Whether you are attracted to the natural beauty of the area or choose to experience the many outdoor recreation activities available including kayaking, fishing, hiking, bird watching and other sight-seeing activities, the Verde has something to offer visitors and residents alike.
The Verde River is a gem in the desert and one of Arizona’s only two designated Wild and Scenic Rivers. It is one of the last rivers in the American Southwest to flow year-round.
The river and its tributaries provide lush corridors of life as they wind their way through beautiful and arid landscapes. The Verde River is a unique feature in the Verde Valley providing economic and recreational opportunities as well as drinking water to millions in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
The Verde River watershed has several particularly notable elements, including:
• miles of lush riparian habitat
• 40.5 miles of federally designated Wild and Scenic River
• it is one of Arizona’s last free-flowing rivers
• a rare Fremont cottonwood/Goodding Riparian Gallery Forest – one of only twenty remaining in the world
• it is home to beaver, river otters, native fish, great blue heron, gray fox, bobcat, javelina, bald eagles, myriad native reptiles and amphibians, and many, many more (including nearly twenty federally designated endangered and threatened species)
• it is a critical flyway for migratory birds
Travelers are no longer just shopping or site seeing, they want to engage and participate with the places they visit. Voluntourism is an opportunity for travelers to expand their vacation experience with authentic engagement creating a true commitment to care for the people and places they visit.
Visitors to the Verde Valley can help to sustain the health of the river through volunteering and by reducing their impact. One of the largest threats to the health of the river is garbage. Trash left at campsites and tossed into the river not only diminish the visual beauty of the area but also create a health threat for people and wildlife. We encourage you to partake in everything the river has to offer. Practice Leave-No-Trace ethics to leave the Verde just as you found it for those who come after.
Friends of the Verde River is a purpose driven community benefit organization that works to support the health of the Verde River and its tributaries. We partner with a diverse group of federal, state, municipal, nonprofit, agricultural and private landowners to improve and restore riparian habitat, sustain river flows, and support local economies while promoting community stewardship. Contact us to learn more about the Verde River and volunteer opportunities. VerdeRiver.org