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Old 03-10-2010   #1
Fort Collins, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 40
Insider Verde Beta??

I'm heading to the Verde in a few weeks (put-in 3/2 and interested in any valuable information anyone might have. I've found some good info on the Web, as well as the USFS river map. But I haven't gotten hold of the ranger yet and wondering if anyone might be able to share information about what the shuttle is like, if hitchhiking is realistic, where to take out, and anything else relevant. I heard something about the January floods washing out roads and creating a portage. Any detail would be helpful. Thanks!

"Running rivers is the physical expression of intellectual passion."
-Richard Bangs 'The Lost River'
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Old 03-10-2010   #2
Fruita, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
the arizona kayakers use a yahoogroups forum called 'monsoonwarriors' and I think you have to join it to post, but if you do post there you should get response. I seem to recall the shuttle being a great big long bumpy gravel road without much traffic on it and traditionally you find someone near Camp Verde to drive your rig to the takeout and meet you there for a modest fee. I think the ranger there would know who to go to for the shuttle.

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Old 03-10-2010   #3
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 62
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Which run are you thinking of doing? Tyler William's book "Paddling Arizona" as well as the whitewater of the southern rockies book both have good info...the shuttle for the day stretches are long...really not feasibly hitch-able. So far as I know, the roads are still there...and there wasn't a whole lot more than a game trail to portage around the prefalls or the falls...pretty straightforward anyway.
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Old 03-10-2010   #4
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 06
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 450
if you are doing verde from Camp Verde down there is an AWESOME hot springs on the right one or 2 days into your float. It is just before you come to the first road crossing and signs of humanity. have fun and post a TR when you get back...
I've never boated before, but I have posted a lot on Mountain Buzz!
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Old 03-11-2010   #5
flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 89
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 148
The most common put-in is Beasley Flats at the end of Old Salt Mine Road in Camp Verde. This road is the road right before White Bridge on 260. If you hit the bridge go back to Old Salt Mine Road and head west. About 10 miles, the pavement will end and theres a left down to Beasley and a straight on dirt road up into the hills to Gap Creek. The road goes 20 miles? and ends at a Ranch with a turnaround side the creek. 1/4 mile or less to river down obvious trail. Be kind to the Ranchers as they aren't boaters and they are quite hospitable. For a daily run people commonly takeout at Gap Creek which is about an easy 45-60 minute shuttle from Beasley to Gap Creek. **The upper float white bridge to Beasley Flats is a backyard run most of the way and pretty mellow, time better spent downstream** 9 river miles
Beasley to Childs(18mish) can be run in a long day over 1000cfs but most do it in two. Start shuttle early, or the night before if you want to run in a day Childs Hot Springs on river right can be signaled by a ranch house on the river, then a palm tree and a cement manmade tub in the side of a cliff(rt run around the island). Definitely worth a stop. When the river is high you can have it all to yourself. When its low it can be a nasty zoo of strange folks. It should be especially clean this year as I think it went to 100,000cfs which scours it out like a billow pad. Beasley to Childs shuttle is a little longer because you have to backtrack old salt mine road and drive down fossil creek road to childs(east side of river). Both roads are 4X4 mandatory in the rain but otherwise beautiful when dry. There are sections of mud on both that clog any traction you have turning the shuttle into a slippery mess. The last section of the road is currently washed out. The next takeout is Sheeps Bridge or Horeshoe Lake. People typically do it in 4-7 days Beasley to the lake. Sheeps Bridge road is an easy landmark on the river to see but a pretty gnarly road in and out. The Horseshoe Lake road takes you into Cave Creek(nscottsdale).

There is a sign on the road now just before Beasley Flat for shuttle info from the local 20 homes right there. I'm sorry I don't have the info. I'll get it posted before 3/28 if someone else doesn't first. Most any day this season there is someone running a Gap creek you could hitch a ride back from Gap Creek where you could leave your vehicle. Most of the time people run down to the river and spill their schnedel everywhere then send some folks on the shuttle where you could follow and jump a ride back. Don't give up at 10 am, Flag folks show up at noon and run it all the time.
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Old 03-11-2010   #6
Fort Collins, CO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 40
Thanks for all the great info. We are planning to run 5 days from Beasley to the Reservoir. Do you recommend we take out at Sheep Bridge, or travel somewhere beyond on the Res? If there's shuttle services, we'll definitely do that over hitching. Any idea on cost per car?
"Running rivers is the physical expression of intellectual passion."
-Richard Bangs 'The Lost River'
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Old 03-11-2010   #7
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 33
So There I Was... Just a few days ago actually...

WOW, This might get a little long but I just got off the Verde and had one HELL of a trip. It was my first trip down the Verde there is some all right beta on the stretch on the buzz and from the NPS. I was itching to get in my boat, so a few buddies and I planed to run from Beasley Flats all the way to Horseshoe Reservoir, about 50-55 miles 5 days and 4 nights.

So where do I start…..

We pushed off from Beasley at about 2:00pm after some of the crew ran the shuttle….kind of. Well the weather was good and I believe the flow was at about 1400csf, and within the first 4 miles you hit the all the good rapids. First is “Off the Wall” and the “Pre Falls” and “Verde Falls”, we scouted the falls from river left and ran the river right, main channel line. We had a 13’ Hyside and a Super Puma both with center fames….so the Falls (river left) line really wasn’t an option. The run out of the falls is gorged but pretty friendly nevertheless.

That night at camp the rain started around 9:00pm and didn’t really stop. We pushed off the next day… the rain and started to watch the river rise. It was a long cold day but we knew that there were hot springs 17 miles from the put-in at Childs.

Past Gap Creek (which is a day run take out 7 miles from Beasley Flats, and there is a little over a ¼ mile hike from the river to the road) the river has a lot of different channels with wood, brush and trees, especially as the river was rising. At some corners the river would seem like it flowed through natural picket fences, some areas were straightforward and some weren’t. The problem was it’s hard to scout most areas just to find the right or safe channel because the vegetation is thick and the banks are flooded.
Now don’t get me wrong, I understood that the Verde is a “small” river and that its known for its strainers and that it may be kind of an adventure. But I felt good about the trip; we met with Dexter Allen, the Verde River Ranger and got some recent beta on trees and what not past Childes take out because that section past Childs is run much less.

With that being said, that second day we just had our minds set on making it to the hot springs after being stuck in the rain all day. But we ran in to some problems with the infamous tress the section is known for. We regrettable, after about 8-9 correct decisions on the safe channels, we put both boats in a boat popping, foot entrapping, “not gunna have a good time” situation, that caught us all off guard. Ever thing worked out we didn’t have to resort to z-drags or d-rigging but it wasn’t a good place to be at the time. So we busted a move to the hot springs at Child’s, which are on river right (you can see a palm tree from the river) just after you see a small ranch on river right.
We all relaxed at the hot springs for about two hours and decided that we would camp at Child’s and decided if we want to continue on with the trip. As we sat in the springs, another group showed up and long story short we found out that they were planning on doing an overnighter from Beasley Flats to Childs and they were in the middle of running their shuttle when they got stuck at Childs because the road in was so bad from the rain. So we camped at Childs and the next day the road was alright so one guy from our crew got a ride back up to Beasley to get his truck, what fallowed after that was a lot of driving on bad roads to get cars and gear, not to mention that we come to find out that the guys who originally ran the shuttle left a truck at Bartlett Dam not Horseshoe which would have been interesting if we would have continued on.

Overall, the trip was kind of rough you can’t camp at the hot springs and the Childs take out campground is on river right and is layered in trash, and right next to the old power plant , and that’s where we sent a got portion of the trip.

The best advice I could give you is that the Verde is an awesome river I believe that I just caught it at a interesting time, and off the couch. The guides are right however about the wood, and speaking with Dexter when you can catch him will help out a lot. Recently, AZ has seen a lot of rain and most roads accessing the river are in bad condition. I know for a fact that the Childs road off of hwy 260 is pretty bad and really bad the last 200 yards into the campground where the NFS had put non-native clay to fix the road from being washed out. The road to Beasley Flats is not to bad and horseshoe lake road was recently closed but is now open to 4WD. Nevertheless I would suggest bright a 4WD no matter what!!

I really don’t mean to be ripping this river apart I think it is an amazing place and past Childs the wildness of the river only gets better. There are boat loads of historical and cultural significance to this section, and it shouldn’t be overlooked. But at the level that we ran it at paired with the weather, we decided it would be best to call it a trip at Childs. I really didn’t want to damage my gear so early in the season especially when I just found out my buddy pulled a Yampa Permit!!

Hope This Helps,

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Old 03-11-2010   #8
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 33
Links I found helpful

This Link is really nice and has a bunch of info on the Verde and other river in the SW:
PaddleOn Utility Page

This is an alright guide to the Verde, Good Pics:
Verde River On-Line Guide

This is an outfitter ion Flagstaff that rents just about anything for boating for pretty good prices and their good people:
Ceiba Adventures - Parts and Pieces

And I believe you found "The Boater's Guide to the Verde" by the NFS so that should help, that was written by Dexter Allen the river ranger for the Verde.

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