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Verde River - White Bridge to Beasley Flat, AZ

Guide 8 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 1 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance One Way 10.44 miles
Trailhead Elevation 3,052 feet
Avg Time One Way 4-6 hours
Interest Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack No
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13  2020-05-03 chumley
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15  2016-02-28 chumley
5  2015-03-13
Verde River Paddle Trail
Author chumley
author avatar Guides 81
Routes 688
Photos 15,667
Trips 1,597 map ( 11,879 miles )
Age 48 Male Gender
Location Tempe, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Mar, Apr → Early
Seasons   Early Spring to Spring
Sun  5:37am - 7:30pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Whatever floats your boat
by chumley

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This 10-mile section of the Verde River is amongst the most popular for an easy half-day paddle. Access is simple, and setting up a return shuttle takes about half an hour.

River Access
The put-in is at the White Bridge River Access Point, where Highway 260 crosses the Verde River. There is a developed site here with parking, pit toilets, and a graded walkway to the river at the base of the bridge. (Note the original White Bridge is long gone, replaced by the current bridge in 1982).

There is an option to exit about halfway to Beasley Flat at the Clear Creek RAP, which is at river mile 45. Even if you are going all the way to Beasley, this is a lovely spot to get out and stretch your legs. There are a few picnic tables at the top of the hill, but no other facilities.

The exit at Beasley Flat is shortly after passing the prominent white gypsum cliffs on the east side of the river. You will see picnic tables on the hillside well ahead of when you should exit. Wait until you can see the actual road cut where it comes down to the river. There is a small wooden dock extending from the shore to provide a less-muddy exit option. Beasley Flat also has pit toilets and ample parking for your shuttle vehicle.

White Bridge is at river mile 39.5 on the Verde River Paddle Trail Guide published by the Coconino National Forest. It's an excellent review of the entire river trip and highly recommended for reading.

Most of the river consists of flat water with a light flow. There are short stretches of riffles and a couple of short stretches that might reach class 2 at some flow levels. Most novice paddlers with some previous experience should feel comfortable making this trip.

The river flows through stretches of wilderness, thick with shady trees and replete with numerous species of birds. In other stretches, the river flows through the vast yards of beautiful homes along the river banks. Enjoy the scenery as you pass through this picturesque slice of the Verde Valley.

Around mile 43.5, the flow from an irrigation canal flows into the river from the left.
At river mile 44, you will pass an erosion project on the right bank, protecting the precarious structures on the bank high above the river.
At mile 45, you reach the Clear Creek RAP, including a concrete dam on river right that makes a quick-moving channel on the left.
Half a mile later, you will pass West Clear Creek's confluence in a shallow section of the river. It's easy to miss if you're not looking for it!
At about mile 46.5, the river turns sharply south when reaching the gypsum cliffs, followed shortly by a narrow shaded section.
At 47.5, the river turns east again and passes through a couple of fast sections of riffles.
Beasley Flat is visible on the right, but you'll want to continue downstream around the peninsula it consists of.
The river turns south again at 48.5 and continues about a mile directly next to gypsum cliffs before reaching the exit point.

River Flow
The Forest Service uses 100 CFS as the indicator of "low flow". They report that under 50cfs makes the trip difficult. We did this trip in 4 hours with a 225 CFS flow. I'm not sure what maximum flow would be appropriate for this trip, but 100 seems to be a good minimum. The FS recommends not paddling the river during flood. Current flow reading can be found by the USGS gauging station below Beasley Flat ( link here )

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

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2016-04-19 chumley
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Prescott Forest
    Prescott National Forest Pass

    Only trailheads with six "amenities" have fees. Amenities are picnic tables, trash, toilet, parking, interpretive signing and security.

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To kayak trip
    White Bridge River Access Point is located 3.2 miles east of I-17 on AZ-260 in Camp Verde. Turn right after crossing the bridge and park in the obvious Forest Service recreation area parking lot.

    Setting up a shuttle will require an 11.5-mile drive to Beasley Flat via the well-signed Forest Road 574, which turns south from AZ-260 1.5 miles west of White Bridge. (The Clear Creek RAP is 6.5 miles along the same road).
    page created by chumley on Apr 19 2016 8:36 pm
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