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Geography of the Verde River Basin

The Verde River Basin, located in the northern and central part of the planning area is the largest basin in the planning area at 5,661 square miles.  Geographic features and principal communities are shown on Figure 5.5-1.  The basin is characterized by mid-elevation mountain ranges and valleys with high elevation areas along its north central boundary. Vegetation types include Arizona upland Sonoran desertscrub, semi-desert and plains and Great Basin grasslands, interior chaparral, Great Basin conifer woodland, montane conifer forests and a very small area of Rocky Mountain subalpine conifer forest in the vicinity of Humphreys Peak. (see Figure 5.0-10) Riparian vegetation is found along streams including mixed broadleaf and mesquite along the Verde River and mixed broadleaf along other streams such as West Clear Creek, Wet Beaver Creek and Oak Creek.

Principal geographic features shown on Figure 5.5-1 are:

  • Verde River beginning from south of Paulden and running southeast through the basin and the communities of Clarkdale, Cottonwood and Camp Verde

  • Notable tributaries to the Verde River include Sycamore Creek, Oak Creek, Wet Beaver Creek, West Clear Creek, Fossil Creek and East Verde River   

  • Big Chino Wash entering the basin at the northernmost basin boundary and exiting south of Paulden

  • Horseshoe Reservoir on the Verde River northwest of Sunflower and Bartlett Reservoir on the Verde west of Sunflower.  Bartlett Reservoir is also the lowest point in the basin at 1,700 feet.

  • Chino Valley in the northwestern portion of the basin, extending from Seligman to Paulden

  • Verde Valley in the center of the basin around Clarkdale and Cottonwood

  • Mogollon Rim along the east central basin boundary

    Mazatzal Mountains in the southeastern portion of the basin

  • Humphreys Peak, the highest point in the basin at 12,633 feet, on the north central basin boundary northeast of Bellemont



Click to view Figure 5.5-1

Click to view Figure 5.5-11 Verde River Basin Geographic Features


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References and Supplemental Reading for the Verde River Basin

Colorado River Central Highlands Planning Area Download entire Central Highlands Planning Area Atlas in pdf Verde River above Paulden Oak Creek