This was my first time hiking anything along the lower Verde and I was quite impressed. Beautiful desert scenery and beautiful water. I started at Rattlesnake Cove and made it within a half mile or so of the other end of the trail. The northern end of the trail gets a bit overgrown, especially where it crosses coves... The wet winter definitely did wonders for the riparian vegetation. As far as critters, I expected to see rattlesnakes but only saw some lizards and a cottontail or two.
The lupines were drying up but the brittlebush was starting to bloom pretty heavily. It's definitely still worth checking out. I've posted one photo that I took at sunset from a scenic spot a bit off-trail, about 2 miles in.
I camped that night with some friends at Bartlett Flats. It was a great time with some great company.