Your browser is out of date.
This site may not function properly in your current browser. Update Now

The Verde River and its Tributaries

Lake, River, or Waterfall
The Verde River – Doug Von Gausig

The Verde River and its Tributaries

Located in Central Arizona, the Verde River and its tributaries creates one of the most beautiful and diversified landscapes in the Southwestern United States. The allure of the valley’s surface waters draw people to this magnificent setting in the arid desert surrounded by towering mountains and vast wilderness. As one of the last perennial-flowing river systems in the State of Arizona, the Verde River and its tributaries create a riparian ecosystem that supports flora, fauna and our local communities along its 192 miles. Visitors will discover attractions from parks to farmers markets, deep swimming holes and abundant fisheries, all things that make this ribbon of green in the desert a natural treasure.

Recreational Opportunities

Exploring the Verde Valley

The Verde’s unique environment allows visitors to experience a wide variety of activities including: hiking and boating along with birding and wildlife watching. Visitor can also learn about the history of the Verde Valley by visiting our National Monuments, AZ State Parks, the Yavapai-Apache Nation and the Verde Valley Archaeology Center, as well as several community museums. Links to many of these attractions are found on this site.

Conserving the Verde River

In 2006, American Rivers listed the Verde River as one of the 10 most endangered rivers in America.


Communities within the Verde Valley obtain their domestic water through ground water pumping. This includes municipal supplies along with private wells. Pumping intercepts water that would naturally flow to the Verde River or its tributaries. As the valleys population has grown, pumping has increased and the base flow of the Verde has diminished.

The Verde Valley is also a center of agricultural activity. In the 1880’s agricultural diversions were created to move water from the river to crops. Today these historic water claims still keep the fields of the valley producing food and forage. However, antiquated diversion systems currently take more water than is needed for crops, seriously impacting river flows. Efforts are underway to modernize these historic structures to ensure that water is used as efficiently as possible while keeping vital flows in the river.

There are various groups in the Verde Valley that are working to increase public awareness of these issues. For more information on how you can support these efforts, please click on the links below:

Friends of Verde River Greenway

Verde River Basin Partnership

Verde River Valley Nature Organization

Oak Creek Watershed Council

Verde Valley Land Preservation

One for the Verde