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Where the Water Flows

Camp Verde Water/Ways


Verde River

Main Perennial Tributaries

Oak Creek

Wet Beaver Creek

West Clear Creek

Fossil Creek

East Verde River

Ephemeral Tributaries

Granite Creek

Big Chino Wash

Hell Canyon

Sycamore Canyon

Lakes and Lagoons

Dead Horse Lake, a widened stretch of the Verde

Several fishing lagoons in Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Verde Valley Municipal Water Resources 

City of Cottonwood Water Division and Wastewater Division

Town of Camp Verde Water System and Wastewater Treatment Plant

Town of Clarkdale Wastewater

Verde Lakes Water Company

Historic Canals and Irrigation Ditches

Diamond S Ditch

Eureka Ditch

OK Ditch

Pioneer Ditch

Verde Ditch

Camp Verde ~ Host Site Profile

Military Origins

Camp Verde is a town in Yavapai County, near the geographic center of Arizona. It lies in the Verde River valley and has close ties to other communities in the area. The town began as a military camp and fort established in 1871. Camp Verde's original purpose was to subdue indigenous peoples and confine them to the newly established Rio Verde Reservation. The military camp was renamed Fort Verde in 1879, and abandoned in 1891. Several original buildings from the camp’s early years are still standing at Fort Verde State Historical Park.

Water and Settlement

The Sinagua and Hohokam lived along the Verde River and Beaver Creek for thousands of years. They built large settlements and impressive cliff dwellings before abandoning the area in the 1200s due to a prolonged drought. Both Yavapai and Apache peoples resided in the Verde Valley in the mid-nineteenth century, when non-Native  trappers, miners, explorers, and ranchers started coming to the area. Because the Verde River valley tended to flood, many people suffered from mosquito-borne illnesses. Flooding became less common as increasing numbers of settlers altered the area's water sources with diversion channels, dams, and irrigation systems.

A River Reborn

Today, more than 10,000 people live in Camp Verde. The Yavapai-Apache Nation maintains five tribal communities in the area. While the town grew out of the military camp, a thriving tourism industry anchors its current economy. Some cliff dwellings still stand near Camp Verde, such as Montezuma Castle National Monument, which draws visitors throughout the year. The centerpiece of the town and the valley is still the Verde River, whose course meanders right through Camp Verde. Once mostly ignored and badly polluted, it is now the only river in Arizona to carry the “Wild and Scenic” designation. The rehabilitated Verde River offers an ideal location to hike, kayak, and view native plants and animals. The waters of the Verde also support the thriving wineries that are well-known in Arizona and, increasingly, throughout the country.

Community Partners

Keep Sedona Beautiful

Since 1972, KSB has worked to preserve the scenic beauty and environmental viability of Sedona and its surroundings. The group is active in water conservation, environmental sustainability, dark skies initiatives and noise abatement efforts.  It hosts a monthly speaker series and sponsors litter control and native plant events.

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Also known as OLLI, this nationwide program offers classes and community engagement options to retirement-age residents of the Verde Valley area. Courses include water-related topics such as sustainable arid-environment landscaping practices.

Save Our Ancient Redrocks

SOAR partners with Friends of the Verde River, the Red Rock Ranger District, and Sedona Trail Keepers to educate residents and visitors about the unique characteristics of the region. Its mission is to protect the natural resources in the Sedona-Verde Valley area from privatization and industrial exploitation.

Yavapai College

This two-year college serves students in the Prescott, Sedona and Verde Valley areas. It offers many community education and lifelong-learning opportunities, and supports an art gallery, a sculpture garden and a performing arts center.

Friends of the Verde River: The Verde River Basin Partnership