Verde River - Mar 1, 2010 - Beasley Flat to Horseshoe Lake RAP - Part I

Hello fellow boaters,

My name is Bryan. I’ve shadowed CAZPC for a long time but rarely posted. My schedule is very unpredictable so I have trouble planning outings with others. Desert Paddlers is a recent discovery.

Last week I ran the Verde and decided some might enjoy a report, since the water is great, but recent high flooding and scary rumors from the Forest Service might be worrying some folks. I put in on Monday, March 1, about three in the afternoon. It was a late start because I had to scramble for shuttles. The Tonto FS guys said Horseshoe Dam was definitely 4x4 only, so I had to line up someone for the take-out. My car is a Honda Odyssey, fine for the put in, but no good for the take-out. By the way, the Horseshoe road really was probably too much for the Honda, but the only tough spots were two sandy washes. Any 4x4 could make it through, or even a high clearance 2x with the tires aired down a bit.

The gauge at Camp Verde was at 622 cfs when I left home, and rising slowly. When I took out, the gauge just below Sheep Bridge was at 1800. Much of that, probably half, was from the additional water coming in from Fossil and East Verde.

This was my second solo trip on the Verde. Both times the boat was a SOAR 14, probably the perfect boat for this type of river because it can carry five days of supplies and gear for any weather, but is only 40 inches wide and 60 pounds, not too bad for a portage or dragging. And I did it all: portage, lining, dragging, and yes, flipping once.

I expected to portage the Pre-Falls and Falls, and due to the late start I camped right above the eagle closure at the falls. The Pre looked doable, but the Falls was Class V and I elected to portage the whole thing. The portage on the right is far easier than the left. I’ve done both, so I know!

PaddleOn River Images