Verde River, Beaver Creek

Verde River, Beaver Creek featured image

Gold, russet, and sepia hues cradle the Verde River as it winds over 190 miles through Arizonan canyons and desert valleys. As one of the last free flowing rivers in the state, the Verde River provides water to the Phoenix area’s four million residents and is an untapped playground for nearby communities. From canoeing through large pools to fishing river trout to whitewater rafting during wet seasons, the river is becoming an increasingly popular recreational destination. The upper 40 mile stretch of the river has achieved the Wild and Scenic River status—one of two rivers in Arizona to achieve the same—and is publicly accessible as part of the Prescott National Forest. However, as the river continues south, there are still very few places where the public can connect to the river due to rugged and deep cliffs.

Trust for Public Land has been working to safeguard critical land along the Verde River to protect wildlife habitat and increase public access for residents and visitors alike. As part of our Verde River Program, we’ve conserved 58 acres at the meeting point of the Verde River and Beaver Creek, one of the river’s important tributaries. As an addition to the Coconino National Forest, this land is an important part of the local community’s vision to promote and enhance the area’s eco-tourism and biodiversity. With plans to create a network of trails—along the river and to the national forest—conserving these spaces will help the nearby town of Camp Verde establish recreational and economic development with increased visitors, better river access, and trail connectivity.