Often times when we think about boating in Northern Arizona, our minds turn instinctively to the Grand Canyon. At Ceiba we decided that the many smaller streams and lakes in our region that still offer great boating opportunities need a little appreciation too!
Periodically on our blog we will feature an exciting river, creek, or lake in our region that could easily be enjoyed using one of our duckies (inflatable kayaks), stand-up paddle boards, or our soon to arrive fleet of Jackson kayaks.
This week we are featuring one of Arizona’s true gems, the Verde River. The Verde runs freely for nearly125 miles until it reaches Horseshoe Dam, the first of two dams on the lower Verde River.
The water levels on the Verde vary wildly throughout the year and so does the boating conditions. The water levels spike in late winter and during monsoon season making for potentially epic whitewater so be sure to check the USGS water flow information site (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=az)
The most popular stretch’s for day trips are from White Bridge (in Camp Verde) to Beasley Flats (10 miles) and Beasley to Gap Creek (8 miles). While the section upstream of Beasley Flats is mostly flat, below Beasley there are a number of named rapids including Verde Falls. These can get technical but all of the rapids have well worn trails to portage if need be.
Below Gap Creek, the Verde flows another 8 miles to the Childs power plant river access where an abandoned hot-springs resort provides a great way to warm up after being on the water all day. After Childs it is 32 miles to the next road. Give yourself a few days to run this section, it is beautiful and runs through the Mazatzal Wilderness area, this section is well worth it but takes a bit more logistical planning. That’s what Ceiba is here for!
Ceiba’s NRS duckies are an ideal craft for the Verde, if an inflatable kayak doesn’t float your boat Ceiba also has Stand-up paddleboards and will soon have Northern Arizona’s only fleet of rental Jackson Kayaks!
Here are a couple of useful links to help get your start on the Verde!
Here is a great mile-by-mile river guide and map from Beasley Flats all the way to Horseshoe dam:
USGS AZ Water Data: http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=az