Get outside of it all
Camp Verde is situated at the southern (downstream) end of the Verde Valley, surrounded by a landscape of 6,000 to 7,000 foot highlands. Within the surrounding region are nine federal wilderness areas, woven with a network of trails leading to some of Arizona’s most beautiful vistas. Camp Verde is also the only gateway to Arizona’s two Wild and Scenic Rivers: the lower 40 miles of the Verde River from Beasley Flat to Horseshoe Reservoir and Fossil Creek, where a 20,000 gallon a minute spring feeds a pristine travertine stream.
Camp Verde spans 18 miles of the Verde River, a popular place for a more leisurely trip in a kayak, canoe or anything else that floats. A web of urban trails leads to nearby bluffs and the occasional ancient pueblo. The river also acts as the dividing line between the Prescott National Forest and the Coconino National Forest, both of which offer numerous amenities, including dispersed and developed campsites, for every season. In addition, Camp Verde and the surrounding valley are home to five Arizona State Parks, the 36-mile long Verde River Greenway and a sixth park, Rocking River, soon to be developed.
Adventures in Camp Verde
Kayak down the Verde River
Discover one of the two ‘Wild & Scenic Rivers’ in Arizona by kayak! With its incredible wilderness of spectacular canyons, verdant forests, brightly colored wildflowers, and a multitude of birds and wildlife, a Verde River adventure is more than just floating down the river.
Hike a trail
There is a trail for everyone in Camp Verde! Explore Camp Verde by foot and discover unique fauna and flora that call the Verde Valley home. Camp Verde has over a dozen unique trailheads nearby including the newest trailhead, Ryal Canyon Trailhead located on Salt Mine Road.
Scenic Horseback Riding
Enjoy scenic views of the Verde Valley with Wild Western Horseback Adventures or M Diamond Ranch. Horseback riding is the perfect adventure for the whole family. Or enjoy a sunset ride for two.
Just off Hwy 260, Fossil Creek, the other “Wild and Scenic” river in Arizona, seems to appear out of nowhere, gushing 20,000 gallons a minute out of a series of springs at the bottom of a 1,600 foot deep canyon. Most people come to Fossil Creek to sunbathe, wade, hike and bird watch. It’s also a great place to take photographs. The lushness of the riparian area strikes a sharp contrast to the brittle desert that surrounds it. Fossil Creek requires a permit from April 1 to October 1.
Explore like a local
Camp Verde and the surrounding Verde Valley are some of the country’s premier bird watching locales. With an abundance of water in an otherwise largely arid landscape, the valley serves as both an ideal host to resident species and as a popular resting spot for migratory flocks.
Birdwatchers have documented over 300 bird species along the Verde River and its tributaries. Visit the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival’s website to access an interactive map of regional birding trails.
Camp Verde’s unique location and proximity to public land make it a prime spot to explore on foot. Whether you’re looking for a multiple-day adventure or an afternoon walk, the regional trail network offers something for everyone.
Our Verde River
The Verde River is one of the Southwest’s last free flowing rivers, running 170 miles from its headwaters in the Big Chino Valley to its confluence with the Salt River, east of Phoenix. Along with providing water to millions of Arizonans, the river is home to dozens of species of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish, including several that are threatened or endangered.
Though the Verde River is one of Arizona’s only two Wild and Scenic Rivers, it remains relatively undiscovered as a recreational resource. That doesn’t mean this clear desert stream has little to offer. It’s an excellent place to fish for a number of species including trout, which the Arizona Game and Fish Department has begun stocking on a put and take basis.
The Verde River is accessible to day users, boaters and overnight campers along the entire stretch passing through the Verde Valley.