Hiking Trails in Camp Verde
Hike the trails in Camp Verde

There is a trail for everyone in Camp Verde. Whether you are hiking with the family, or doing a solo trip, each trail near or in Camp Verde offers beautiful scenery, a chance to observe birds and other wildlife, and to explore the various flora in and around the Verde Valley.

The following trail selection gives a taste of the outdoor opportunities that the Verde Valley has to offer.

camp verde Hiking trail map

Apache Maid Trail

Branching off the north side of the Bell Trail, about two miles from the trailhead, Apache Maid Trail leads hikers out of Beaver Creek Wilderness and onto the high plateau above. The trail ultimately leads to the fire lookout atop Apache Maid Mountain, but most hikers stop once the reach the plateau as the last 7.5 miles of the 10-mile long trail are often difficult to follow and there is no permanent water.

Bell Trail

Unquestionably one of the most visited and scenic trails in the area, the Bell Trail wanders along Wet Beaver Creek and its many deep and shady pools. Originally built to move cattle between the high country and the Valley floor, it is also the likely path by which the first Spanish visitors entered the valley in 1583, looking for gold.

Apache Maid Trail
Bull pen Trailhead

Bull Pen Trailhead

Located at the base of West Clear Creek Canyon, the 7.5-mile Bull Pen Trail wanders along the creek for several miles before exiting the canyon on the north side at Blodgett Basin. Remote and beautiful, West Clear Creek will not disappoint those looking to leave civilization behind. Prepare to wade the stream at several locations and keep an eye out for thunderstorms and flash floods.

Buckaroo Trail (0.4 mi)

The Buckaroo Trail bisects the southern loop portion of the White Cliffs trail and gives users an up-close and personal look at the high desert scrub country adjacent to the Verde River.

Chasm Creek Trailhead

Steep, rugged and listed in several trail guides as “Difficult,” the Chasm Creek Trail leads into Cedar Bench Wilderness, one of the least visited of Arizona’s many wilderness areas. It is widely believed that Chasm Creek was the entry point for one of the earliest visits to the Valley, when in 1864 Territorial Governor John Goodwin came to the Verde River looking for a spot to locate the state capitol.

Cold Water Trail

Many authors have speculated that the Cold Water Trail was originally used by the military to transport men and supplies between Fort Verde (originally Camp Lincoln) and Fort McDowell. But there is little evidence to prove that was ever the case and, given the rough country through which it passes, more than enough evidence to prove it would have been nearly impassable. The 5.4-mile long trail begins at Brown Springs, south of Camp Verde, and climbs 2,500 feet to the Forest Road 68 on the Verde Rim.

Grief Hill Trailhead

Copper Canyon Trail

Copper Canyon Trail is a multi-use trail that runs from the Verde Rim to the Valley floor. Accessible to OHV’s, horseback rider, mountain bikers and hikers, the trail follows the same path used by thousands of early settlers. A new trailhead located just off Salt Mine Road is equipped with picnic ramadas, restrooms, and OHV loading ramps.

Grief Hill Trailhead

Grief Hill was one of the earliest entry points for settlers and military units coming from Prescott, bound for the Verde Valley. Treacherous and steep, it was also the site of several ambushes by Yavapai and Apache warriors attempting to stem the invasion of their homeland. The actual trail goes east from the trailhead, rounding Hull Hill before heading up into the Black Hills.

Mail Trail

The historic Mail Trail follows the route once ridden by mail raiders delivering mail to and from Camp Verde and Payson. The same route was used as early as the late 1860’s as a path from Fort Verde to Camp Reno on the Tonto Basin. The trail covers a section of that path from State Route 260 south to Fossil Creek. Bring water.

Miano Trail

Keep an eye out for wildlife that associates closely with the river like beavers and river otters. There is some great birding to be experienced on this short trail as well.
perimeter trail

Outlaw Trail

The Outlaw Trail will connect users to the White Cliffs and Pasture Trails from either the
Pasture or White Cliffs trailheads.

Oxbow Trail

This six-mile long trail is another one of the difficult trails leading into the rugged but spectacular Cedar Bench Wilderness Area. Rising over 2,000 feet in 6 miles, the seldom used Oxbow Trail traverses the Gap Creek Drainage, a year around stream, on their way to the Verde Rim.

Perimeter Loop Trail

Perimeter Loop Trail is a 1.6-mile trail  located around the perimeter of the Sports Complex. The  10’ wide trail is a more stabilized surface, making this trail easier for casual walkers, bikers and people with strollers.

Pasture Loop Trail

Beginning at the Ranch House, the Pasture Loop Trail showcases the northwest quadrant of the park. Users will appreciate the expansive mountain views of Porcupine
Peak to the south and the variety of birds and wildlife that frequent the area. About halfway through your hike, you’ll encounter Woods Ditch Pond and a chance to see
waterfowl like mallards, teal, and the occasional wood duck. Keep an eye out for wildlife using the pond. Javelina and deer (both mule and Coues deer) visit the pond to drink and feed on the lush vegetation that encircles it.

Ryal Canyon Trail

Ryal Canyon Trailhead

Ryal Canyon Trail is located at 2425 S. Salt Mine Road, and accessible off Oasis Road at State Road 260. This 3 to 6 hour round trip hike is for those looking for a fierce workout. Steep climbs and rocky terrian make up this five mile hike, but you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of the San Francisco Peaks, Sedona, Camp Verde, and the Verde River greenbelt along the way. Hike this trail during Spring, Fall or Winter; limited shade will make it difficult for Summer.

Shady Acres Trail

This scenic trail parallels the main park road beneath a canopy of cottonwood and
sycamore trees. On the north end of the trail, enjoy a rest and a snack at the picnic
tables available.

Towel Creek Trail

Towel Creek Trail is one of the few trails in the area that accesses the Verde River. Taking off from Fossil Springs Road (FR708), nine miles from its junction with State route 260, the trail follows a jeep path a couple of miles before descending Towel Creek to the river. Hikers are rewarded with the view of an ancient Sinaguan cliff dwelling on the north side of the trail, just prior to reaching the Verde River.

Verde Rim Trail

The Verde Rim Trail runs along the spine of the 6,000-foot elevation ridgeline, looming south and west of the Verde River. The eight-mile trail runs from Pine Mountain north towards the Cedar Bench Wilderness and offers spectacular views of the rugged country through which the lower Verde River passes, as well as the Mazatzal Mountain to the east and the Bradshaw Mountains to the west.

verde vista trail

Verde Vista Trail

The Verde Vista Loop is a 5.5-mile non-motorized loop trail out of a trail head located in the Sports Complex. The trail climbs about 500’ to the top of the White Hills overlooking the Equestrian Center and Sports complex. With stunning views down the valley and mountains near and far, it is an enjoyable hike, bike or horse ride with easy access from town.

White Cliffs Trail

The longest trail in the park, the White Cliffs Trail can be reached from the White Cliffs Trailhead or a variety of junctions with other trails in the park. You’ll get an all-
encompassing trail experience here from the high desert to the riparian zone along the Verde. You’ll find plenty of river access on this trail along with awesome birding, wildlife watching, fishing, and serenity.

Walker Basin Trail

Walker Basin is currently under consideration as a federally protected wilderness area. The trail, which takes off just east of Forest Road 618, south of the V Bar V Heritage Site, follows a historic cattle trail starting about 4,000 feet before ascending a 5,300 foot plateau. Walker Basin Trail is accessible by vehicle from either end offering an opportunity to hike it one way if you make arrangements drop a vehicle or get someone to pick you up.

Walker basin trail