus $21,811 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,441. About 7.4% of families and 10.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 7.0% of those age 65 or over.

Clarkdale became one of the municipalities in Arizona to recognize civil unions for same-sex partners and opposite-sex partners seeking a form of recognition other than marriage.


Clarkdale is the home of Clarkdale–Jerome School District, a one-school district that encompasses both Clarkdale and Jerome. The public school has enrollment from kindergarten to eighth grade. Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood encompasses Clarkdale for high school students. There are also charter schools in Cottonwood. In addition, Yavapai College has a community college campus in Clarkdale. The campus is home to the newly opened Southwest Wine Center.

Historically, Clarkdale had an elementary school, located in Lower Clarkdale, a junior high school, located at the top of Miller's Hill in Upper Clarkdale, and a high school, next to the junior high school. Clarkdale High School combined with Mingus High School in Jerome in 1960 to form Mingus Union High School, then located in Jerome. The combined high school adopted the name of the Jerome school and the colors of the Clarkdale school. The school then moved to Cottonwood in 1972. In 1983, the junior high school burned down. A new elementary school was built, becoming the K-8 school at 16th and Main Streets in Upper Clarkdale in 1985.

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