Trek, climb, camp, horseback ride, fish, hang glide, kayak and float in our year-round playground for adventurers.
Overflowing with mysterious canyons, lush riparian vegetation, sparkling rivers, towering rock formations and Native American ruins, Sedona Verde Valley is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. There are endless opportunities to explore the region’s gorgeous national and state parks with hundreds of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding through the canyons and along the river. Home to a thriving avian population, the tremendous array of local flora draws as many as 300 species of birds.
Other ways to take in the multi-colored sands and skies that stretch forever include jeep tours of the outback, canoeing, kayaking and rafting on the Verde River, riding the trails, fishing for trout, or floating up into the sky in a hot air balloon. And for those who enjoy a little competitive camaraderie, Sedona hosts the Sedona Marathon and Century Bicycle Tour every year.
Boaters have a number of options for enjoying the Verde River. They can enjoy a day trip along the Verde River at Clarkdale – an easy paddle, suitable for beginners and novices along a 4-mile stretch of the Verde River. For shorter paddles, boaters can enjoy Black Canyon to Bignotti in the Prescott National Forest. White Bridge to Beasley Flat in Camp Verde is also a popular day trip for kayakers and canoeists.
Many trails, such as Lime Kiln and Cliff Rose, offer breathtaking vistas and river views as you hike or bike through chaparral and grasslands. Or stroll by the river along the trails of the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area, including Dead Horse Ranch State Park. The Greenway encompasses nearly 480 acres and is six miles long. Don’t forget your binoculars the birding is great!
Experienced kayakers with skills in navigating whitewater might find the Verde River’s Wild and Scenic stretch exciting. This remote area provides a multi-day trip to paddlers who want to get away from it all. From Beasley Flat to Childs River Access Point (RAP), boaters can experience the thrill of Class III and Class IV rapids. However, boaters should be very mindful of their skill level, and be prepared to ensure a safe boating experience on the Wild & Scenic stretch. There will be no cell coverage or easy take out spots. It is recommended that you pack safety gear and first aid supplies. Always wear a helmet and personal flotation device (PFD) for protection. Check-in with the Verde Ranger District about river conditions, trip size restrictions, and if a permit might be necessary for your excursion.
Wildlife seen along Verde River includes otters, beavers, whitetail deer, javelina, bobcat, coyote, and many birds (favorites include: red-faced and olive warblers). In fact, you will find remarkably high bird diversity and densities; the Verde River boasts several of Arizona’s Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Wetland birders won’t want to miss the Tuzigoot Important Bird Area, near Tuzigoot National Monument. Its centerpiece, Tavasci Marsh, is home to such “checkables” as least bittern, sora, Virginia rail, and yellow-breasted chat.
Fishing in the Verde River can be rewarding. The river is seasonally stocked with channel catfish, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, crappie, sunfish and bluegill.
Campers love “Potato Patch” campground and the trails along Mingus Mountain’s crest.
Click here for some safety tips for enjoying the river.
Please practice Leave No Trace ethics when enjoying the river.