East Verde River--First Crossing Day Use Area

East Verde River--First Crossing Day Use Area

Tonto National Forest Payson, Arizona 85541

East Verde River - Discover Gila County

About East Verde River

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The East Verde River is a tributary of the Verde River. Beginning on the Mogollon Rim near Washington Park, it flows generally southwest through Gila County and the Tonto National Forest northeast of Phoenix. Near the middle of its course, it passes within about 5 miles of Payson, which is southeast of the river. The East Verde River flows through parts of the Mazatzal Wilderness west of Payson.

The Salt River Project (SRP) supplements the natural flows on the East Verde River with water pumped from Blue Ridge Reservoir on East Clear Creek in Coconino County. The water travels 17 miles by pipeline to the East Verde at Washington Park, from whence it flows toward the Verde River and the SRP reservoir behind Horseshoe Dam. A significant fraction of the Blue Ridge water release of 11,000 acre-feet a year is allocated to communities along or near the East Verde River. The U.S. Congress has set aside 3,000 acre-feet a year for Payson and 500 acre-feet for other northern Gila County communities.

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