Welcome to Yavapai County
Yavapai County reflects the history of the old west and the future of the new. Remnants of U.S. Cavalry forts, Indian dwellings, gold rush boomtowns, abandoned mines, Spanish Land Grant ranches, homesteads and vast tracts of uninhabited public lands exist side by side with modern housing developments, industry and business here in the mountain heart of Arizona.
Traditional cowboys off the range, modern-day gold prospectors with metal detectors and those living a rustic lifestyle in the isolated areas of the County rub shoulders with artists, university, and college students, a large retirement population and families raising children in the small towns throughout the County. The City of Prescott is the County Seat with an annex of County offices located in the Town of Cottonwood in the Verde Valley.
Yavapai County is one of the four original Arizona counties formed in September of 1864, one year after the Arizona Territory was established. The County was named after the Yavapai Tribe, whose name means the “people of the sun.”
The County was originally 65,000 square miles and was called the “Mother of Counties” because Apache, Coconino, Gila, Maricopa and Navajo Counties were later formed from it. The territorial government was also born in Yavapai County, the capital being originally located in the County in the City of Prescott. With an area of 8,125 square miles, the County is larger than Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island and New Jersey. Yavapai County is approximately the same size as Massachusetts.
The terrain of the County varies from an elevation of 1,900 feet at its desert low to just under 8,000 feet on its mountain peaks. The diverse terrain includes grasslands, picturesque rock formations, high desert streams and mountain valleys. The major vegetation types in the County are grasslands, pinion-juniper, chaparral, desert grassland and desert scrub.
The climate varies from Sonora Desert in the lower elevations to mid-Canada at the higher elevations. The temperature variations from day-time high to night-time low throughout the year is about 35 degrees.
The County lies in the center of a 100-mile strip of Ponderosa pine forests which crosses the state from the northwest corner to the eastern boundary. The Prescott National Forest, as well as portions of the Coconino and Tonto National Forests, are within the County’s boundaries.
The bulk of the population and the labor force are located in the eight incorporated towns and cities – Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Jerome, Clarkdale, Sedona, Cottonwood, and Camp Verde. The County’s newest municipality is the Town of Dewey-Humboldt, which incorporated in 2004.
Industrial facilities are located in Clarkdale, Cottonwood, Prescott, Prescott Valley, and Chino Valley. There is plenty of developable land with varying levels of utility services located throughout Yavapai County.