Verde River - Beasley Flat to Childs



This is the core whitewater stretch of the Verde River.  A wonderful, remote run through scenic country populated by bald eagles during the floating season, this section also features a bunch of great rapids.  Most are Class II or III, with the exception of the Class IV Verde Falls, where the creek pours over a 10-foot ledge into a scenic gorge. 

Whitewater boaters have two takeout options for this run, Gap Creek (8 miles) or Childs (16 miles).   Taking out at Childs adds a few more rapids and the possibility of overnight camping, as well as riverside road access.  Beasley to Gap Creek features a more concentrated stretch of whitewater - most of the best rapids are found in the first few miles below Beasley.  Gap Creek is also a much easier shuttle, and turns the trip into a day trip.  Its a short half-mile walk up Gap Creek to get from the river to your car.

Note that I put 150 CFS as the minimum flow for this run, but its debatable.  150 is ELF (Extreme Low Flow) boating, and will only be of interest to packrafters and inflatable kayakers.  People with hard shells and/or sanity will probably want to use 300 CFS as the rule of thumb for minimum flow.  The big boats start coming out around 700-800 CFS.  The river runs at these levels primarily during spring runoff, but its also worth keeping an eye on the gauge during summer monsoons.

The Verde has been designated as a water trail/paddle trail, and the USFS has published a very detailed guide to the river and its rapids and campsites, including this section.  The guide starts from Beasley Flat and contains this run, as well as the multi-day run from Childs down to Sheep Bridge.  The guide can be viewed here:

Some sections of the river have been designated as Eagle Nesting Zones, and during certain months of the year (which also happen to coincide with the prime paddle season) no stopping or camping is allowed on these sections of the river.  View the USFS paddle guide for more detail on these restrictions.


Chris Ramias
Class III- to IV+
Current Flow 72.4 CFS
09-26-2023 17:00

View River Forecast

Recommended Flow Minimum: 150.0
Average: 800.0
Maximum: 2000.0
Typical Season Begins: January
Ends: May
Recommended Use Kayaking: Yes
Rafting: Yes
Canoeing: Yes
Packrafting: Yes
Fishing: Yes
Length 16.0 Mile(s)
Gradient FPM

Verde Falls (Class IV)

02-04-2017 -

Photo By: Chris Ramias