|Verde River (Haka'he:la)|
Near Clarkdale along Sycamore Canyon Road
|County||Yavapai, Gila, Maricopa|
|- left||Tangle Creek, Granite Creek|
|- right||Sycamore Creek, Wet Bottom Creek, East Verde River, Fossil Creek, Oak Creek|
|- location||near Paulden, Yavapai County|
|- elevation||4,354 ft (1,327 m) |
|- location||near Fountain Hills, Maricopa County|
|- elevation||1,325 ft (404 m) |
|Length||170 mi (274 km)|
|Basin||6,615 sq mi (17,133 km2)|
|Discharge||for near Scottsdale, 1 mile (1.6 km) from the mouth|
|- average||602 cu ft/s (17 m3/s) |
|- max||127,000 cu ft/s (3,596 m3/s)|
|- min||0 cu ft/s (0 m3/s)|
The Verde River (Yavapai: Haka'he:la) is a major tributary of the Salt River in the U.S. state of Arizona. It is about 170 miles (270 km) long and carries a mean flow of 602 cubic feet per second (17.0 m3/s) at its mouth. It is one of the largest perennial streams in Arizona.
The river begins below the dam at Sullivan Lake, fed by Big Chino Wash and Williamson Valley Wash in Yavapai County. The Verde flows freely for 125 miles (201 km) through private, state, tribal and United States Forest Service lands, specifically the Tonto National Forest, before encountering the first of two dams that make Horseshoe Lake and Bartlett Lake. The cities of Camp Verde, Clarkdale and Cottonwood are the main population centers along the river. The Verde River and the Salt River meet near Fountain Hills. The Salt River flows into the Gila River west of Phoenix.
In 1984 the United States Congress designated 40.5 miles (65.2 km) of the Verde River as Wild and Scenic through the National Wild and Scenic River program. The Scenic portion begins at Beasley Flats and extends downstream about 19 miles (31 km) to the northern boundary of the Mazatzal Wilderness. The Wild portion extends from there to the mouth of Red Creek, about 22 miles (35 km) further downstream.
In 1986, a 6-mile (10 km) stretch of the river was identified by the state of Arizona as a critical natural resource. This reach of the Verde River and its associated riparian zone, between the town of Clarkdale (near the Tuzigoot National Monument) and the Bridgeport State Route 89A Bridge, became part of the Arizona State Parks system. The park, called the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area, encompasses 480 acres (190 ha). Dead Horse Ranch State Park, near Cottonwood, is adjacent to the Greenway.
North American beaver (Castor canadensis) were trapped "with considerable success" on the Verde River by fur trappers led by Ewing Young, and including Kit Carson, dating to 1829. Edgar Alexander Mearns wrote in his 1907 naturalist survey “Mammals of the Mexican Boundary of the United States" that beaver were present on nearly all streams of the Colorado Basin. Re-introductions of beaver in recent times have transformed even small desert streams into robust riparian habitat, increasing species abundance and diversity.
Floating the Verde River in rafts and kayaks is a popular pastime as it runs through scenic valleys and the Mazatzal Wilderness. The facilities described below are maintained by the Tonto National Forest authority.
Area Below Horseshoe Lake: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, carp, bullfrogs – 12 fishable miles
- List of Arizona rivers
- List of National Wild and Scenic Rivers
- List of tributaries of the Colorado River
- Source elevation derived from Google Earth search using GNIS source coordinates.
- "Verde River". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. February 8, 1980. Retrieved October 17, 2012.
- "Water-Data Report 2011: 09511300 Verde River Near Scottsdale, AZ" (PDF). United States Geological Survey. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- "Verde River, Arizona". National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Retrieved November 11, 2012.
- "Verde Wild and Scenic River Comprehensive River Management Plan" (PDF). United States Department of Agriculture. 2004. p. 3. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
- "Verde River Greenway State Natural Area". Arizona State Parks. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- "Dead Horse Ranch State Park". Arizona State Parks. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- Christopher D. Carrillo, David L. Bergman, Jimmy Taylor, Dale Nolte, Patrick Viehoever, Mike Disney (2009). "An Overview of Historical Beaver Management in Arizona". In J. R. Boulanger. Proceedings of the 13th WDM Conference. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- Seth Ring (2009). "Wildlife at Work: Beaver, Otter and Native Fish on the Verde River". The Nature Conservancy. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- Arizona Fishin' Holes. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Game and Fish Department. 2010. p. 54. Retrieved November 21, 2011.