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Jail Trail-Cottonwood

If you are looking for an easy trail that goes by Verde River, the Jail Trail is an easy out and back trail for kids and parents. The whole trail is about 1.5 miles.

The trail is right off of Main Street in Cottonwood with easy parking nearby.

You could also pick up a map to go with you as well. Bathrooms were about an 1/8th of a mile down the road on E. Pima Street.

The wooden sign for the Jail Trail.

But why is it called the Jail Trail?

This site can explain it so much better!

At first you break through to this wide open field, and then enter the “woods” of cottonwood trees. It did make me feel a bit like hiking back home. Although, my allergies did start going HAYWIRE!

I have to admit, my plant knowledge in Arizona still isn’t the finest, so this still looks like a bunch of brush and mixed up plant stuff. So after a day up in Cottonwood, my mouth felt like..Cotton!

A Low hanging tree was perfect for all the kids to climb on and enjoy. We stayed at this tree for about ten minutes as the kids climbed on it and ducked under it!

And, obligatory selfie of Jana Tingom of Phoenix with Kids and I! Collaboration over Competition !

The River

But, we did find a fun place near the river for the kids to play for a while. The water was COLD! But, it was moving, which is one of my prerequisites for water play. Moving water-good! Not moving water=bacteria! You might be able to dip in.

Little pebbles, rocks and bubbles. Some areas were more clear than others. We didn’t see any fish or anything. We went on a beautiful day and there were no gnats or any flies! I was so happy about that.

Of course, I have a daredevil who wants to be on the river! He LOVED every moment of this. Just dangling over the river was the best part. The water was about 4 feet or so deep here. I could sort of see the bottom in some parts. Of course, it isn’t like a pool where it is a straight depth. There were some areas where it was 1′ deep. The kids had a lot of fun tossing in some rocks and stones, and trying to skip rocks.

And, we all made it out to the hike!


Bring good shoes. It is very, very sandy. Which means it probably floods pretty badly around this area. If you are going after a bad rain storm, I would postpone your trip to another time. We went during the most extreme dry summer ever. We had no monsoon storms to speak of in the valley, and I think Cottonwood did not get much rain either. So, the ground was extremely dry. Check in to local forecasts if you are headed up to the area to hike. If there is rain in the forecast, please be safe and cautious, as this area is most likely prone to flooding (by looking at the land!).

Otherwise, nice easy hike. Just be safe!

Check out our other post-Gold King Mine

The Basics

Jail Trail

1101 N Main Street Cottonwood, AZ

1 Comment

  1. Tuzigoot National Park - Surprise AZ Mom on October 26, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    […] get to Tuzigoot, you’ll pass through Cottonwood (Check out our post on the Jail Trail). There was one large sign off of S Broadway and then just a small sign that said Tuzigoot Rd, so […]

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