Facilities for the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area are located at adjacent Dead Horse Ranch State Park. The Verde River Valley is wild and beautiful, but also safe to visit despite the general remote feel of the riparian area.
There is no camping available along this section of the Verde River, although Dead Horse Ranch is only minutes away and offers plenty of spacious campsites and cozy camping cabins. Our effort to conserve this beautiful area requires a light footprint approach. No vehicular use or campfires are allowed in the riparian zone please. While using the Verde River Natural Area, please help our conservation efforts by adhering to rules and by using this area as delicately as possible. This means staying on trails and respecting the delicate nature of this diverse riparian ecosystem.
Within this section of the Verde River you can catch smallmouth bass, catfish, and largemouth bass and bluegill. In the Winter, trout are stocked at the Tuzigoot Bridge, the 10th street bridge, and at the river day use area of Dead Horse Ranch. Arizona Game & Fish also stocks at various points along the river, all the way to Camp Verde. There's plenty of great fishing opportunities on the Verde River and anglers do fairly well here.
A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers 10 years and older. Licensing information is available online at Arizona Game & Fish, or purchase a fishing license at a local dealer.
Swimming is allowed anywhere along the river although there is no lifeguard on duty and swimming is at your own risk.
The river is a fantastic place to canoe or kayak, see Paddle Maps for route information. A river access point is located at the Tuzigoot bridge. You can put in at the Tuzigoot bridge and take out at Dead Horse Ranch; or put in at Dead Horse Ranch and take out at 89A. Check the stream levels before planning your trip. There's lots of twists and turns so be aware of sleepers and strainers. When in doubt: Scout.
Black Hawks nest along the Verde River during summer and are a lot of fun to watch. Great Blue Herons and a variety of waterfowl can be seen year round although additional waterfowl species show up with the winter migration. Southwestern Bald Eagles show up in the winter as well and breeding pairs can often be seen up in the large cottonwood and sycamore trees of the Verde River Valley. Deer, coyotes, river otters, raccoons, beavers, bobcats and the occasional mountain lion can also be seen in the Verde River corridor.
The Verde River Natural Area boasts an extensive variety of birds, in fact almost 200 bird species have been listed here! Because of this, the Verde River Riparian area is home to the yearly Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival. Adjacent Dead Horse Ranch State Park is an integral part of the Tuzigoot Important Bird Area (IBA). Avian species within this IBA include several sensitive, threatened, or endangered birds listed as species of concern.
- Keep pets on a leash.
- Damaging or removing the natural rocks, vegetation or public property on the park is prohibited.
- Obey all hunting and fishing regulations.
- Prevent loud nuisance noises.
- No overnight camping.
- No fires.
- Off road vehicles are prohibited.
The Verde River Greenway is a State Natural Area. It exists to keep the Verde River riparian corridor in it's most natural state, and to protect the fragile ecosystem that exists therein. Recreation is allowed, but "soft" recreation is encouraged. That is, recreation that has minimal impact on the environment. These include:
- Mountain biking.
- Horseback riding.
A "pack it in, pack it out" philosophy is encouraged. Please pick up litter and leave nothing behind after visiting the area.