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Lower Verde Bike-Rafting, AZ
mini location map2018-04-21
8 by photographer avatararizona_water
photographer avatar
 
Lower Verde Bike-Rafting, AZ 
Lower Verde Bike-Rafting, AZ
 
Rafting avatar Apr 21 2018
arizona_water
Rafting8.36 Miles 931 AEG
Rafting8.36 Miles
931 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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I've been interested in checking out some of the old jeep trails between Needle Rock and Bartlett Dam. A friend and I loaded up our gravel bikes with packrafts, and headed off on a route designed with the help of google satellite. We quickly confirmed our hypothesis that these jeep trails would be impassable by all but the bravest of mountain bikers. We were only able to actually ride about 50% of the route. The rest was hike-a-bike. But it was only four miles, so not too bad.

Saturday was blazin' hot, and it was already 88 degrees by the time we arrived at the Verde put-in. The weather made me commit to postponing additional Sonoran Desert trips to November or December. We disassembled the bikes and tied them down to the rafts, and got on the water. The river was running at 125cfs out of Bartlett, about 75cfs below recommended minimum levels for kayaking. Usually packrafts are fine in lower water, but I hadn't run this sections and didn't realize how bad the strainers were. My friend got stuck in a few rapids that pulled him down into a wall of vegetation. His raft flipped and we lost a paddle. We had to paddle the remaining 3 miles, each of us sharing just a half of the remaining paddle. But we made it.

This trip felt like adventure, since neither of us had much of an idea of what to expect. I would run this section again at a higher flow rate. The bike shuttle on paved roads is brutally long and hilly, so I think I would opt for hiking on these OHV trails for future endeavors. This is a fun section of the Verde. You won't see anyone until Needle Rock.

dry Bootleg Canyon Dry Dry

dry Camp Creek Dry Dry
_____________________
- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
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