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A 2012 Centennial Town

"A Place That Makes Sense"

 

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HOURS OF OPERATION:

Monday - Thursday

8:00am - 5:30pm

Friday

8:00am - 12:00pm

Closed Saturday & Sunday

ADDRESS:

P.O. Box 308

39 North Ninth Street

Clarkdale, AZ 86324

PHONE:

(928) 639- 2400

Fax:  (928) 639-2409

TTY: 1-800-367-8939

 

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 Verde River @ Clarkdale

 

The Verde River – A Treasured Arizona Resource


The Verde River is a treasured resource in the State of Arizona.

It is one of the desert’s few free flowing rivers sustaining a large

wildlife population and lush riparian community. The Verde and

its adjacent plant communities provide food and shelter for the

wildlife traveling along its banks. This river corridor remained

virtually unchanged except by nature’s actions until the discovery

of valuable deposits of gold, silver and copper in the nearby

mountains in the 1800’s. Then came large mining operations,

processing plants, cattle grazing, diverse agriculture operations,

and later gravel operations in the Verde.

 

As Arizona’s only Wild and Scenic River, the Verde’s mood varies

from gentle meanders to white-water rapids as it winds through

mountains, upland plains and desert valleys of central Arizona.

As much of it flows through federally and state managed land,

the Verde provides unique recreational

opportunities, including hiking, bird-

watching, fishing, and kayaking. Rich in

natural beauty, the upper Verde and its

tributaries support extensive woody riparian and wetland vegetation that provides critical

habitat for native fish, birds and mammals, including several federally endangered and

threatened species.


The upper Verde River originates in Yavapai County, Arizona, east of Paulden from a series of

springs in the remote and rugged upper canyons below Sullivan Lake. Most of the first 22

miles of the Verde’s base flow is dependent on these springs, fed by interconnected aquifers

in the Big Chino basin. Below Perkinsville, the Verde is joined by additional springs and the

ephemeral tributaries of Granite Creek, Big Chino Wash, Hell Canyon, and Sycamore Canyon

(located at mile 37 on the river). The first site on the Verde River @ Clarkdale project is the

Lower TAPCO River Access Point, which is located at mile 45. Downstream, at mile 48, is the Tuzigoot River

Access Point owned by Arizona State Parks and cooperatively managed by the Town of Clarkdale as the bottom

anchor of the Verde River @ Clarkdale project.


Perennial tributaries—Oak Creek (river mile 62), Wet Beaver Creek (river mile 74), and West Clear Creek

(river mile 82)—as well as ephemeral washes, feed the middle Verde River. Below a 40-mile stretch designated

as Wild and Scenic, the Horseshoe and Bartlett dams form two major reservoirs before the lower Verde joins

the Salt River south of the Town of Fountain Hills, AZ.


The 140-mile Verde drains 6,615 square miles of Arizona, and is prone to flooding. Until the 1890s, the riparian

zone was, in places, over a mile wide, creating a series of marshes and sloughs that provided habitat for a variety

of plants and animals. Peck’s Lake and Tavasci Marsh, in Clarkdale, are abandoned meanders of the ancestral

Verde River. A severe flood event in 1983 incised the river channel. The largest flood on record for the Verde

occurred on February 20, 1993. That event measured 53,200 cfs at the USGS’s Clarkdale Stream Flow Gauge.

 

 


Verde River @ Clarkdale Main Page


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