Verde River from Sycamore Creek to Lower Tapco River Access - Allan Watts TR

Sedona Verde Valley website for this section

Verbatim copy of Allan Watts trip report:

On 11/11/17, Michelle, Mike, Mark Jibilian, Walt Carr and his wife Helen, and I kayaked the Verde River from Sycamore Creek to Lower Tapco River Access at 66.5 cfs (Clarkdale gauge). I had picked this section because it was supposed to be fairly easy and Bryce was going to join us, but he bailed at the last minute because he did not want to get up that early. Michelle, Mike, and I had not done this section before or anything higher up on this river. Mark had as part of a multiday trip that put in farther up and Walt had done it before and had put in at Tapco but none of us had put in at Sycamore.

I had considered doing Tapco to Tuzigoot, but it is just 3 miles and that did not seem like enough. Jon Fuller did the full length of the Verde in October in a canoe and he said we should put in at Sycamore because Tapco to Tuzigoot had only taken him an hour. Walt had sent a picture taken in the section from Tapco to Tuzigoot from a few weeks prior with a field of yellow flowers but most of them had lost their pedals by this trip.

The flow had been very steady for weeks leading up to this day, but I looked back as far as a year and it has been steady over time except for several spikes to 300 cfs in monsoon season and several spikes to 2000 cfs in December through March. The winter had been fairly wet this year. The average flow was also fairly steady and was about 80 cfs for this time of year. I don’t’ know whether the flow this season being less than historic is because of groundwater pumping, gauge inaccuracy, or something else. If the gauge is accurate, however, and the flow on this day is the new normal due to groundwater pumping, then you would have to get lucky to catch it with much more flow than what we had.

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Trip report image
USGS flow link image